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Gay GOP Official In New Jersey: 'Our Party Needs To Be Rebranded'

RepublicanPin"As a gay man in a 26 year relationship, I felt that I did not belong in the Republican Party any longer."

So wrote John Traier, chairman of the Republican Party in Passaic County, New Jersey, in an op-ed about how the GOP at large needs to pitch a bigger tent.

Though he was elected to be chairman for his district and though he devoted countless hours to helping Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's campaign, he still felt his sexuality sidelined him in an increasingly aging party. Others too have felt alienated from the party and their friends alike, he said. And the only way to bring them and others into the fold is to get with the times.

I see no way to be successful without the rebranding of the Republican Party in Passaic County.  In fact, our Party needs to be rebranded throughout the entire country… The Republican Party through policy and lack of a cohesive message has left many potential voters on the sidelines and frankly we will never be successful unless we change.

I had advocated and worked for our Republican nominee — Mitt Romney as I felt he would be a more effective President than our current one. At the same time, I felt that I was not welcome in the Republican Party.

As a gay man in a 26 year relationship, I felt that I did not belong in the Republican Party any longer. At a poignant moment during our Transition Team meeting, Rev. Nance told how her friends were annoyed that she was still a Republican and some would not talk to her. I knew exactly how she felt.
We need to make people feel welcome in our party — even if we do not agree on every single issue. This organization needs to be open to new people with new ideas. We have to put the welcome mat out for people who want to be part of a political organization that stands for something important and offers something different than the failed policies of the Democratic party.

Our county is changing on a very rapid basis. Our party in Passaic County and in New Jersey cannot survive unless we open our doors to ALL communities and break through the stereotypes that divide us. We need to work on finding the common ground that unites us, not on what divides us.

Traier of course went on to tout the GOP's favorite policies, like tax cuts, punishing criminals and "personal responsibility," ie: no government assistance, and urged his fellow Republicans to form an "activist party."

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  1. I admit I am thoroughly puzzled by the US' identity politics.

    people who are "republicans because we're republicans", even though the GOP's plans, fiscal and social, in no way benefit them.

    People who vote because of the party name, NOT the policy.

    it's truly odd.

    what's that saying? "I'm too informed to vote Republican".


    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jan 27, 2013 1:03:24 PM

  2. Typical gay rethug fodder. Make the people feel welcome, but when it comes to policies, screw them.

    Posted by: candideinnc | Jan 27, 2013 1:22:14 PM

  3. Please don't change. Please move even further into lunatic territory. That way the party will eventually self-destruct and be replaced by something better

    Posted by: Steve | Jan 27, 2013 1:27:49 PM

  4. and without those emotion-based (and decidedly anti-intellectual) anti-gay and anti-choice policies, how will the GOP continue to get their base to vote against their own best economic and healthcare interests?

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jan 27, 2013 1:28:01 PM

  5. Give me the branding iron and a hot fire and I'll be happy to rebrand them over and over and over.

    Posted by: FTLAUD | Jan 27, 2013 1:42:33 PM

  6. Political dogmatists will fail to appreciate the fact that the US will soon have no mainstream officially anti-gay party--a incredible auspice for gay people in this country.

    Posted by: Kyle | Jan 27, 2013 1:50:21 PM

  7. I will simply point him to the Reichpublican Party platform in which the Reichpublican party still continues to want gay people placed in prison. Start with that or move on.

    Posted by: RMc | Jan 27, 2013 2:02:11 PM

  8. The Republican party does not need to figure out how to include more diverse people in their group. What they need to figure out is how to rid themselves (or at least silence) the extremists in their midst. The GOP is a VERY comfortable place for any anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-science, anti-secular, anti-immigrant, anti-minority, anti-progressive, anti-anything person. They can "reach out" all they want, but until they figure out how to control the nut cases within, they will never get others to join from outside.

    Posted by: Chadd | Jan 27, 2013 2:29:54 PM

  9. I'm not gay, but would never vote for a party that is trying to take away people's rights. Their policy shows time and time again that they will have larger class divisions in society, and if the opportunity presents itself, they will actively try to prevent equal rights, when it comes to rights for LGBT people and women's rights with more.I will never understand how anyone can justify it - they never can, it`s as simple as that

    Posted by: nn | Jan 27, 2013 3:00:19 PM

  10. Rebranding? the problem is the actual policies, not the public perception of the party. A new logo, a clever slogan and a catchy jingle aren't going to fool anyone. the party is anti-gay. that IS the brand. the party embraced racists, sexists and homophobes for the last 30 years. (It wasn't really always this bad.) The GOP deserves to lose for demonizing the fastest growing segments of the population. This was Karl Rove's strategy and it's backfired on them. Excuse me while I enjoy the Schadenfreude.

    Posted by: Houndentenor | Jan 27, 2013 3:07:21 PM

  11. Any gay person voting Republican is just a slow learner.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Jan 27, 2013 3:31:01 PM


    exactly right. rebranding is merely window dressing. and this dude is only now realizing the GOP's antigay platform targets people like him. really? part of the problem is that people like him confuse their political affiliation with something like religion. one can identify oneself as christian, or any particular denomination, or jewish etc even if one does not practice. it's a tradition one was raised in. i believe that's true for people like him. like andrew sullivan for example. he's quite a devout catholic, but despite the churches antigay platform he can't bring himself to abandon the faith. the difference is that gay people like john traier actually help keep in place antigay public policy by voting republican.

    Posted by: ian | Jan 27, 2013 3:55:13 PM

  13. According to Traier the problem with the Democrats is "failed policies" while the problem with his own party is "policy and lack of a cohesive message."

    This is the kind of incisive political analysis that will get the Republican Party back on track for the presidency. Oh, and making sure presidential votes are allocated along the lines of districts gerrymandered by Republicans.

    Posted by: Glenn I | Jan 27, 2013 4:18:16 PM

  14. This just proves what I've long said: that gay republicans are just as selfish as straight ones.

    Posted by: DannyEastVillage | Jan 27, 2013 4:20:28 PM

  15. Rebranded? Yes. And let's geld them while we're at it.

    Posted by: Old Ranchhand. | Jan 27, 2013 4:22:33 PM

  16. I'll admit it - I'm a size queen, and I am totally in favor of supporting someone who pitches a bigger tent.

    Posted by: bravo | Jan 27, 2013 4:47:06 PM

  17. So you go with the power structure when it benefits you, then you wring your hands and whine when it doesn't?

    You made your bed.

    Lie in it.

    Posted by: Gry | Jan 27, 2013 5:15:00 PM

  18. What's a gay GOP?

    Posted by: Gigi | Jan 27, 2013 5:33:27 PM

  19. Rebranding? Does a mean better makeup, to cover over the ugliness of his party's xenophobia and bigotry?

    Posted by: NY2.0 | Jan 28, 2013 12:48:27 AM

  20. Au contraire mon frere. Your party needs to be eradicated, erased, wiped clean off the face of this planet and dumped into the toilet bowl of history then flushed into the sewer where it belongs.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Jan 28, 2013 1:00:16 AM

  21. My oh,'s only 2013 and we have the understatement of the century. Oh goodie, a chance for input...first off, ditch Sarah. She is bad, no matter how low the ratings nor neckline. #2: Dump the Tea Party. They are baaaaad news....the biggest collection of Negative Nellies on the planet. Let them have a copy of the Mayan calendar, give them a corner, and wait for them to die. Seriously, they are a cancer. Cut them out as such. #3: You cannot pick good presidential in in in point...VP Sarah, VP Paul, all lousy, lousy candidates. Tell you them by ME before vetting track record is far superior to yours. #4: Get serious about winning! Mittens lost it half way through the race! He sounded completely uninterested toward the end! Find someone who really WANTS the job! #5. Most Americans are NOT rich. Consider their needs for a change. Who knows, with any luck, you might someday win! Maybe...#6: Stop with the hating. If you want to be considered Christian, you can't go around hating. Jesus wouldn't do it, and neither should you. All the best! (since I know you will not follow a single one of these suggestions)

    Posted by: millerbeach | Jan 28, 2013 5:35:55 AM

  22. Part of the problem is that there IS a "cohesive" message. It is one of hate, bigotry, and exclusivity. It is one that protects the one per cent, and does all it can to destroy the poor.

    Posted by: reggie777 | Jan 28, 2013 6:49:10 AM

  23. One doesn't need to be a Democrat (with many problems of their own as a party) but for any gay person to proudly declare him/herself a Republican is evidence of self hate and stupidity.

    Posted by: SoLeftImRight | Jan 28, 2013 7:42:59 AM

  24. This is simple to understand:

    The GOP as it exist in most of the south won't work in many northern and western states. There's too much emphasize on religion and gay stuff. They need to emphasize civil liberties and an even balance between corporate, government and individual needs and rights. This is also true for Democrats.

    The Democratic Party as it exist in the most 'progressive' states won't work in especially most deep south states. It's too P.C. [even MANY non-southern Christian evangelicals are irritated by this] and tries to initiate too many silly, bullsh*t nanny state regulations. If it was just a matter of standing up for civil rights for gays and everyone else, rather than going off on a tangent into extreme faux environmentalism and other professional 'progressive' causes from anti-smoking Nazi control freaks to freakish 'causes', it would fair better in every region of the country.

    But at the end of the day the whole left vs right extremist thing here in the U.S. and elsewhere is a joke. It's designed to keep real and positive reforms and policies from occurring, keeping large numbers of [ignorant/manipulated] people 'radicalized' and intransigent, while keeping the status quo for the elite.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jan 28, 2013 10:05:22 AM

  25. Pretty much right, Ratbastard.

    The thing is, gay republicans don't have a place to turn (well they do, but too many people think "Libertarian" is a dirty word). People complain about "identity politics" while at the same time suggesting that all gays should vote D, without realizing the irony and self-contradiction. According to most of the people who rail against gay Republicans, if you are gay you must believe lockstep in every single "progressive" liberal ideal that comes out of a leftist's mouth. So much for hating identity politics, eh?

    I believe equal protection for gays is constitutionally and morally required. So do SOME Democrats. But I could NEVER vote D because I do not believe in their big government bolonga, and frankly find it offensive. At the same time, I can't vote R because of the theocratic nonsense they spew.

    Of course, I'm not afraid of Libertarianism, so that's where I park myself.

    Posted by: Jack | Jan 28, 2013 12:39:49 PM

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