Friday, June 03, 2005

Log Cabin Republicans

Posted by Craig Westover | 10:16 AM |  

Let’s keep this just between us -- if Nick Coleman ever found out I attended a meeting of the Log Cabin Republicans last night, he’d wet himself cracking homosexual jokes on his radio program.

Okay, that was kind of a cheap shot. So, in the interest of “balanced” journalism, let me say I attended the meeting at the request of Eva Young, who runs the Dump Bachmann web site. If the NARN guys knew that -- not to mention Swiftee and the Kool Aid guys -- I’d soon have a “Moonbat” award to place next to my honorary “Wingnut” statuette.

Here’s the point -- the relationship between conservatives and gays is at best one of mutual distrust, at worst outright antagonism. Intuitively, to be conservative means to be against any measure that might reflect the “gay agenda.” Gays that might believe in low taxes, less regulation and a strong stand against terrorism, would rather identify themselves as “moderate Democrats” than be associated with anything conservative.

And so, in that atmosphere of mutual suspicion, the fact is lost that much of what is derogatorily referred to as the “gay agenda” consists of deeply conservative issues. What conservative parent wouldn’t be proud of a child that joined the Boy Scouts, enlisted in the military and married and raised a family in a stable and loving environment? And yet when it a gay person has the same desires, conservatives balk.

On the other hand, there is a prevailing assumption in the majority of the gay community that any concerned hesitancy on the part of conservatives to knock down the wall separating straight and gay is the result of irrational and visceral bigotry. That label carries no shame for the true bigot, but it infuriates potential conservative allies.

Thus both sides miss the point that many gay causes are essentially deeply conservative causes. Gays need to recognize that and be able to make the conservative case for their cause. [That was my message to the Log Cabin Republicans last night.] Conservatives would benefit from making the effort to distinguish between gay desires motivated by conservative values and gay causes resulting from liberal victimization philosophy.

Ironically, liberals and the party of “inclusion” have abdicated support for the gay community and their “rights-based” input on significant issues like gay marriage is as essentially irrelevant as a Nick Coleman innuendo. Katherine Kerstin in her Star Tribune column yesterday does a nifty job slicing up a gay marriage argument based on a partisan reading of liberal justification of gay marriage. But one must question the relevancy of an argument that destroys and irrelevant argument. The argument Kersten destroys is not the reason conservatives ought to support gay marriage.

Based on a long interview I had with University of Minnesota law professor Dale Carpenter, expanding that point was the conversation I had with the Log Cabin Republicans last night. Carpenter’s conservative case for gay marriage will be the topic of my Pioneer Press column this coming Wednesday, when I’ll post a complete transcript of the Carpenter interview.

Both the conservative and gay communities will find Carpenter’s views disturbing and challenging, as they should. It is out of dissonance that a new level of understanding will develop. It might be too much to hope that Michele Bachmann and Eva Young will ever exchange Christmas cards, but it is in the best interest of conservatives, the Republican party, the state and the country if the factions they represent recognize that fundamentally they are in violent agreement.