Be A Proud Gay Conservative
What if you stepped out of the closet only to realize that you had stepped into yet another closet? Like the little Russian wooden nesting dolls, you realized there were still more hidden layers.
Many gays openly admit their sexual preference, only to feel compelled to hide their political preference. After all, it seems that most gays are also politically liberal—they support the Democrats, the party that openly supports them, and expect that other gays will of course do the same.
On the other hand, many in the community don’t support the liberal party line. They have conservative values fiscally and believe in individual rights, personal responsibility, property rights, and limited government. Unfortunately, they realize that if they cast their lot with the Republicans, they may be depriving themselves and their friends of legitimate rights. They may feel detached from the LGBT community as well as from a party that represents their political values.
Where’s a conservative gay citizen to turn?
Fortunately, there’s GOProud, a young organization involved in lobbying, media advocacy, and political engagement, representing gay conservatives on federal public policy issues. Founded in 2009, GOProud emphasizes a traditional GOP platform, before the infection of the socially conservative religious right. They promote “limited government, individual liberty, free markets, a strong national defense and a confident foreign policy. [They] believe that every individual should be equal under the law.”
GOProud Executive Director Jimmy LaSalvia and Chairman of the Board of Directors Chris Barron both worked with a similar organization, Log Cabin Republicans. They founded GOProud when the Log Cabin Republicans were financially foundering and have since carved a different niche. Whereas Log Cabin focuses on the traditional gay agenda as defined by the left, GOProud extends its reach, representing gay conservatives and their allies on every issue.
“We support conservative policies that are good for every American but uniquely benefit gay people,” explains GOProud executive director Jimmy LaSalvia.
For example, LaSalvia says, they support free market healthcare reform, promoting a plan that would put healthcare into the control of each individual, allowing them to purchase insurance that best suits their unique family, across state lines and outside of their employer.
“The free market would provide those plans,” LaSalvia suggests. “Rather than waiting for the government to provide or waiting for the employer to provide domestic partner benefits, this puts healthcare into every individual’s control.”
Similarly, GOProud supports social security reform that would include “private inheritable accounts,” so each person can designate who his or her beneficiary is—without waiting for permission from politicians and their constituents.
In addition to supporting issues such as the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, which helps all Americans by strengthening our military, LaSalvia sees his organization as working for the benefit of all individuals, thereby benefiting gays. “We don’t need a special carve-out or affirmation or pat on the head from the government,” he said. “Just treat us equal under the law and let’s work for policies that work for everybody.”
In a nation that was founded on the principle of individual rights—the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”—such an approach is right for the U.S. In a nation that is not a democracy but a constitutional republic—51% cannot vote to overturn the rights laid out in the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights—such an approach is wise. We’ve seen how slow the right changes can be to come to Washington or to the states, and how they risk being overturned even then. How much better if all of our government policies were founded upon the principled foundation of individual rights, the right of each person to choose for his or her own life!
As a promoter of traditional conservative values, GOProud participates in CPAC, the annual Conservative Political Action Conference. As an unapologetic supporter of equal rights for gays, GOProud has the dubious honor of being the reason that several religious, socially conservative organizations have withdrawn from CPAC 2011.
The Daily Caller reports that the Family Research Council, Concerned Women of America, The American Principles Project, American Values, the Center for Military Readiness, Liberty Counsel, and the National Organization for Marriage are boycotting the February event because of CPAC’s inclusion of GOProud. Now that’s something to be proud of!
For those who embrace both LGBT status and conservative politics, the benefits of connecting with GOProud range from pride to camaraderie. “We’re doing some really interesting and innovative work,” says LaSalvia, which contributors can be proud to support. They also present their annual Homocon party, in 2010 featuring Ann Coulter, and occasional local events.
Perhaps most importantly is the eye-opening realization that comes from connecting with a network of other gay conservatives, nationally and internationally: “Oh my god, I’m not the only one!”
To learn more about GOProud, visit www.GOProud.org, follow them on Twitter @GOPROUD, or friend them on Facebook. Conservative gays may finally come out of the closet, and some GOPcurious gays may find their new preference!
Annie Tobey is a freelance writer and editor living in Richmond, Virginia. For six years, she’s shared her philosophical passions through V Magazine for Women, combining love for life, the diversity of women, and a celebration of success in all its forms, on the printed page and online, now at www.MyVMagazine.com. She also shares her joie de vivre as a travel writer at www.ActiveWomanTraveler.com. She welcomes freelance opportunities for writing and editing, helping businesses present a polished written message that builds a quality brand. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Wednesday, the NBA released its first collection of LGBTQ Pride teeshirts featuring the logos of all 30 pro basketball teams. The line is a collaboration between the basketball league, the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and TeeSpring and was released in celebration of LGBTQ Pride Month. This is the first time an [...]June 9, 2016
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