Alex Blaze

Pity party for gay Republicans

Filed By Alex Blaze | October 21, 2008 9:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, The Movement
Tags: conservaqueers, conservative gays, Dale Carpenter, federal marriage amendment, gay Republicans, gay rights movement, homophobic behavior, John McCain, John McCain homophobic, LGBT, palin, Sarah Palin, sarah palin is homophobic, trans inclusion, transgender, transphobia

In Dale Carpenter's recent column, he argues that gay people have started treating gay Republicans worse this year than we usually do:

Time and again gay conservatives have been called self-hating, treasonous, and selfish. It's the worst vitriol against gay conservatives I've seen in 15 years in this movement.

I know that whenever they make claims like these we're all supposed to start crying, acknowledge the error of our ways, and give conservaqueers even more power in the gay rights movement. On the one hand, they want profit from liberals' general tolerance towards others. On the other hand, they want to use the space created by that tolerance to support those who would throw us all in prison.

While Republicans generally want everyone to live in man/woman/children nuclear families and just stop bothering them with diversity, Carpenter says that the LGBT movement has to choose between conservaqueers and transgender people:

But the more I've thought about it, the more I realized the critics are right. People like me do not belong. When you think about it, what do we have in common with this movement?

True, we share same-sex attraction. But even that has been diluted with the addition of transgender causes. Indeed, the insistence of movement leaders on "T" inclusion -- even at the cost of passing pro-gay legislation -- has only highlighted major conceptual differences between gay conservatives and leftists about what exactly we're fighting for.

One would think that after complaining that his accomplishments for the movement have been marginalized that he would be a bit more in favor of trans inclusion, but that's expecting to much. That's expecting him to really want inclusion, when in fact he doesn't want the gay rights movement to stop insulting queer conservatives. He wants the rest of us to bend over backwards and let them control the entire thing.

Consider the LCR's response to Sarah Palin endorsing the Federal Marriage Amendment:

We disagree with Gov. Palin on this issue, but we're glad that Sen. McCain agrees with us. The president sets the policy for the administration. Sen. McCain twice voted against the federal marriage amendment and continues to believe the states should decide this issue.

Of course. Why should John McCain have to take responsibility for Sarah Palin's politics? He only picked her to be his successor.

It's that kind of stuff that annoys the rest of us when we hear about gay Republicans. And it's that kind of stuff that prevents them from being taken seriously.

But Carpenter makes this all easier for us when he implies that we have to choose, as the LGBT community, between transgender people and conservaqueers.

Is there even a question there?

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Professor Carpenter is an elitist.
He has for years very publically advocated dumping the trans people out of the LGBT spectrum, overtly throwing them under the bus. His legal interpretations of negative effects of an exclusive ENDA as beng non existent are imaginative at best and pure fiction at worst. By and large he is no friend to anyone except wealthy, socially elite and strongly conservative gay men.

He is absolutely NO friend to the larger LGBT community, no friend to LGBT's who are not making enough to benefit from Bush tax cuts and most certainly one of the more vocal enemies of anyone who transgresses gender in his eyes, whether they be blue collar Butch Lesbians, effeminate gay men, or trans-people.

Can we finally be done with Professor Carpenter?
Have we had enough of his efforts to fragment the community, to drive into our body divisive wedges based upon myths and prejudice in a fashion that would do Sarah Palin proud?

When will the community simply marginalise him out for his constant currying favour and taking crumbs from the hands of the same oppressors whose boots are planted firmly upon our collective necks?

There are better legal minds in the community than Dale Carpenter; Lambda Legal is full of such bright people. There are bettter political tacticians than Dale Carpenter; the NCLR is overflowing with them. And there are better human beings that Dale Carpenter, you have to only look to the posters here.

So Counselor Carpenter, one attorney to another...your objections are overruled, you have failed to show cause, and we the LGBT court of public opinion shall be sanctioning you.

Goodbye Dale, we knew ye far too well.....

Wolfgang E. B. Wolfgang E. B. | October 22, 2008 12:05 AM

I'm a transsexual man who's been fighting tooth and nail to stop Prop. H8. Never mind that I'm gay--I have no interest in getting married. Yet I'm fighting for Carpenter's rights. What does he think of that?

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | October 22, 2008 2:15 AM

Someone else's pity party will begin January 21st, 2009.

Jamie Tyroler | October 22, 2008 2:48 AM

What many people fail to realize when they want to try to pass laws that are non-inclusive for gender variant people is that most people make assumptions of one's sexual orientation by how a person presents themselves. Just because a woman, for example, wears masculine clothing and has short hair does not mean that that woman is a lesbian, but that's the assumption that many people will make about her.

Legal protections for only sexual orientation do not prevent someone from being fired from a job, or not being hired, is more based on how that person dresses, acts, speaks.

Dale Carpenter's been anti-trans as long as I've been following T issues. It's good to see he hasn't changed, and doesn't lie about who and what he is. I hold him in slightly more respect than certain other heads of other GLB organizations that have H's and R's in their names, insomuch as that he is an honest man and not a liar, if not a very sensible or intelligent one.

However, I'm sorry, but at this time, supporting the GOP AND being a GLB(T) (he can't and doesn't want to be claimed as any sort of friend to T people, and never has been) still strikes me as being akin to a black man wearing a white sheet and hood, or a Jewish Hamas terrorist. Dale Carpenter's never made a whole lot of sense, and neither has the LCR.

On that note, buh-bye Dale, don't let the door hit'cha where the Good Lord split'cha.

Gotta agree.

And, he can keep the toaster.

Professor Carpenter's piece doesn't convince me that gay conservatives have been excommunicated from the LGBT movement. In fact, Professor Carpenter is the person that the Human Rights Campaign relied upon heavily in its ENDA campaign. They used his analysis of ENDA in Congressional lobbying efforts, press releases and talking points. Rather, Professor Carpenter's article convinces me that it is he who cannot tolerate vigorous dissent. His "rising anger" is not because he has been excommunicated, but because he thinks that we should agree with him, even though his positions make no sense. Okay, he's found a bit of purple prose during an election season when passions are running high. But he must learn to tolerate a robust discussion. I sympathize with him. I myself have had to learn to tolerate people calling for my expulsion from the LGBT movement because I am transgender. At first I had the same reaction as Professor Carpenter; now I am more sanguine. At the same time, I would advise people who are going over the top about conservative gays to remember that the worm always turns.

I am afraid it is true, Jillian. We lined up in robes holding candles outside of the Stonewall in at midnight under the full moon. As we chanted in latin "Ut Veniant Omnes" over and over, there was finally a drum crescendo played by a dozen butch Lesbians on rusted mufflers held up by coiffed drag perfromers dressed like Anita Bryan. Then, on cue, the candles were inverted and snuffed out against the sidewalk simultaneously.

In that moment, Dale was cast out, cut off, damned and declared beyond reclaimation....

There will always be rich, white, gay men who will be so bigoted towards others that they will feed upon their narsasistic personalities by blaming others for them not getting their way. "If you do what I say, then I won't like you anymore." Dale has his head where the sun doesn't shine. It has nothing to do with him loathing trans people. He's a hyprocrit at the highest degree. I'm glad he doesn't represent all rich, white gay men. I know plenty who get it, but they happen to be Dems.

What the Sarah Palin endorsement for a Federal anti-gay marriage amendment shows, is that the Log Cabin Republicans have little if any influence over the McCain/Palin ticket or the Republican Party. LCR came out and endorsed McCain/Palin at the Republican Convention, saying that this will give them influence with John McCain. Palin's new statement in support of writing discrimination into our nation's Constitution shows that the influence they think they have within the Republican Party does not exist.

So, Alex. What's the solution? What's someone who believes in smaller government and is gay supposed to do? Obviously, the toleration is greater (though hardly complete) in the Democratic Party, but there isn't going to be any satisfaction about issues relating to the size and scope of government.

You know where I would directing all who would listen, but I'm much more interested in what you have to say about it.

For those of you who don't realize who Mike is and where he would direct "all who would listen," I'd like to fill in the details.

Mike is a former Libertarian candidate for office in Indiana (Sec of State, I believe); he's also one of our longest readers and someone I consider a friend. :)

And I find myself leaning in his direction on this one. The Republican Party's hardline anti-gay stance doesn't deserve the support of our community. The Libertarians are also in favor of small government, etc and they are gay friendly. I've never understood those queers who advocate smaller government as their reason for being in the GOP when the Repubs have expanded government dramatically and even want to intrude the federal government into my bedroom.

The LCR tend to try and nitpick small things to cheerlead but only because they conveniently overlook other items. For example:

We disagree with Gov. Palin on this issue, but we're glad that Sen. McCain agrees with us. The president sets the policy for the administration. Sen. McCain twice voted against the federal marriage amendment and continues to believe the states should decide this issue.

Alex mentioned that McCain was responsible for choosing Palin to start with, but let's throw in the knowledge that he's elderly and has cancer. His pick is almost a defacto endorsement of her conservative Christian methods. And you'll notice they don't mention that McCain supports his state's marriage amendment. So while they try and spin on "he thinks it should be left to the state," they don't bother to say the rest... "but he supports it in his state."


I suggest you work for smaller government within the Democratic party. This may or may not prove to be at times frustrating experience, but at least the people you will be working with (and sometimes against) won't think you are immoral or disgusting.

Good luck.

Well, I don't know. I don't see how being a Republican would solve either of those problems.

I would suggest that if someone "believes" in small government, that they educate themselves about the problems middle class, working class, and poor Americans face. Believing in small government isn't immutable.

But how have you been? I haven't seen you around the blog in a while. What are your thoughts on Bob Barr?

Alex, I grew up in a working class/blue collar neighborhood & family (first to go to college!), and later when down & out lived in a very rough (but cheap!) neighborhood next to the old Republic Steel works in Cleveland. I find that I'm fairly well educated in the school of hard knocks, near homelessness, real poverty, middle class living- the works. I know what got me out of the mess, too. Wasn't government. It was solid decision-making and growing up.

I have greatly mixed feelings about Bob Barr. He's the only candidate who has spoken against the bailouts, which I applaud. He's also a candidate I helped to unseat, when he was a Republican member of Congress. I contributed to Carole Rand's Libertarian campaign that year, to help 'Nader' him, because of his role on the Defense of Marriage Act, and because of his role as an ardent drug warrior.

Since then, he has spun his DMA position. He praised the California court decision on the basis of State's Rights, and claimed that this was what he meant by the DMA all along. Yeah! State's Rights! I really don't buy that. It's not the same thing as an affirmation of individual rights. (Then again, I don't believe the state has any business regulating marriage. I believe it should be a function of the churches, and that individuals should be free to engage in any kind of contractual obligations they so choose- including conveyances of estates, joint insurance
coverage, and the litany of others typical of marriage. Alas, we've committed ourselves to regulation of marriage, beginning with its' ugly heritage in attempting to prevent multi-racial marriage, to preventing gay marriage today.)

So, as usual, there is no perfect candidate for me. The last presidential candidate who gave me everything I wanted was the late Harry Browne, who ran for the L's in '96 & 2000. The biggest deal-breaker for me has to be the bailouts. Both McCain and Obama are for these, which reward the fraud and poor decision making of the financial giants and punish the rest of us with the destruction of our purchasing power via inflation, and the almost certain higher taxes that will be required to deal with this enormous borrowing. Barr's in the right place on that, and right now, for me, the economy is the #1 issue for a presidential candidate.

As for working with the Dems, I do know that I feel very marginalized when I mention that I favor less government. I know for fact that my pro-gay views are discounted out of hand by many as a result. Definitely felt that on the campaign trail. I know it always comes down to what is most important to each individual, and what I found with Dems was that big government was far more important than anything else. Of course, you may now hang me with my position that the economy comes first. :-)

So, as usual, there is no perfect candidate for me.

Ain't that the truth for everyone.

Take care and stop by more often. I was wondering how actual libertarians were dealing w/ Barr's past.

Jamie Tyroler Legal protections for only sexual orientation do not prevent someone from being fired from a job, or not being hired, is more based on how that person dresses, acts, speaks.

The difference being that sexual orientation is, for many or most of us, immutable, whereas how someone dresses, acts, speaks, is not. Lifestyle choices carry certain consequences. Someone who fashions himself in the mode Larry The Cable Guy probably shouldn't be expected to get very far as an A&F model. Someone who fashions himself in the mode of RuPaul probably shouldn't expect to get very far in a corporate law firm. When did the "LGBT" movement abandon common sense?

Same old Dale.

Kat Rose used to give him regular rhetorical and intellectual bashings in our local GLBT paper back in Houston.

The point is, welcome to minority status people. You'll always have members of your group that cling to the oppressor.

See Thomas Sowell, Clarence Thomas and Ward Connerly for excellent examples of this in the African-American community.

...I know that whenever they make claims like these we're all supposed to start crying, acknowledge the error of our ways, and give conservaqueers even more power in the gay rights movement...

But back to the post, what I'm curious about is what evidence is there that conservatives have any power in the gay rights movement? I'm not conservative myself, having been a moderate-to-liberal Democrat for years. But I think we can acknowledge that the conservatives gays are marginalized, whether they do it to themselves or whether we do it to them.

It seems to me that, being a gay in the republican party is like being a black or jew at a skinhead rally, no matter what else may happen, you are going to get stomped on.

I think people like Carpenter just like to get beat up, so they have a reason to tell the rest of the world what victims they are.

Kind of like that christian martyr complex.