CPAC Boycott by Social Cons Uncovers the Right’s ‘Gay Problem’
The gay conservative group GOProud deserves a place at the table. (And don't miss live CPAC coverage, streaming on PJTV.)
February 10, 2011 - 12:00 am
They support “limited government, individual liberty, free markets, a strong national defense and a confident foreign policy.” They believe that “every individual should be equal under the law.” They support policies “that promote the power of individuals, limit government’s reach, enable economic growth through free market principles, and strengthen America’s position in the world.”
I would guess that the overwhelming number of conservatives who read the above without knowing that these are the foundational beliefs of GOProud could be convinced to sign up. But since the conservative advocacy group, whose members happen to be gay, support gay marriage and repeal of the military’s ban on openly gay individuals, they are poison to many on the right. This animus has taken the form of a boycott by certain social conservative organizations at the 2011 Conservative Political Action Conferernce (CPAC), and even motivated some conservatives to call for expunging gays – and their supporters in seeking equal treatment — from the conservative movement.
Why? Clearly there is a religious element to opposing homosexuality. Christians of strong faith who take the strictures against loving someone from the same sex written in the Bible at face value at least have a logical, if not rational, basis for their opposition.
Then there are the traditionalists who see gay marriage as a threat to the institution of marriage. Unfortunately, they are about 40 years too late.” Heterosexuals have done a fine job of destroying the institution of marriage long before gay unions became an issue. Divorce, cohabitation, lax sexual mores, and out of wedlock births have combined to radically alter the concept of marriage, changing it from “death do us part” to “until I get sick and tired of you.” The nuclear family has been largely replaced by “blended” families where children from two, three, and more marriages are raised in homes where the old rules simply don’t apply.
And there are military groups and serving officers who oppose lifting DADT because they fear it will affect combat readiness and cause a mass exodus of the rank and file. Good and loyal officers have made this argument, but no one can say if they are correct, or if they are blowing the issue out of proportion.
Faith, tradition, practical necessity — all of these may be good reasons to oppose gay marriage and repeal of DADT. But why oppose GOProud? Their principles are conservative principles. Their stands on issues are firmly planted in the mainstream of conservative thought. Heterosexual conservatives overwhelmingly agree with them — except for issues regarding equal treatment of gays and straights.
I have not been granted the ability to peer into another’s soul and see what is in their heart. But human nature being what it is, it is a safe bet that not all this opposition is based solely on principle, that some of it is almost certainly the result of hostility and fear directed toward those who are different, or who discomfit us by upsetting our traditional notions of normality.
It can be extremely unnerving to discover that the grounded, safe, familiar, secure cocoon in which we exist is being invaded by what appears to be radical ideas and radical people that throw our notions of what is “normal” out the window. We try to shelter our children by drawing them into the cocoon, just as our parents, and their parents before them tried to keep the outside world from intruding on our peaceful existence. It never works. Sooner or later, we discover that America has other plans. A nation that prides itself on being a revolutionary society where there is the chance for change every four years does not sit still for long. For better or worse, America is constantly in motion, and like a steamroller, flattens the past and readies the ground ahead for whatever transformation is to occur.