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Invisible support

Timothy Kincaid

August 29th, 2012

In an article entitled “GOP friendlier to gay community — at least behind the scenes“, CNN tells the story of Barbara Ann Fenton and Themis Klarides who propose and seconded, respectively, a proposal that the GOP platform endorse civil unions. It seems to tell a tale of party bosses and right wing activists who craft the voice of the party to be ragingly anti-gay, and delegates who don’t all necessarily agree.

Check out the article and see what you think.

Fenton said after the meeting she had only one disturbing run-in.

“One person did come up and tell me I should renounce my Catholicism — that what I was spewing was pure evil,” Fenton said. “It was hard to keep a straight face.”

But for the most part, the reaction she received from other delegates and Republican staffers was positive. She said she felt that behind the scenes, the party was much more supportive.

“People kept buying me drinks and kept coming up to me saying how they wanted to support my group for doing this. I don’t have a group,” Fenton said. “Some people asked me if I was gay. I told them you could still be for gay rights and be a heterosexual. I don’t think that’s political suicide. If it was, I wouldn’t be a part of this party.”

She said, “One guy even dropped a note in my lap. I thought I was going to get bashed with some nasty note, like you’d get in fifth grade. But what it said essentially was, ‘I’m in the closet. Thank you so much for this.’

“People may now realize you can be gay and still be welcome in the GOP party.”

Personally, I’m decidedly less optimistic than Fenton.

Comments

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Ben In Oakland
August 29th, 2012 | LINK

“‘I’m in the closet. Thank you so much for this.’

“People may now realize you can be gay and still be welcome in the GOP party.”

Are those rose colored glasses prescription, or do they only cancel out green contradictions?

TampaZeke
August 29th, 2012 | LINK

I guess being open enough to anonymously and fearfully drop a note in someone’s lap to announce that you don’t know that you’re a closeted gay person is what passes for a gay welcoming environment in the GOP today.

The sad thing is; it’s PROGRESS!

Tor
August 29th, 2012 | LINK

“People may now realize you can be gay and still be welcome in the GOP party.”

By one or two other delegates.

Hyhybt
August 30th, 2012 | LINK

For some reason, I had the impression that 99 leaned Democratic…

Zack
August 30th, 2012 | LINK

I think this is a different Barbara.

DN
August 30th, 2012 | LINK

I often feel ashamed of myself for disliking closeted gays. But in this case, I think it’s entirely warranted. The guy who dropped the note is a convention attendee who lacks the personal conviction to be himself around others.

I know it’s hard. I know everyone’s situation is different. I’m thankful every day for the insanely positive experience I had coming out. And I’m willing to give a pass to the random closeted people who just aren’t ready to come out yet.

But this guy is working for a party with stated policy goals that seek to make him officially a second-class citizen. He’s not quite at the level of a public official, but it’s something close, and I’m not ready to heave a sympathetic sigh.

As the interviewee said, you can be heterosexual and be for gay rights – the note dropper can maintain his facade of heterosexuality and help push back against the anti-gays. But he doesn’t – instead he fearfully drops a note on someone’s lap. Pathetic.

Robert
August 30th, 2012 | LINK

Timothy, I think you should read this article at NPR, seems even the Log Cabin Republicans disagree with you over the attitudes and “behind the scenes” treatment of them and the entire Platform process. Trusting a fluff piece on CNN about the Convention, when they won’t even report who threw stuff at THEIR camera person, it seems, well, a little disengenious.

Here’s a little taste of that article:

“Pick, the Log Cabin’s program director and an evangelical Christian, however, characterized the tone of the party’s discussions about same-sex marriage in meetings of the Constitution subcommittee as largely “hostile.”
“We lost,” she said. “And you could say the social conservatives in our party dropped the hammer harder because we were there.”

http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2012/08/29/160263621/some-gay-republicans-see-platform-setback-as-sign-victory-is-near

Blake
August 30th, 2012 | LINK

Interesting article. Thanks for sharing. There was a nice little nugget of just how out of touch the platform committee is with the American public:

Bopp, an adviser to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, pointed to the popularity of constitutional amendments that ban same-sex marriage and argued that the party benefits politically from its opposition to it.

Jim Hlavac
August 30th, 2012 | LINK

As a long time Right winger economically I find that gays who lean toward the Republican Party are very welcome within it, even today. It so happens that a fringe of around 10% of the American populace, aka, Fundamentalists, has currently seized the party machinery. They are ludicrously stupid when it comes to gays, of course. Many of them might be found on the left, too – African American preachers come to mind; NY State “kill the gays” Senator Ruben Diaz rings a bell.

It’s also true that throughout the long gestation of Rights for Gays the socialists and communists, and left, of this world, were extremely anti-gay. During the Cold War it was said in Moscow, and Havana, etc, that gays were caused by Christian Capitalism — while in America, and other right-wing places, we were from Godless Communism.

I note too that until the 1990s gays were not welcome in the Democratic Party — no politician of the D-side came out for us. It was Republican John Linday in NYC who ended the bar raids. His predecessor Democrat Robert Wagner increased them.

No, the nation has been evolving. Some faster than others, still others knuckle dragging. Both parties have made fits and starts, and we all know heteros are leery of us — help them evolve, don’t castigate them for a mere beginning.

Meanwhile, it was Barry Goldwater, Mr. Republican, who said, in 1994: “you don’t have to like it, but gay Americans deserve full constitutional rights, including marriage and military service.” He said it when Bill Clinton, “our friend” — was signing DOMA and DADT at 2 AM so he wouldn’t be so obvious.

The whole D is for us, R is against us, is nuts.

And we gays would be better off not supporting one party or the other — for I don’t need one party or the other for me, or against me, but I need 320 million Americans to not give a damn one way or the other. Let the Republicans evolve; we have gone along with Democrats evolving — they both will come in their own time. For God is on our side.

TampaZeke
August 31st, 2012 | LINK

Unfortunately the “invisible” does more harm to the gay community than the “support” does good. Particularly when the invisible is not only unseen but unheard while the people they support politically propose, promote and legislate the most anti-gay agenda ever seen in a party platform.

jerry
August 31st, 2012 | LINK

“People may now realize you can be gay and still be welcome in the GOP party.”

A gay man dropping a note informing this woman that he’s gay and still in the closet gives her confidence that The GOP is welcoming?

Is there somewhere I can apply for a refund on all of the taxes I paid that allegedly went toward education?

Neon Genesis
September 4th, 2012 | LINK

“It’s also true that throughout the long gestation of Rights for Gays the socialists and communists, and left, of this world, were extremely anti-gay. During the Cold War it was said in Moscow, and Havana, etc, that gays were caused by Christian Capitalism — while in America, and other right-wing places, we were from Godless Communism. ”

Funny how you have to go back all the way to the Cold War and the 1980s to find an example of a liberal Democrat that’s just as homophobic as the mainstream GOP party is today, yet I can just do a quick Google search and find tons of articles of mainstream Republicans acting homophobic from just last week.

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