Do Gay Republicans Get More Flak From Democrats Than The GOP?

M

The answer is pretty simple.

In a follow-up to Republican Ken Mehlman's coming out last month, The Miami Herald has published a piece focused on reaction to the news by gays in both the democratic and republican parties.  The piece showcases the feelings by many gay republicans on how they're perceived by liberals in the LGBT community.

From the Herald aricle:

After Kenneth Mehlman, George W. Bush's 2004 campaign manager, came out as gay last month, he seemed to get way more grief from Democrats — who said a gay man would have to be a hypocrite to work to get a conservative Republican elected president — than moderate members of his own party, who basically shrugged and said: “Whatever.'' `In gay organizations and gay circles, most people don't understand how somebody can be gay and Republican,'' said Holland & Knight litigator Robert Watson, past president of the gay Log Cabin Republicans club of Miami. “It's been more difficult [for me] to come out as Republican in gay circles than as gay in Republican circles.''

The end of the article pretty much sums up, in a clear and obvious way, why gays and lesbians flock to the Democratic Party.

Miami Beach-based finance writer Andrew Tobias, a gay man who since 1999 has been treasurer of the Democratic National Committee, becomes furious when some gays say it doesn't matter which party is in power. `Even gay Republicans agree the Democratic Party is night-and-day better on gay issues. Dems in the House and Senate vote almost unanimously for our stuff; Republicans, almost unanimously against,'' Tobias said. “I'm sure most Republican congressfolk don't hate gays — they just don't want hate crimes protection extended to cover us or employment discrimination laws extended to cover us or Social Security benefits to our partners and children — or to allow us to serve in the military or to marry.

Comments

  1. Max says

    Gays, blacks, Jews, women… all get trashed by the left for not being in the Democrat big tent where they belong. Didn’t you know? Hate speech is ok when it’s at a Republican – hypocrite or not.

  2. Brian in Texas says

    Theres nothing wrong with being gay and having conservative economic and foreign policy views; it’s just asinine to vote for someone who publicly says they are against your civil rights and will vote against them. It’s the fact that 98% of republicans must pander to Christian conservatives.

    People always wonder why blacks vote overwhelming for democrats…it’s because in the 60s the democrats (not from the south) were in favor of civil rights and equality for blacks. The north-eastern repubs were largely for it too but they now have all become democrats. The conservative dems in the south from the 60s-70s are all republicans now. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson brought Martin Luther King to the table.

    Democrats don’t pander to birthers, tea partiers, glenn beck, sarah palin, rush limbaugh, etc.

  3. jexer says

    It’s all about power. Ken had influence and power. Lost a lot of it as people found out he was gay and more by coming out, but still has some. As long as he’s useful to the GOP they’ll tolerate his ‘quirks’.

    The GOP is no more gay friendly than ever. They will grudgingly endure it until they find a replacement for Ken… or a better scapegoat than Islam to demonize.

    Any self-respecting homosexual is deluding themselves if they think the “Moral Majority” and “Exploitation First” party is ‘coming around’ and seriously thinking about supporting equal rights.

  4. Greg says

    It’s very simple to understand, actually. Gays pose zero threat to Republicans (or marriage, or kids or str8s at all). But Republicans pose huge threats to gays. They threaten (it’s written in their pary platform(s)) to deny us marriage rights, keep us from being teachers, take away our children. Our very lives and livelihooods are at risk in the GOP/Teabaggers’ ideal world. So if a friend “came out” as Republican I would quickly protect my husband and family from this real threat. There are good people that can be your friends—don’t waste time on evil.

  5. Bart says

    Maybe Robert Watson doesn’t understand that being gay isn’t a choice, being a Republican is. That’s why choosing to join a group of people, the majority of which want to deny you any civil rights seems really self-loathing and dangerous to those of us who really would like those equal rights and liberties that the Republicans pay so much lip service to but continue to deny gay men and women, many in the state GOP platforms.

    None of this is rocket science. Gays can come out (or more like trickle out, kicking and screaming) in the Republican party but that doesn’t make the rest of us blind to what the Republican party has turned into. It ain’t the party of Lincoln anymore.

  6. Joe says

    @Greg, totally right. All anyone has to do is look at the republican party platform that they released last fall and see that Gays have no place in that party.

  7. LincolnLounger says

    Yes, we’ve got to continue to march lockstep with the Democrats and send them all of our resources. When we have a Democrat president and huge, veto-proof majorities in Congress, the Democrats will deliver on ENDA, DoMA, DADT, etc.

    They will. Really. Honest. I promise.

    Well, maybe there will be a nice party at the White House or something . . . .

  8. TANK says

    wah, wah, waaaaaah! Why don’t gay republicans just call themselves republicans? It doesn’t make any sense to call themselves “gay” republicans, as that has no relevance at all to the party, or their reasons for affiliation.

  9. says

    I’m all for anyone coming out–Democrat, Republican, apolitical. Because the more people who are out, the more difficult it is for people to pretend they don’t know or love anyone gay.

    BUT, no one should expect that gay people will line up to pat on the back and applaud cowards who chose to stay in their privileged closets for years while actively working against our interests by pushing anti-gay policies. That most of those anti-gay policies came from the Republican side of the aisle isn’t judgment or hate speech (talk about hyperbole), it’s simply fact.

    When gay conservatives actually start coming out while they’re in power instead of out of it, and when they get their fellow Republicans, who are actually in or running for office, to start supporting gay issues when it matters, then they may get more respect from liberals who will always disagree on other issues.

  10. Matt says

    Democrats had the Presidency, a large majority in the House, and a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, and Tobias’ little list is a good list of things they did NOT act on (except for hate crimes, which was low-hanging fruit indeed). So maybe it would be more accurate to say that neither Dems nor Republicans want those things.

  11. coolbearinmd says

    Mehlman and his Republican supporters are still really good at spin, and they’re still doing it. They manage to make this into a story about whether liberals or conservatives are more likely to be forgiving toward closeted gays, because it serves their purposes–and their incredibly cynical manipulation of a few traditional Christian ideas–to do so. They thus get gays arguing with each other about an entirely specious question.
    Mehlman continues to lie deliberately, strategically, cynically, and the most disgustingly self-pitying manner, when he claims that he hadn’t really discovered himself all those years he worked for people who despised him. There is no victim of societal prejudice to sympathize with here. Mehlman was traveling in gay social circles, going to gay parties, counting on the power-mad sycophants and lackeys in DC to keep up his cover. Everyone in political life in Washington has heard stories about the Republicans who refused to work with him, the frat-house homophobia directed against him by even his closest colleagues, the way George and Laura Bush stuck up for him and insisted that there were going to be no sexual-orientation tests under their leadership. Much of this is a matter of public record.
    This is just Mehlman and his cronies once again getting away with spinning the situation–now that Republicans are realizing there may be more to gain in pretending to favor same-sex marriage than pretending to deplore it–because media outlets will distribute anything handed to them without questioning it or doing any research.

  12. Max says

    “Democrats don’t pander to birthers, tea partiers, glenn beck, sarah palin, rush limbaugh, etc.”

    No, Brian, but they pander to Islamo-fascists, Black Panthers, Communists, Soviet Thugs, the UN, and La Raza.

    Choose your poison. At least the circus on the right is American.

    As for Mehlman, he’s getting flack for being a hypocrite, not for being gay. He’s gonna have to move mountains to kiss and make up.

  13. Rowan says

    Wooah Max, have you ever left America? You do know the Labour parties in Europe were communists right? And many still believe that? I’m in English and live in Europe so people like you Max scare me? And the UN? What are you on? I have a lot of friends who irk for the UN and man
    ,do you even know how selfless work they do to save lives?

    Max you’re a scary man and a typical American-thick and uncultured.

  14. Rob G. says

    “Democrats had the Presidency, a large majority in the House, and a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, and Tobias’ little list is a good list of things they did NOT act on (except for hate crimes, which was low-hanging fruit indeed). So maybe it would be more accurate to say that neither Dems nor Republicans want those things.”

    It boggles the mind that there are actually people like you who believe that.

    And if the GOP returns to power, you should be held accountable for everything they do to thwart equality.

    As for a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, it required that the independents caucus with the Democrats.

    And even then, Ted Kennedy’s death in August led to the election of Scott Brown and his swearing in during January 2010.

    The Democrats had less than 11 months with a tenuous 60-seat majority.

    If you think that they could have pushed through all of the President’s agenda in less than a year, you’re smoking dope.

    The progressive meme that there is no difference between the Democrats and Republicans is one of the dumbest things I have ever heard.

    Its proponents will ultimately have blood on their hands if they have worked towards defeating the Democrats.

    The good news is that a lot of gay Democrats are waking up to the impact of the blogosphere and starting to work actively against it.

    And I’ve already started hearing from the progressives who want the Democrats out. Now they say that there are so many disgruntled Dems that their actions had no real impact.

    Uh-huh. On the one hand, they tout their power to destroy. On the other, they talk of how their efforts just reflected those of progressive groups around the country.

    Hypocrites.

  15. Xtabentun says

    I don’t think gay Republicans are as cynical as some are suggesting. Time and time again I see a real personal conflict going on. Ted Haggard (though not a politician, was right wing) was one of the more extreme examples. I felt terrible for him, as he was obviously traumatized and not getting any love from anywhere. The right excommunicated him, and the left just mocked him or dehumanized him.

    It’s hard coming out of the closet. We all know this. Imagine if you were a powerful political figure? It must be much harder. Your whole professional career is at stake. And other people are depending on you. So I try to have some sympathy. I don’t like it when other gay men are cruel and dismissive about them. They’re gay men too, and are experiencing the same problems we all are, but even more magnified. It may have been the moral thing to come out of the closet 20 years ago, before becoming a powerful political operative, but it’s easier said than done.

    I disagree with the notion that the Republican Party is as bad as it was several years ago. I’ve noticed a softening on the anti-gay line. Even Democrats were very anti-gay several years ago (to compete with Republicans), and that’s more or less gone now. I know many straight conservatives and I’ve never had any problems with being out about my sexuality. They have always been very respectful. But they are also young and in their twenties. So maybe it’s generational. But I know some older conservatives in their thirties and forties and they go to gay bars, have many gay friends and so on. Saying all conservatives are homophobic is a slur. It is false. It doesn’t follow my experience at all.

    But there’s still a lot of homophobia in the Republican Party. I think this is because the party has to appeal to the Christian right. This is very bad. The GOP needs to learn instead that there’s nothing inherently anti-gay about conservatism. In fact, conservatism has a lot to offer gays, and gays have a lot to offer to conservatism. There’s a lot of common interests: simplifying the tax code, protecting gay dollars through opposing income redistribution, fighting terrorism and jihadism, repealing DADT — expanding marriage, a conservative institution, to include gays. I don’t think gays should vote for Republican candidates unless the candidate explicitly repudiates homophobia, but that doesn’t mean gays should not pressure Republicans (through organizations like Log Cabin, for instance) into changing.

  16. Max says

    Rowan, I’ve been to England dozens of times over the past two decades. Your country is rapidly descending into little more than a Muslim colony. Hardly a day goes by without some Islamic hissyfit in London screaming like Nazis about how much they hate Jews. They’ll come after gays next, guaranteed. That’s 13 years of the Labor party in power for you right there.

    The UN is an unelected tax-leech which provides cover for Palestinian terrorists and sends UN “peacekeepers” into Africa to rape the very people they are sent to protect.

  17. TANK says

    shut up, rowan. America is the greatest! And you and its enemies can’t handle it. Historical jealousies that you’ve inherited.

    Max is a right wanger, and fringe teapartier, at that. His views have no mainstream appeal or support, and he doesn’t speak for americans.

  18. says

    “Andrew Tobias, a gay man who since 1999 has been treasurer of the Democratic National Committee, becomes furious when some gays say it doesn’t matter which party is in power”

    Well, Andy can stomp his feet and hold his breath until he turns blue. If you don’t support full and equal civil rights for gays and lesbians (and last time I checked, the president doesn’t), you don’t deserve to be in power, and you’ll never get MY vote.

  19. princely54 says

    The Republicans are great at Orwellian double talk and this is right up their alley. OF COURSE the left is harder on gays in cahoots with the right — they are the ones, by and large, to ACTIVELY repress gays through laws, rather than SOME on the left who are guilty of inactivity. One or two exceptions like Cheney who get it right AFTER they are in office don’t make a difference in reality.

  20. Progressivia says

    @ GAYLIB…Still waiting for Hillary?….
    @ Max…Girl you haven’t been no where but in Staten fucking Island queen. You’re one of those faggots never to trust!

  21. Houndentenor says

    I hear this over and over from gay conservatives and it makes me wonder what Republicans they socialize with. Certainly not the ones from my home town in Texas. The country club set never cared much for the religious right but need their votes in order to get their tax cuts. Note that every gay Republican publicly bitching about this lives in San Fran, West Hollywood or Chelsea. Maybe they should try being openly gay in a very Republican part of the country (say rural Mississippi or Utah) and see how welcome they feel as gay people among other Republicans.

  22. says

    Ken Mehlman’s coming out is simply proof that the closet is no longer viable. They hate us just as much and will “llok the other way” for the sake of their “friends” but nothing has changed.

    As for the Democrats, I think of Allard Lowenstein.

    I used to know his lover. He’s dead too.

  23. Max says

    “Gay Republicans are like Jews working for Nazis.”

    Gene, I have a better analogy: like “liberals” making excuses and apologies for Islamic fascists who murder homosexuals.

  24. JoeInSF says

    During one wayward summer in college (before I came out), I worked at the Republican National Committee in DC and I never met a more entitled, closeted and mean group of gay white men than then. Soon after that, I changed parties, came out and have been working for LGBT rights since then. Even at 20 years of age, I could tell that minorities (gays, blacks, latinos, etc) were not welcome in this very small and bigoted tent of a party. I have been a Democrat since then and have never looked back. I know who my friends are.

  25. TANK says

    yes, they do, chris. They say things like, “not all muslims are like that! How dare you criticize islam, you islamophobe!” That is making excuses for them.

  26. Chris says

    No, that’s not making excuses for Islamic extremists. The “How dare you criticize islam” part is also imaginary and the rest is just correct.

  27. Matt says

    Rob G.: There is no such world in which Democrats control even more of the political system than they did between Jan 2008 and Jan 2009. It might be worth your while to think about how gay people can work towards equality without it requiring, apparently, 70 liberal Democratic senators safely ensconced for a decade.

  28. Von Lmo says

    Why is this an issue worthy of discussion & comment? Lets shift the topic to Drudge & when he’s gonna come out?

  29. r says

    ur right, andrew tobias.

    it’s nice to know dems and reps can get all bipartisan when it comes to marriage discrimination

  30. Danny says

    For me the sickening thing about Mehlman is that he made himself rich by working against his own. With his ill-gotten gains he was able to buy himself a condo in NYC’s gayest district. While he was able to purchase a safe place to come out he compromised the safety of who-knows-how-many gay persons. The ethos he helped to create contributed to the ethos that killed Mathew Shepard and generated violence against many, many others.

    Dante place such people in the lowest circle of hell. Good place for ’em.

  31. ThomT says

    It’s not about being gay or being Republican – it’s about being a hypocrite. I know gay Republicans who who haven’t made their career working against gay issues and causes while hiding safely in the closet – they’ve had the courage and maturity to be the person they were born to be and don’t want to hold others back just so they can get a big fat paycheck. Mehlman’s being gay was the worst kept secret in DC yet he continued to deny it while working the “gay divide” as the political magic of the GOP. I don’t wish him any ill will, I also don’t wish him any happiness – I just wish he’d go away.

  32. Acronym Jim says

    ThomT is correct. When some Republicans had an attitude of “whatever,” it was “whatever” to hypocrisy, not an an openly gay operative. If Mehlman (why do I keep thinking of David Letterman when I hear this name?) had been openly gay at the start of his career, he would never had gotten anywhere within the Republican party.

  33. says

    Why are the personal opinions of gay men who are appalled by Mehlman’s hypocrisy being discussed and written about as if it’s in the same category of political action? Mehlman is disliked by much of the gay community for being destructive toward us. We tend to not like that. But we are not using political weapons to crush him, the way he did us. So why is this a story? “Gays Pissed at Hypocrisy.” Yeah, no shit.

  34. GrabbinNewscum says

    The two most explicity anti-gay pieces of legislation (DOMA and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”) were signed by a Democratic President, Bill Clinton.

    To the best of my knowledge, no Republican President has ever signed anti-gay legislation.

    Over 100 years ago, the vast majority of African-Americans were Republicans and the Democratic Party was the party of racism. Today the situation is completely reversed.

    Further, demographic trends show that in about 50 years, because of trends in immigration and higher birthrates, the most religiously inclined (and therefore socially conservative and anti-gay) ethnic groups will make up a larger and larger portion of the Democratic Party (see New York Times columnist Charles Blow “The Religious Left”).

  35. FunMe says

    The republiCON gays who come out get more flak because of the DAMAGE they have done with their republiCON policies.

    More often than, as in the case of Kenny gurl, the work against their own sexual orientation with the policies they help promote. No wonder Ken is persona non grata in the gay community. He has NEVER apologized for the anti-gay activities he helped promote, and that is why he will never be accepted as a member of the GLBT community.

  36. Bill H says

    Where do you people get your information? MSNBC? How about supporting your opinions with facts and not rhetoric.

    As for this line: “Democrats tend to hold people accountable for their actions. Republicans not so much”…

    I guess you’ve never heard of Charlie Rangel, Maxine Waters, or Timothy Geithner. Don’t see much accountability for their criminal actions….

  37. Lymis says

    It comes down to the obvious point:

    The Democrats who are giving these closeted (and not so closeted) gay men grief are people who believe their own positions on LGBT issues – almost universally, the grief has come from gay Democrats, with some from genuine allies.

    The Republicans, on the other hand, don’t believe their own shit. Their anti-gay positions are in large part, purely cynical, purely calculated. They simply don’t care, and in their personal lives, don’t behave as though they care. But they are perfectly willing to vote lockstep to consistently attack and harm us.

    Claiming that this is some sort of proof that the Republicans are on the side of the angels in all this is absurd.

    “Doesn’t bother me that Mehlman is gay, but I’ll still vote against gay issues any time they’re on the ballot” isn’t a better position than “The bastard has been working tirelessly against us all this time and now he wants our approval?”

  38. Henry Holland says

    “Ted Haggard (though not a politician, was right wing) was one of the more extreme examples. I felt terrible for him, as he was obviously traumatized and not getting any love from anywhere. The right excommunicated him, and the left just mocked him or dehumanized him”

    Are you serious? Ted Haggard got everything he deserved AND he’s back at his old job, now that he’s an ex-gay. That’s right, he’s claiming that he prayed the gay away. For fucks sake! The man made a deeply cynical choice to enter a field full of charlatans (evangelicals) so he could be one of them, raking in huge bucks in the process, being totally anti-gay and you have *sympathy* for him? The mind boggles.

    “The country club set never cared much for the religious right but need their votes in order to get their tax cuts”

    Ding, we have a winner! If the bumpkins stop delivering the votes to the country club set’s front men (the Rep’s and Dem’s they fund), the religious right will be cut loose faster than you can say “Praise Jesus!”.

    “Maybe they should try being openly gay in a very Republican part of the country (say rural Mississippi or Utah) and see how welcome they feel as gay people among other Republicans.”

    If this site had a voting system, I’d give you a +100 for that.

  39. Progressivia says

    UMMMMM Grabbasshat

    D.O.M.A…..Is more Anti-Gay than anything else…..

    Didn’t GWB sign that shit. And wasn’t mostly rethug governors who refuse to sign hate crimes legislation for Gays in their perspective states???

    *crickets*

  40. joe says

    I would rather support the Dems who tell me they like me but then do nothing for me when in office, than support the GOP which tells me up front that they hate me.

  41. Louis says

    Of course Gays in the GOP get more flack from Dems….

    Dems understand what terrible things he has done to his own preople.

    The GOP needs these gay and lesbian TRAITORS to keep there BRUTAL policies in place…

    While many have worked hard for gay rights in the GOP (LOG Cabin has done some great things) Ken mehlman worked AGAINST us and helped put an anti-gay agenda FRONT and CENTER during his tenure.

    He is SLIME!

    NEVER FORGET what he did.

    He is NOT a Jim Kolbe that was open and worked for gay rights.

    He is NOT a staffer who helped us and stayed in the closet…. Or was just neutral on the issue of LGBT rights.

    He was the ARCHETECT of an anti-lgbt pogrom withinn the Republican Party.

    He is total scum.

  42. ratbastard says

    During one wayward summer in college (before I came out), I worked at the Republican National Committee in DC and I never met a more entitled, closeted and mean group of gay white men than then. Soon after that, I changed parties, came out and have been working for LGBT rights since then. Even at 20 years of age, I could tell that minorities (gays, blacks, latinos, etc) were not welcome in this very small and bigoted tent of a party. I have been a Democrat since then and have never looked back. I know who my friends are.

    POSTED BY: JOEINSF | SEP 5, 2010 9:36:08 PM

    ****************************

    Joe, that’s ridiculous…there are plenty of Hispanic and Asian Republicans. There even are black and gay Republicans.

    Now don’t get me wrong…I’m not a Republican, but neither am I irrational.

  43. ratbastard says

    It’s a big mistake for a particular demographic, like homosexuals, to be predictable in their voting patterns. Such groups are setting themselves up to be taken advantaged of. One of the huge mistakes African Americans make, as a group, is voting in a painfully predictable lopsided pattern. This is why political parties either ignore them or take advantage of them.

  44. tweedle says

    @max:
    “No, Brian, but they pander to Islamo-fascists, Black Panthers, Communists, Soviet Thugs, the UN, and La Raza.

    Go fuck yourself Brother. Undoubtedly you are a closet case yourself, another Roy Cohn.

  45. Randy says

    MAX: If I give you a goat will you go back under your bridge and stay there?

    Article: I think the question really is “Do the gays give log cabin republicans ENOUGH flack yet?”

    (hint: no)