How could Mitt Romney winning the White House be a good thing for the gay community? On the surface it seems totally counterintuitive, but if we take party loyalty out of the equation while still maintaining a focus on achieving full legal and federally recognized equality for LGBT Americans, then a Romney presidency could be a golden opportunity.
The Democrats have finally admitted defeat in their fight against gay rights and now even champion gay equality in the official Democratic Party Platform. This did not happen overnight. Democrats and President Obama had to be pushed every step of the way. No one in the LGBT community should forget that President Obama spent the majority of his first term standing behind his belief that marriage was a sacred union that can exist only "between a man and a woman." It should also be noted that President Obama spent the early years of his presidency defending the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court. It took gay activists chaining themselves to the White House fence and a pesky federal lawsuit to push the president into finally acting on repealing DADT. And it took nearly Obama's entire presidency and consistent pressure from the LGBT community for him to finally "evolve" on marriage equality. It has been a long, hard struggle to get the Democrats fully onboard with gay equality issues, but as arduous as the trip has been, we have to realize that we have only completed half the journey.
To achieve full equality for LGBT Americans, we cannot allow gay rights to become an issue of eternal demagoguery for the Democrats. We have finally won the Democrats over, and now, like it or not, we must do the same with Republicans. The all-too-relevant American reality is that we live under a two-party political system. The sad fact is that equality for gay Americans will not be achieved until both major political parties support it. Winning the Republicans over is the final hurdle we must cross to achieve equality, and having a moderate Republican like Mitt Romney as president would clearly be more beneficial to our cause than, say, a true right-winger on gay issues, like Rick Santorum. If we can push President Obama to evolve past his "God is in the mix" attitude on gay equality, then we can, and we must, do the same with a President Romney.