Queer and self-loathing in the Grand Old Party
And yesterday they had their biggest fail ever. This year’s Republican party’s draft platform was the most anti-gay political party platform ever in the history of the U.S. I am not exaggerating. It is worse than the platform that was adopted by the party in 1984, when panic over AIDS was at its height. It is worse than the platform that was adopted in 1992, when thousands of signs that said “Family Rights Forever, Gay Rights Never” were being waved by attendees inside the convention hall. This year’s platform, as the New York Times reported is:
…a staunchly conservative platform that takes a strict, traditionalist view of the family… [it] amounts to a rightward lurch even from the party’s hard-line platform in 2012—especially as it addresses gay men, lesbians and transgender people…. Nearly every provision that expressed disapproval of homosexuality, same-sex marriage or transgender rights passed.
Specifically, the platform condemns same sex marriage and calls for the appointment of judges that will overrule the Supreme Court decision making marriage equality legal and calls for an amendment to the Constitution which would in effect repeal the marriage equality laws that states adopted through legislatures and by direct votes of the people. The platform explicitly asserts (contrary to every reputable study out there) that it is better for children to be raised exclusively by opposite-sex parents (the language also appears to condemn single parents or grandparents/other relatives who raise children, such as say, after the death of the children’s parents). The platform endorses the so-called conversion or pray-away-the-gay therapies (which studies have shown are actually harmful, especially to children) which have been outlawed in many states. It calls for banning transgender people from public bathrooms that match their gender identity.
As the New York Times summed it up: “nearly every provision that expressed disapproval of homosexuality, same-sex marriage or transgender rights passed.”
The Log Cabin Republicans vowed to fight the platform at the convention. They promised they would fight to get that language changed. They sent out, over the course of the last week, dozens of emails begging people to donate money now so they could fight the platform. And guess what happened at the convention yesterday?The platform was adopted without any changes and with virtually no attempts from the floor to amend a single word.
Isn’t it wonderful that we have groups like the Log Cabin Republicans and GOProud working within the party to help spread tolerance and acceptance of gays? [/sarcasm]
And the thing that pisses me off most about those guys (and almost every single one of them is a guy) is that their presence is used by the hateful members of the Republican party to claim that the party isn’t actually anti-gay. It’s a variant of the “I can’t be homophobic, I have gay friends” defense. See, the Republicans say, we allow some of those homos to be members of the party: we take their money, we get them to go out on news channels and tell people that the party isn’t really anti-gay, even though we repeat discredited anti-gay propaganda, and pass anti-gay laws, and call for the appointment of anti-gay judges, and denounce gay and lesbians in the military, and block gay and lesbian appointees to government office. We do all of those things, they say, but we let these few homos to be members of the party, so we aren’t actually anti-gay.
Dan Savage laid out the case pretty clearly four years ago: On Booze, Meth, Suicide… and GOProud. Medical studies all agree that the reason that queer people are more likely to attempt suicide (especially as children), and more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol is because of the lifetime of anti-gay bullying and abuse that queer kids suffer just growing up in our society. They are made broken by the anti-gay attitude of society (which is then used as proof by the folks who want society’s attitude to be even worse that we deserve it). Broken, abused people become self-loathing people. And self-loathing people often succumb to self-destructive behavior. And the thing is, self-destructive, self-loathing addicts don’t just want to destroy themselves, they want to take other people with them. As Dan summed it up:
“…just like your meth-addicted friend who pushed the drug on you, or your drunk friend who mocked you for stopping at four, or your sexually out-of-control friend who insisted that you were a prude if you didn’t play the come dump with him down at the bathhouse, the GOProud boys want you to abuse yourself the same way that they’re abusing themselves.”
That’s the only explanation for a queer person to support the Republican Party. It isn’t because Republicans are fiscally conservative, because they aren’t. The Republican party runs up trillion dollar deficits while giving tax cuts to the wealthy and enacting programs to hurt working Americans. I get so tired of hearing people (queer and straight) react to any of the anti-gay or misogynist or racist statements or actions of Republicans by saying, “I don’t support that, of course, but I just wish there was a political party that was social liberal and fiscally conservative.” I’m tired because there is exactly such a party: the Democratic Party.
The Democratic Party has been more fiscally conservative than the Republican Party since 1992. The Democratic Party is more fiscally conservative than the vast majority of the American voters. And the Democratic Party is, truth be told, slightly less socially liberal than the majority of American voters.
So don’t feel anything but pity and contempt for the gay republicans who claim they are changing the party from within. They aren’t. They’re damaged self-loathing people clinging to their abuser, enabling their abuser, and they’re trying to get you to join in on the self-destruction. Don’t fall into the trap.