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Evangelical Christian and Former County GOP Chair Kathy Potts Speaks Out for Marriage Equality in Iowa

Kathy Potts, an Evangelical Christian conservative and former Linn County Republican Party chair who most recently served as the Republican committee chair for the Rick Perry for President campaign, wrote an editorial supporting marriage equality in the Cedar Rapids Gazette.

Writes Potts: Potts

What I didn’t hear much of this year was support for marriage equality from the Republican front-runners. I support marriage for gay and lesbian couples and have been vocal about my support, even when it hasn’t always been the popular thing to do in my party.

I heard a lot of rhetoric about gay and lesbian Americans that didn’t fit with what I know to be true and what many Republicans believe. As an evangelical Christian Republican, I know many people who hold conservative values like equality and freedom, but those voices were lost this year. However, I believe in my heart that things are changing. If it weren’t for the loud voices of a few in our party, I do believe more Republicans would stand up in support of marriage equality.

I didn’t always feel that way and my journey toward full support has been a long and intensive one. One of the things that changed my mind on this issue was my children. I used to watch my kids and wonder why equality is a non-issue with them. They love and support their friends, regardless of their sexual orientation, race, gender or religion.

Then I realized that I was tired of watching adults judge each other while my children could embrace the differences in their friends. After all, that is what being a Christian is all about.

Read the full editorial at The Gazette.

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Comments

  1. I believe the innocent always show us the way to the truth. Kathy Potts noticed how her children were open to everyone and that is how it was with all of us until the influences of the world dampen our spirits and put unkindness in our minds and heart.

    Posted by: Professor Locs | Mar 13, 2012 2:48:12 PM


  2. There you go. Precisely why there should be gay Republicans reaching out to people like this.....which does far more good than calling them names and trying to antagonize them, like many on the Far Left are inclined to do.

    Until individuals like this change their views, we will continue to be beset with conflict and hostility.

    You don't change people by hating them.

    Posted by: Rick | Mar 13, 2012 2:54:57 PM


  3. We in the LGBT community know how courageous it is for someone to come out when they know that those around them won't be supportive at first. Kudos to Ms Kathy Potts.

    Posted by: Chris Waddling | Mar 13, 2012 2:55:14 PM


  4. So she "supports" gay marriage, but she's still going to vote for people working against it and she's not actually going to do anything tangible to make it happen.

    Wow, thanks a bunch, hon.

    Posted by: endo | Mar 13, 2012 3:00:52 PM


  5. those wimps from GOProud could learn a lot from this woman.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Mar 13, 2012 3:04:15 PM


  6. One can be assured that Ms. Potts will be roundly and viciously punished by the GOP for daring to speak in favor of marriage equality, because the motives behind such opposition on the part of the Republican elite has less to do with true animosity (of which there is plenty, no doubt) than it has to do with baiting ignorant Americans with fearmongering and appeals to religious freedom.

    Progressives must understand this truth--opposition to gay rights has much to do with fomenting hatred not because the ones with influence necessarily believe in spreading intolerance, but because it's an easy and extremely effective way to consolidate power and retain control of their electorate. The same mechanisms explain why 60% of Arkansas Republicans think President Obama is a Muslim, despite all evidence to the contrary. These disinformation campaigns bring in the votes and the money. So someone like Ms. Potts will be punished because she tells it like it is, rather than playing along with the GOP propaganda machine.

    Posted by: atomic | Mar 13, 2012 3:08:03 PM


  7. Cool lady, thanks for the support and maybe she can do some work on the inside!!

    Maybe you to could learn from her Rick, she care for all people even the "far left" gays. Way to shoot across the bow
    Never ends

    Posted by: GeorgeM | Mar 13, 2012 3:10:08 PM


  8. "So she "supports" gay marriage, but she's still going to vote for people working against it and she's not actually going to do anything tangible to make it happen."

    Yeah, how dare she not base her decisions about whom to vote for or which party to affiliate with entirely on one single issue.

    And by the way, if you voted for either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton in '08 or plan to vote for Obama in '12, you will be doing the same thing you are accusing her of doing.

    Posted by: Rick | Mar 13, 2012 3:12:15 PM


  9. You've got it right lady (finally, as you admit). Now go on tour and keep talking. Mention while you're at it that gay pride (short of it's often repellant aspects in Parade) is today a largely young people's movement and that it is powerfully in the ascendant which means that evangelical Christianity is in universal peril of being overwhelmingly regarded as disreputable. It is a stain on Christ.

    It is homophobia that is the choice

    Posted by: uffda | Mar 13, 2012 3:13:33 PM


  10. Though of course it is a huge factor, my problem with Republicans doesn't end with the majority's hatred and bigotry towards me and the man I love and our family and friends.

    I have a problem with tax breaks for the rich, defunding education, military spending over domestic programs, and ignoring environmental science.

    It's nice to see a Christian leader actually being Christian, and if she can get some of her cronies to see the light on marriage equality, that's great.

    But I refuse to jump on a bandwagon for people just because they declare that they're not complete bigots. Congratulations! You're behaving like the rest of civilized society.

    Posted by: CHRISTOPHER | Mar 13, 2012 3:13:40 PM


  11. Don't be so quick to bash her. She IS speaking out for her beliefs. Let's not condemn one of the few voices of sanity and, yes, true Christianity in the Republican party.

    Posted by: Jack M | Mar 13, 2012 3:15:46 PM


  12. I await her eventual dawning of a higher conscience which will lead her to cross the aisle.

    fun fact about Obama/Clinton: you can google as hard as you want, but you will find no demeaning, bigoted prejudicial comments from either of them about LGBT couples or people.

    an important distinction to keep in mind before you trick yourself into thinking that Obama and Clinton have "the same views on gays and gay marriage" as republican candidates and contenders.

    a very important distinction.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Mar 13, 2012 3:18:20 PM


  13. No, Rick, you feeble-minded GOP troll... the way she keeps repeating the word "evangelical" leads to me believe that she's wrong on all the other issues.

    And for the record, people vote for more than just president.

    Posted by: endo | Mar 13, 2012 3:31:44 PM


  14. "Former Chair"

    Why is it always the "former" this or "retired" that who come out in support? How about some real courage - come out when it is difficult to do so and when doing so will have some real effect?

    Posted by: Jeffrey in St. Louis | Mar 13, 2012 3:37:47 PM


  15. Is it really courageous or is it really just being part of the human race? Or is it really just being a Christian that actually practices what Jesus says about loving one another.

    Thumbs up for this loving GOP evangelical mom!

    Posted by: FunMe | Mar 13, 2012 3:41:48 PM


  16. /popcorn

    Posted by: Winston | Mar 13, 2012 3:57:46 PM


  17. Wow! A real Christian. I thought they were an endangered species. It's quite simple, equality is also a conservative value.

    Posted by: Married in MA | Mar 13, 2012 3:59:08 PM


  18. I'll give you that Rick, about Obama, there is however a difference between those running on the republican side and the president.

    She should be commended for her views, she did say she has been vocal maybe she was saying it all along. maybe that's why she's not the chair anymore or maybe it was time limited. It's to bad she's not still the chair.

    Let me ask you this Rick, gay conservitives never answer it. How do I look passed the negative comments and anti gay promises and vote for them. I get the not "one issue" thing, but how is voting for a pro gay democrat, being gay myself, any different then voting for a republican who is fiscally conservitive when money is all i care about. We all pick things that matter to us including you and that's your right. It's also your right to hold things more important then others. I hold lgbt issues higher then fiscal issuse for me the dems work.

    But I still don't understand how to vote for someone like say Santorum (not saying you are) even if I agreed with his fiscal policies but yet gay. again more power to ya.

    I've said this before and I'll say it again, when the republicans change and women / men like her are running the party you're going to hear a stampede of people running to the right. Gay people. Once the lgbt issues are resolved people are going to refocus, at that point the democratic party will be the ones who need to change. JMOc

    Posted by: GeorgeM | Mar 13, 2012 5:12:18 PM


  19. Thanks for your support, Kathy. It means a-lot.

    Posted by: Peter | Mar 13, 2012 5:23:33 PM


  20. Why doesn't Piers Morgan book someone like her, give her national exposure?

    Oh wait, stupid question. She's not some has-been hack of a former celebrity, or a flakey political wife.

    Posted by: jim | Mar 13, 2012 7:05:08 PM


  21. @GeorgeM That is a fair question--and I think the answer to it has evolved over time. Until very, very recently (the last couple of decades) virtually ALL Democrats, as well as Republicans, were against gay rights, so the issue never really arose....and this, by the way, is why I don't judge the Ken Mehlmans of the world as harshly as some others do, because, in his formative years (and mine).....he really was not being at all hypocritical in choosing the Republican Party over the Democratic Party.

    More recently, most, but not all, Democrats, have to varying degrees, depending on the precise issue, expressed some support, which far fewer Republicans have....although a few have and more are beginning to.

    Look, it is an individual choice that people make on the basis of how much they care about gay issues versus other issues and whether the candidate in question is really vociferously homophobic or just mildly so.....and whether that homophobia is just a case of being misguided or of genuinely being a hatemonger.

    For example, nearly 30% of gay people voted for McCain in '08 (probably more like 40% among gay men, given the gender gap)--and I presume that most of them did so because, at least until the last couple of years, he was relatively supportive of gay rights.

    Would that same percentage vote for a Rick Santorum or a Michelle Bachman?--I seriously doubt it......the percentage that would vote for Romney is probably higher, but perhaps lower than for McCain....in part because, as time goes on, it is becoming harder and harder to justify voting for anyone who takes anti-gay positions, just as it is becoming harder and harder for candidates to do it and not be hurt by it.

    You seem to want a pat answer and I just don't think there is one.....the answer will vary with the individual and will be different ten years from now than it is today, just as it is different today from what it would have been 20 years ago.

    Posted by: Rick | Mar 13, 2012 7:56:13 PM


  22. Thank you Rick
    I agree, there is no direct answer. Bring real it aggravates me (less now then it use to) knowing that gays vote for people who work against us. It is my own personal journey in opening up to see more sides of the issue. I have many right leanings as I've said before but get an overwhelming feeling of despair when thinking of voting for someone I know is anti gay even if I like their other beliefs. In my head it's almost like you're personally hurting me by voting that way, and in some ways I guess that's true but at the same time I'm guilty of removing your free will. I guess that's why I wanted to know, to see if others felt that as well. now I'm not saying I'm over my gay republican hang up but I am trying. I have to at times remember that we're fighting for the same thing. Not sure I'll ever warm up to goproud tho...

    I grew with the "standard" type of gay people around me, I made it a point to walk outside that and find different types of people and to learn what its like to be gay for them. I think that's why I get so mad at you when you start in on feminine guys. I am by no means feminine but I have some great friends who are. I've seen them work harder then me to achieve rights here in CT and never once did they leave me out. For me my world is now full of different types of people and I truly see no difference between us.

    What I agree most with is that every day the world looks different, our views and beliefs change and so do our votes.

    You really think mitt will get less them McCain?

    Posted by: GeorgeM | Mar 13, 2012 10:22:10 PM


  23. "Then I realized that I was tired of watching adults judge each other while my children could embrace the differences in their friends. After all, that is what being a Christian is all about."

    I have to admit that this statement irked me as a non-believer. No, embracing the difference in others in not what being a Christian is all about, that is what being a DECENT HUMAN BEING is all about. Being a Christian is in no way, shape, or form necessary to live a life in which you unconditionally love and accept others for who they are.

    Posted by: Steve | Mar 13, 2012 11:44:26 PM


  24. Rick - "30 Possibly 40% voted for McCain because he was relatively supportive of gay rights"

    No they didn't. They voted their wallets, just like most republicans do, gay or straight. There is no Far left in the US. The far left would be found in Italy, where the communist party has run the city of Bologna for many years. Germany has a far left, but the US has a watered down pseudo-left that is far to the right of even the Canadian conservatives.

    Posted by: Jonathan | Mar 14, 2012 4:29:50 AM


  25. Thanks for all of the kind comments.

    Posted by: Kathy Potts | Mar 22, 2012 4:45:13 PM


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