Is it just me, or are the Republicans running for the 2012 GOP nomination absolutely obsessed with us? Not a week goes by that Rick Santorum doesn't talk about us, or that Rick Perry puts out a commercial about us, or that Michele Bachmann may be married to one of us. (Zing!) Frankly, it seems to me that we don't ask for this attention, except for the occasional glitterbombing of Newt Gingrich or a long-overdue gay kiss on Glee. But, despite the fact that we live lives that are shockingly similar to every other American, this crew just can't stop thinking about us. We're like Sookie Stackhouse in True Blood: each week someone new pops out of the woodwork determined to get us. (If you need a slightly gayer reference there, go with the song "Piece of Me" by Britney Spears.)
So, seriously, what is the deal with these guys? Why are they so fascinated with the gays? Here's a look at the 2012 GOP field, with a quick thought on each of them:
- Mitt Romney: instead of "flip-flopper," gays should call him "politically versatile."
- Newt Gingrich: against us getting married because he wants all the marriages to himself.
- Rick Perry: from Texas, doing the best he can.
- Ron Paul: as a gynecologist, maybe he knows something we don't.
- Michele Bachmann: see above.
- Rick Santorum: Google him.
- Jon Hunstman: a closeted Democrat.
Now that we've gotten each of their general gay ethos out of the way, let's talk about the big news of last week and the subsequent fallout. First, there was the absurdly ridiculous Rick Perry ad, which somehow juxtaposed gays serving in the military with Christians being persecuted in America (which, by the way, is now the second most disliked video in the history of YouTube, with even more dislikes than Rebecca Black's "Friday," but not quite as many as Justin Bieber's "Baby.") The ad was utterly ridiculous, though sadly nothing more than standard pandering during primary season. You can see it here, though I think you'll enjoy the "Bad Lip-Reading" parody of it here even more.
It wasn't that ad that really piqued my interest, though. It was everything that happened after all those dislikes. Jimmy LaSalvia of GOProud, the gay Republican group (try not to giggle), outed Rick Perry's chief strategist, Tony Fabrizio, in a tweet (calling him a "faggot," no less). To LaSalvia this was justified, because sadly there is no shortage of Republicans who actively work against gays while being closeted themselves (see Ken Mehlman, Larry Craig, Roy Ashburn... I could go on, but I have a word limit for this column). I actually have no problem with LaSalvia outing Fabrizio at all. The man is working on a campaign that is using hate aimed at gay people for a political means. What I had a problem with is the fallout that followed.
Andrew Breitbart, who sits on the advisory board of GOProud, along with Ann Coulter (with friends like these...), suddenly resigned from the GOProud board because of his apparently incredibly strong feelings about outing. In part he said:
On numerous occasions I have spoken with [GOProud leaders] Jimmy LaSalvia and Chris Barron of the significant impact the practice of 'outing' had in my evolution from the political left to the right. I was under the absolute impression that both agreed. I have a zero-tolerance attitude toward the intentional infliction of vocational and family harm by divulging the details of an individual's sexual orientation as a weapon of political destruction.
Breitbart is the same man who had no problem editing a video to make Shirley Sherrod look racist, and who, as far as I can tell, has never done anything positive for the gay community in his whole life. I know many people suspect that he is gay, though frankly I don't care, and it is irrelevant to all this. What is relevant, though, is why outing someone is still a red line that must never be crossed, even when the people being outed are doing things that are directly attacking the community they only secretly wish they could be a part of. If we've come so far, as we'd all like to believe, then surely outing someone can't be all that bad, right? Well, not if you're in GOProud.
After Breitbart's resignation, GOProud issued a statement firstly condemning outing, and secondly condemning Fabrizo. And theirin lies the problem. Somehow in 2012, we still have a gay organization that thinks outing someone is the single most horrible thing, even more horrible than the direct attacks on the gay community that the person themselves propagate. And this is the real crux of what the gay Republican deals with every day: while the things they believe in outside themselves, such as lower taxes, limited government, states rights, and a strong military, are important, they think they can only achieve those things by being surrounded by people such as Ann Coulter, who are actually disgusted with the very way they express love and fundamentally live their lives. I'm not sure if the Republicans hated the gays first or if the gays hated themselves just enough to become Republicans, but I pity them both for their unholy alliance.
Oh, and one more thing. I liked Rebecca Black's "Friday." Take that, Rick Perry!