Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Winning Hearts and Minds

Most Republicans are born that way. That is to say that they are born into Republican households and never change their party affiliation. Some do change, by usually only after their party does not align with their point of view on a personal issue over an extended period of time.

It is shocking to me that in the last Presidential election, almost one quarter of all GLBT registered voters chose George Bush. George Bush with all of his GLBT hate mongering and divisive civil liberty assaults was still able to carry almost one quarter of the GLBT voters.

Why? Does that quarter think it does not deserve freedom from persecution by the leaders of this country? Are they self loathing and yearning to be straight? Are they greedy and just in it for the personal profit? Do they think that by acting straight and/or being a Republican, they will become wealthy?

Since I am not one, I can only speculate, however John, a friend of mine, was all of the above and more when I first met him. He was born into a heavily religious Republican family and was dealing with being gay. He was an ardent Republican supporter and often defended their so-called beliefs with vehement fervor.

He certainly believed in idea of the party, and how the party used to be in the 70’s and 80’s. A more centrist republican party was what John thought he was supporting.

I think what finally severed his already waning loyalty to the Republican Party was when Carl Rove started using gay marriage as a wedge issue in 2004 Presidential election and an all out war between fanatical religious Republican conservatives and the GLBT advocacy groups such as HRC and Lambda Legal began.

Below is an email from John that I recently received.

From: John
Sent: Tuesday, March 15, 2005 9:33 AM
To: Clint

Subject: Winning Hearts and Minds

Like a lot of gay activists, I cringed at the same time I celebrated the ruling that gay people are not second class citizens in California - and therefore our marriage rights are protected by California constitution. The backlash to this ruling will be enormous. We can all do a little bit to help lessen the blow, though, by fostering an environment where bigotry is not tolerated.

That's right! We must win the "hearts and minds" of the "insurgents" that have been angered by the visibilty and increased protection of gay people.

I'm only asking you to all to do a little something as the news is brought up by your coworkers, friends, colleagues and church goers: stick up for us! You don't have to waive a rainbow flag or anything, just rebuff their attempts to drag you into a bigotry-filled conversations.

Here are some great noncommittal comebacks.

- "It's heterosexual divorces that are ruining marriage in America, not gays."
- "This country was founded on freedom from religious persecution. The fact that you want to persecute gays in anti-American."


- "What is 'traditional' marriage anyway? In caveman times they hit each other with clubs, does that mean we should go back to that?"
- "There are a lot of biblical scholars that believe Adam was a hermophrodite before there was Adam and Eve, much less Adam and Steve."

Don't forget to point out that gay marriage will help a lot of industries - travel, event planning, lawyers, healthcare, education - and married couples give lots more to charitable organizations than single people. Gay marriage is good for America!

Thanks for sticking up for me now - my future husband and children will thank you!


P.S. And as always, I'm sorry if this email annoys you - it annoys me that I have to fight for my equal rights.