RNC Chair Michael Steele: Being gay is not a choice

Gabriel Arana

March 12th, 2009

Asked about his views on homosexuality in an interview with GQ, Republican National Committee Chair Michael Steele responded that he does not believe being gay is a choice:

I think that there’s a whole lot that goes into the makeup of an individual that, uh, you just can’t simply say, oh, like, ‘Tomorrow morning I’m gonna stop being gay.’ It’s like saying, ‘Tomorrow morning I’m gonna stop being black.’

Steele, who has already come under fire for his criticism of radio show host Rush Limbaugh, is facing further criticism for this statement, which is out of step with what many conservative Republicans profess. It brings up the question: Is there room for Log-Cabin-like Republicans in the party? Or will moderate Republicans be relegated to the sidelines by the party’s socially conservative right wing?


March 12th, 2009

At least he was brave enough to say both what he believes and what is true as opposed to espousing the conservative right wing Creepublicans usual rhetoric.

Ben in Oakland

March 12th, 2009

“Or will moderate Republicans be relegated to the sidelines by the party’s socially conservative right wing?”

I have a really difficult time applying the word “moderate” to Mr. Steele.

But to answer the question, I can only hope so. The more the [Religious Right] involves itself in politics– assuming we don’t have a handmaid’s tale style takeover– the more likely they will be exposed to truly moderate people for what they are.

I just read an article written by a quaker yesterday on this subject, but can’t seem to find it. Someone said something to the effect that he had signed up to be a good Christian, not to be the footsoldier in some political cause. I wish I had saved it– it seemd tp be good way to look at the issue

Timothy Kincaid

March 12th, 2009

Steele said something very intersting and very important in that statement. He compared orientation to race.

Once America comes to the conclusion that orientation is like race in that it is unselected, innate, and immutable, then we have won.

Yes, we continue to struggle with our cultural racism and we all battle stereotypes and harbor hostilities that are often unknown until placed under stress. And yes, homophobia is here for a long time to come.

But recognition is the first step. And if more people – especially those who are identified as social conservatives like Michael Steele – come to see orientation as comparable to race, the less comfortable they will be rationing out punishment and restricting rights.

I think we see some of that in other comments Steele made:

I have been, um, supportive of a lot of my friends who are gay in some of the core things that they believe are important to them. You know, the ability to be able to share in the information of your partner, to have the ability to—particularly in times of crisis—to manage their affairs and to help them through that as others—you know, as family members or others—would be able to do.

This is, as I’m sure you all know, something that would NEVER have been the position of the head of the RNC just a couple of decades ago.

Ben in Oakland

March 12th, 2009

moderation of comment cheerfully accepted. I’m particularly pissed off a bigoted iggerunts today.


March 12th, 2009

Kudos to Steele for admitting the oh-so-obvious.

Unfortunately, he’s toast, as he has touched a Republican third rail. Why he might well have said that individual gun ownership is not a fundamental right, or that America was not founded as a Christian nation.

Or that abortion is a personal choice.

What? He said that last thing recently?


David C.

March 12th, 2009

Maybe, just maybe, the Republican party is ready to jettison the most socially conservative elements of it’s base, which is an increasingly smaller percentage of the overall US population. After all, where are the ultra-conservatives that are so inimical to basic civil rights for gay people going to go? They are a noisy bunch, but that may not make them as powerful as they once were. The republican party could use to loose some of that baggage anyway if it hopes to stay relevant.


March 12th, 2009

Not that I enjoy pointing out the cloud in the silver lining to you people BUT: all but the dumbest hick doo-dah moron Republican “Christian” nitwit already knows homosexuality is not a choice. It doesn’t matter to them. They’ll gladly send “genetic inferiors” to the gas chambers whilst proclaiming its “teh lawd’s” work just as gleefully as if gays were deliberately choosing to be “perverts”. We shouldn’t be looking for signs of hope from these idiots. We should be trampling them into the ground and destroying them.


March 13th, 2009

To add to what Trevor just said, it’s nothing new for a right-winger to say that being gay is not a choice. They just expect us not to act on our “urges” and be celibate or married to someone of the opposite sex. It’s easy – just ask Ted Haggard and Larry Craig!

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