Black Opposition to Marriage Equality Is No ‘Myth,’ and Bigger Government Isn’t the Answer

by Stephen H. Miller on February 18, 2012

In a Washington Post op-ed (the print version was titled “The Myth of Gays vs. Blacks”), Maya Rupert, the National Center for Lesbian Rights’ federal policy director, argues that:

with depressing regularity, divisive and misleading rhetoric is dredged up whenever same-sex couples’ right to marry is put to a legislative or popular vote—often exacerbating the false myth of a rift between gays and blacks.

As the op-ed continues, it appears that black opposition to marriage equality isn’t exactly a myth, but it is the fault of insufficiently progressive government social policies and spending, in Rupert’s view. She admits, for instance, that:

The Post reported recently that 53 percent of black voters in the state opposed the marriage-equality bill introduced by [Maryland] Gov. Martin O’Malley (D). Another recent survey, by Gonzales Research & Marketing Strategies Inc., concluded that support for marriage equality among black voters in Maryland has steadily declined over the past three months as the issue has gained prominence. The survey claimed that “opposition to same-sex marriage among African-American voters is what keeps the issue close in the state.”

But Rupert contends these numbers, like reports that 7 in 10 African Americans who went to the polls in California voted yes on the anti-gay-marriage Prop. 8 initiative, “mask a much more complex, and hopeful, reality.” Well, “hopeful” sounds nice, until you get to Rupert’s policy recommendations. She writes that:

marriage feels more fragile to many blacks because of a shrinking pool of available black men—due to disparate incarceration rates and the lack of meaningful and equal access to education and employment.

One could also say because of higher criminality rates among young black men.

Rupert continues that:

So while black couples are not legally precluded from marrying, social and legal inequalities make it just as inaccessible for many. Further, although the decline of marriage in the black community is rooted in racial and economic inequality, no state or federal policies have been introduced to address the problem. This political silence may well reflect much more about blacks’ historically lukewarm reaction to same-sex marriage than the oft-repeated, and offensive, assumption that black Americans are innately more homophobic than other groups.

So the answer is more welfare, economic redistribution and race-based preferences? That’s the liberal response to every social problem, I suppose.

As to Rupert’s contention about the “lack of meaningful and equal access to education,” black columnist Walter Williams wrote last week on this very topic, observing:

Many black students are alien and hostile to the education process. They are permitted to make education impossible for other students. Their misbehavior and violence require schools to divert resources away from education and spend them on security. … The sorry and tragic state of black education is not going to be turned around until there’s a change in what’s acceptable and unacceptable behavior by young people. That change has to come from within the black community.

Williams notes, further:

I graduated from Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin High School in 1954. Franklin’s students were from the poorest North Philadelphia neighborhoods—such as the Richard Allen housing project, where I lived—but there were no policemen patrolling the hallways. … Students didn’t use foul language to teachers, much less assault them.

How might one explain the greater civility of Philadelphia and other big-city, predominantly black schools during earlier periods compared with today? Would anyone argue that during the ’40s and ’50s…there was less racial discrimination and poverty and there were greater opportunities for blacks and that’s why academic performance was higher and there was greater civility?….If white and black liberals and civil rights leaders want to make such arguments, they’d best wait until those of us who lived during the ’40s and ’50s have departed the scene.

Someone might tell that to Maya Rupert.

African-American opposition isn’t the sole roadblock to same-sex marriage, of course—witness this week’s depressing veto of a marriage equality bill by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (and he’s considered somewhat of a fiscal conservative, social moderate by GOP standards).

But blacks, unlike white evangelicals, are part of the rainbow coalition of the left that supports the Democratic Party and pushes for progressive policies. While elected black officials are willing to support gay equality as part of that coalition, black voters clearly aren’t onboard. And more government spending or preferential treatment isn’t going to change things.

More. I expected some of our loyal left-liberal readers would take aim, but the reflexive characterization of myself and this post as “racist” is still disappointing. I can’t respond better than “Another Steve,” who replied in the comments:

Criticize the prevalence of homophobia in the black community – RACIST. Point out that government isn’t the solution to what ails the black community (and actually, it was the cause of a great many of the social pathologies that liberals would have government now rectify through more govenrment) – RACIST. Ah, well, Much more fun to…feel all smug and superior to those RACISTS than actually worry about the problems at hand — that a majority of the black electorate joins with the religious right in blocking marriage equality.

{ 15 comments }

Lonnie Lopez February 18, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Allow me to call this posting exactly what it is: racist garbage that has no place in the movement for LGBT equality. Queers have no right to expect support if we don’t give it. And, frankly, my dear, I see far more black people actively supporting the fight for marriage equality than I do white gay people organizing to fight against racism. It’s time to drop this whole “blame other people because we don’t have rights” crap. The cold, hard truth is that the LGBT movement is a movement unlike any previous movement and I mean that in a bad sense. We are a passive, astroturf (fake grassroots) movement that ignores the lessons previous movements have taught us on how to win. Black people did not undo 100 years of Jim Crow segregation by responding to monthly “action alert” emails or by voting for this or that party. They marched, they sat in, they organized, they refused to let anything less than equality satisfy them, often at the expense of their own lives. On the other hand, most (certainly not all) LGBT people have been completely satisfied sitting on our asses and letting “professional” nonprofitistas fight our battles for us. Most LGBT people are so out of touch with the LGBT movement that they can’t even formulate an analysis and criticism of Gay Inc’s strategies. It’s always “blame the Republicans, blame the blacks, blame [insert scapegoat here].” The fact that many white LGBT people are so quick to blame the blacks for their loss while having no consciousness of the weak and ineffective perspectives and strategies “our” leaders use over and over again is a testament to the racism that permeates the LGBT community. That’s also the reason why, 42 years after the Stonewall Rebellion, we have no comprehensive LGBT rights legislation. If LGBT people aren’t willing to fight for their rights, they have no right to criticize others for not doing so.

Solidarity. Look it up in a dictionary.
==========================
Myth of the Black-gay divide

Sherry Wolf, author of the forthcoming Sexuality and Socialism: History, Politics and Theory of Gay Liberation, looks at the debate about why Proposition 8 passed in California.

November 11, 2008 | Issue 685 [1]

IN THE wake of Barack Obama’s historic victory, a false and reactionary narrative has emerged that blames Black voters for the gay marriage ban that passed by a 52 to 48 percent margin in California.

While Florida and Arizona also passed same-sex marriage bans, the vote for Prop 8 in the politically progressive state of California is widely attributed to the enormous surge of Black voters, 70 percent of whom approved the ban reversing the state’s May 2008 Supreme Court decision allowing lesbians and gays to marry. The exit polls showed that 53 percent of Latinos voted for the ban, as well as around 49 percent of white voters.

The state’s Black population is 6.2 percent, and it accounted for 10 percent of the overall vote. In other words, blaming African Americans for the referendum’s passage ignores 90 percent of the vote.

It also ignores recent history. To judge from social research, had there been an unapologetically pro-civil rights campaign, there was the prospect of a different outcome.

The most comprehensive study of Black attitudes toward homosexuality, which combines 31 national surveys from 1973 to 2000, came to a fascinating conclusion. Georgia State University researchers found that “Blacks appear to be more likely than whites both to see homosexuality as wrong and to favor gay-rights laws.”

African Americans’ religiosity leads many to believe that homosexuality is a sin, while their own experience of oppression leads them to oppose discrimination. This was borne out in the 2004 elections, where, in the six states with substantial Black populations that had same-sex marriage bans on their ballots, Blacks were slightly less likely than whites to vote for them.

Nationally, 58 percent now oppose gay marriage bans, a dramatic shift from just a few years ago. If an explicit case in favor of gay marriage were made by activists, a multiracial majority could be won over in coming years.

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - -

THE EXIT poll statistics from California don’t explain the more important story of why so many of California’s Black, Brown and white citizens–who voted overwhelmingly for the first African American president by a 56 to 37 percent margin–also supported striking down civil rights for lesbians and gays.

The most critical reason was the ineffective strategy used by pro-gay marriage forces that adhered closely to the Democratic Party–and Barack Obama’s–equivocal position on the issue.

While formally opposing Prop 8, both Obama and his running mate Joe Biden were vocal throughout the campaign about their personal discomfort with and opposition to same-sex marriage.

Despite the unprecedented and astonishing sums of money raised to fight the referendum–the pro-equality side took in $43.6 million, compared with $29.8 million for the anti-gay marriage forces–the No on 8 side lost.

The statewide No on 8 Coalition didn’t use the money for a grassroots organizing campaign. It didn’t put out a call for activists to hit the phones, knock on doors and hold rallies and actions to publicly denounce the bigotry of the measure–though in a few cases, activists took the initiative to do so on their own.

Adhering to the false notion that the Democrats lost the 2004 presidential election due to the assertiveness of gay marriage activists, the heads of the No on 8 campaign avoided even using words like “gay” or “bigoted.” Instead, one TV ad opposing the measure featured a straight white couple, and only obliquely referenced gays at all when the camera panned over a bookshelf with a photo of two women and their children.

In the final days before the election, No on 8 ran an ad with a voiceover by Black actor Samuel L. Jackson denouncing past civil rights abuses like Japanese internment and anti-miscegenation laws, with a slideshow of gay and lesbian couples on the screen.

Some members of the California Teachers Association, to their credit, turned over the final week of pre-election phone banking to No on Prop 8 calls. Kathryn Lybarger, who married her partner a few weeks before the election, describes this and other efforts as “tragically last-minute stuff.”

Blogger Rick Jacobs rightly challenged the campaign’s tepid approach: “[C]an there be outrage when a movement becomes a corporation? When the largest LGBT organizations look like, are staffed by former executives of, and are funded by huge corporations and huge donors, where is the movement?”

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - -

BY COMPARISON, the anti-gay Yes on 8 campaign was aggressive, vocal and visible. They cynically used Obama’s own words and image in TV ads to persuade Democratic voters to oppose gay marriage by voting for the ban.

Largely financed by right-wing institutions like the Mormon Church and the Blackwater mercenary security company, Yes on 8 sent anti-gay marriage activists to Black and white churches to drum up support. Their so-called robocalls, automatic telephone calls with mechanized messages, played Joe Biden’s words from the vice presidential debate agreeing on opposition to gay marriage with vacuous bigot Sarah Palin.

Another element was exposed in a Los Angeles Times op-ed article titled “No-on-8′s white bias,” by Black lesbian Jasmyne A. Cannick. Cannick said she knocked on doors in working-class and poor Black neighborhoods of LA to register voters without ever raising the gay marriage issue.

“[T]he right to marry does nothing to address the problems faced by both Black gays and Black straights,” Cannick wrote. “Does someone who is homeless or suffering from HIV but has no health care, or newly out of prison and unemployed, really benefit from the right to marry someone of the same sex?”

The answer is: Yes, indirectly, they do.

Thus, for example, the fight for HIV drugs and funding that erupted in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when white gay men were the dominant group dying of AIDS, could have averted the catastrophe of AIDS in the Black community today if a multiracial, gay and straight alliance had formed from both sides of the racial divide.

As African American civil rights leader Julian Bond put it, “Our inability to talk about sex, and more specifically homosexuality, is the single greatest barrier to the prevention of HIV transmission in our community.”

An injury to one truly is an injury to all. As a group that has endured the injustices of separate but equal amounting to second-class status, Blacks can certainly comprehend the stakes in this fight for equality–especially Black gays and lesbians who would directly benefit.

Besides, pitting one group of oppressed against another can only aid those in positions of wealth and power who benefit from divide-and-conquer tactics. For this reason, many prominent African American leaders, from Coretta Scott King to Al Sharpton, have taken an unequivocal stand in defense of gay marriage.

It is true that some Black churches and leaders are homophobic, and they should be challenged. But the enormous wealth of the white-dominated Catholic and Mormon churches, in stark contrast to the poverty of most Black churches, renders their culpability that much worse.

In challenging white LGBT people who justify not working alongside African Americans due to their supposed higher rates of homophobia, Black lesbian Barbara Smith argues:

Institutionalized homophobia in this society is definitely a white monopoly. And when we do see examples of homophobia in people-of-color contexts, what that should motivate people to do is to increase the level of solidarity with gay men and lesbians of color so that we can challenge homophobia wherever it appears.

The massive outpouring of protesters on the streets of California’s cities since the ban shows the potential to organize a repeal of Prop 8 in coming months. But they will need to devise a strategy independent of the Democrats’ equivocation and corporate-funded organizations wary of rocking the boat. LGBT activists in this budding movement should go directly to Black and Latino allies and develop a multiracial and collaborative challenge to the bigotry of anti-gay marriage forces of every race.

Included in the strategy should be a demand on the new Obama administration and Democratic-controlled Congress to carry forward with their party platform that opposes the Clinton-era Defense of Marriage Act. It’s time to repeal that law and end federally sanctioned bigotry against gay marriage.

Thanks to Kathryn Lybarger in Berkeley for providing local insight on the Prop 8 campaign.

BobN February 18, 2012 at 2:54 pm

It’s almost amusing to see the glee with which some right-wingers taunt liberals with this theme. You seem to think you’re winning some big point. Yes, as a whole, the black community lags behind other communities on the left in their support for gay rights. But, and it’s an important but, the opposition doesn’t come close to the levels of opposition from any community that makes up the right side of the aisle in this country. And, more important, it’s getting better.

Next time there’s a gay-rights vote in the House, compare the results in the Congressional Black Caucus to the results from the GOP.

That’s really all there is to say, I think.

Houndentenor February 18, 2012 at 3:09 pm

*sigh*

I should come as no surprise to anyone that there is still a great deal of racism in the white gay community as well as homophobia among African Americans (and other minority groups). Clearly we all have work that we need to do. One kind of bigotry does not excuse another. It does show that various communities need to build bridges.

Is the author ready and willing to make this effort, or is this yet another red herring to stir up racism against one segment of the population that voted for Prop 8. As someone who advocates for making the case for gay rights to conservatives, clearly we also have to make the case to African Americans as well.

Again, we have work to do, both to lesson the anti-gay feelings in various communities and also to temper the racism that still exists among homosexuals.

another steve February 18, 2012 at 5:50 pm

Oh, brother. The lefties are as predictable in their knee-jerk responses as can be. Criticize the prevalence of homophobia in the black community – RACIST. Point out that government isn’t the solution to what ails the black community (and actually, it was the cause of a great many of the social pathologies that liberals would have government now rectify through more govenrment) – RACIST.

Ah, well, Much more fun to put forth bogus rebuttal statistics and feel all smug and superior to those RACISTS than actually worry about the problems at hand — that a majority of the black electorate joins with the religious right in blocking marriage equality.

Houndentenor February 18, 2012 at 11:03 pm

Because those African Americans who “join” the religious right are part of the religious right, at least on cultural issues. Why does that surprise anyone? They agree on those issues because they have the same religious beliefs and their skin color has nothing at all to do with that.

Jebi February 18, 2012 at 6:11 pm

What’s so interesting is that those on the left and those on the center-right seem to live in different universes. Stephen Miller’s (and Another Steve’s) observations about government and the ills that trouble the black community such as the dysfunctions of poor single women-headed households mired in poverty would be familiar and readily acceptable to those on the center (no, not the far or racist) right. That those on the left see them as klan-style racism is quit telling — they have a very different template for viewing the problems that blacks face, and for them the cause is oppression and racism, period. I guess right is right and left is left and never the twain shall meet!

Tom Scharbach February 18, 2012 at 7:59 pm

I don’t find it particularly surprising that African-Americans are about 10-15 points less supportive of marriage equality than white or Hispanic Americans. A much higher percentage of African-Americans are members of evangelical Protestant churches than are white or Hispanic Americans, and evangelical Protestants, both African-American and white, have markedly high levels of opposition to marriage equality .

I think that it is worth noting that African-American weekly church attendees (the least supportive group among African-Americans) are more supportive of marriage equality (by about 10 points) than white evangelical Protestants in general (weekly or monthly attendance).

I suspect we are in for another “culture wars” election, but I don’t think that marriage equality will be a successful wedge issue for Republicans this time around. The 2011 polls suggest that support for marriage equality runs about 70% among Democrats, 60% among Independents and 30% among Republicans. To me, that suggests that the culture warriors will be talking mostly to themselves this time around.

As to Governor Christie, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure him out. Christie considers himself “Presidential Timber” and he understands that if he hadn’t vetoed marriage equality, he’d be “Presidential Pulpwood” among Republican presidential primary voters in 2016, assuming that President Obama wins re-election.

Given his repeated “open invitation” to New Jersey voters to overrule him in a referendum and put the issue to rest before he has to run for Governor again, if that is what happens, it is a simple political calculation on his part, in my opinion. He’s playing two sides against the middle, politically — Presidential primary politics versus statewide general election politics.

Let him sweat a few pounds. He can afford it, and I see no reason to make life easy for him when we don’t need to do so. Governor Christie, at worst, has delayed marriage equality in New Jersey by 18-24 months. Public opinion seems to be trending rapidly toward acceptance, which suggests that the necessary override votes are likely to fall into place by 2014, and, whether or not that happens, the New Jersey Supreme Court is very likely to rule New Jersey’s civil union experiment unconstitutional by that time.

Houndentenor February 18, 2012 at 11:05 pm

Christie always said he would veto the marriage bill. No one should be surprised that he did. Obviously, marriage equality will have to wait for a different governor.

Tom Scharbach February 18, 2012 at 11:30 pm

Obviously, marriage equality will have to wait for a different governor.

That isn’t necessarily true, Houndentenor.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Governor’s veto overridden before the January 2014 deadline. We are not many votes short, and politician’s minds change with the majority opinion.

I certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see the New Jersey Supreme Court mandate marriage equality before then, either.

The 2006 New Jersey decision is reported as a 4-3 split, but that doesn’t reflect the reality of the situation. All seven justices ruled that “unequal dispensation of rights and benefits to committed same-sex partners can no longer be tolerated under our State Constitution”. The Court split 4-3 on the question of whether or not marriage-equivalent civil unions would remedy the inequality, four justices voting that civil unions were an adequate remedy, three justices voting that marriage equality was the only adequate remedy. It won’t take much to flip one of the 4 into the 3, making a majority for marriage equality. The case coming up has a strong factual basis for a ruling that civil unions have not, in practice, met the constitutional requirements.

Christie isn’t exactly irrelevant on this issue — he’s thrown the monkey wrench into the system for the next 18-24 months, to be sure — but the political and legal situation is far enough along in New Jersey that he may well be gulping air in office as the wedding dances go on around him.

Houndentenor February 19, 2012 at 9:47 am

True. It was my understanding (viewing this from afar, of course) that there weren’t enough votes to override the veto. However there was a state (NH???) where people switched their vote because they didn’t think the bill should have been vetoed (even though they voted against it. Politics is so strange sometimes!).

I’d rather this go through the legislative process rather than the legal one. I’m sick of hearing about “activist judges” from my redneck relatives.

Infovoyeur February 19, 2012 at 1:32 am

Well I was naive earlier. Thought how can Blacks not support gay rights, how can be anti-gay, since both are minorities in the sense of being “alien exile outsiders in their own native land.” (A definition from the 60′s spirit.) As a non-str8 white, I can read Black poetry etc. with a fellow empathy, as in the one “got up this A.M., played all my black music, thought all the black thoughts, etc., then went outside, lord almighty, white snow!” (Author name forgotten.) I could sing along counterpoint with that, “today read Christopher Isherwood (and J. Baldwin Giovanni’s Room), non-porn visual gay art, enjoyed lesbian comedy, etc., then went outside and on the sidewalk go a Heterosexual couple, “Male And Female Created He them,” same bingo. As an Outsider could, well, sympa-thize not just empathize with another Outsider-group.

(And no, I never rank or rate one minority group oppresed more than another. Yet obviously, Blacks oppressed more than GLB folk, but then GLB folk oppressed in more diverse separate ways, but then Blacks don’t “grow up behind enemy lines” as GLB folk so, but then the Black family now, etc., this leads into a cessmire or circular drain.)

But given the Black church adherence mentioned, it all makes more sense, an anti-gay view. Thus my above viewpoint incomplete, hence naive.

BTW as for winning over Conservatives, a tougher job. Because X or N % of them believe anti-gay as they do because of that Toxic Strand running through conservatism. (Google the landmark meta-analysis in social psychology, “Political conservatism as motivated social congnition.”) That strand, a haughty imperial put-down pot-shot-taking stance. (Cf. Article “The Gay Moment” in the National Review.) But but mainly fearing change, dangers, identity as fragile. Natural Law as desirable, etc. So for such thinkers, Flawed Folk seeking to enter Sacred Institution marriage–too much, eh…

But the other posters proffer more competent socio-political analysis than moi here, so Over To You and I learn…

Houndentenor February 19, 2012 at 9:54 am

Years ago I was having a conversation with an African American colleague about racism in the gay community. A very sweet and charmingly naive woman overheard and asked, “but how could gay people be racist? Don’t they already know what it’s like to be discriminated against?”

It works both ways. It’s common for people in one minority group to despise the other groups for fear that they’ll move ahead of them in terms of acceptance in the larger society. Pitting one group against another benefits neither group, but it is a tactic often used to keep all the minority groups from working together.

Before we concern ourselves with homophobia in the African American community, we should take a look at racism in the gay community. We all have work to do and sometimes we have to start with our own neighborhood to begin building the coalition for the change we want to see.

And no, I’m not going to apologize for pointing out racism when I come across it. I’m sick of the right-wing freak-out any time anyone dares bring up the subject. There’s still a great deal of racism in our country (and in the world), and it doesn’t help to pretend like it’s not happening. That, and the fact that the people who squawk loudest when accused are usually the worst offenders.

Tom Scharbach February 19, 2012 at 10:17 am

But given the Black church adherence mentioned, it all makes more sense, an anti-gay view.

In 2009, Nate Silverman studied the correlation between numerous factors and a state’s propensity to ban marriage equality. Silverman found a very strong correlation between the “religiosity” (rates of weekly church attendance, number of evangelicals) of a state and resistance to marriage equality in that state. The other variables Silverman looked at (race, education levels, party registration and so on) “either did not appear to matter at all, or became redundant once we accounted for religiosity”, as Silverman put it.

Silverman reworked the model in 2012 to adjust for the accelerated trend toward acceptance of marriage equality in recent years, but has not found any reason to change his earlier conclusion that “religiosity”, and in particular, the relative number of evangelicals in the mix of weekly church attendees, is the most significant correlation to resistance to marriage equality.

The Silverman model would predict relatively a high rate of resistance to marriage equality among African-Americans, correlating to a relatively high “religiosity” quotient in that population.

The surprise is that polling breakdowns by Pew and others suggest that there is a significant difference in resistance to marriage equality between African-American evangelicals and white evangelicals — white evangelicals being 10 points more resistant than African American evangelicals.

I have no explanation for that difference.

Jean Marshall February 27, 2012 at 8:45 am

Recently I visited two long time friends who happen to be gay. I am an African American woman who thinks of herself as one who understands diversity. I would trust these men with my life. I was shocked when we got on the subject, and my friend addressed the situation between Blacks and Gays, and the fact that as a people we are voting against marriage equality. In fact, equality for people who happened to be Gay. He also feels when we needed help with civil rights, Gay people were by o ur side. He is right. What can we do as a people to turn this situation around? How can we create more of an awareness of what this means to an important segment of our society. there are so many other things that need to be discussed, why must we always resort to situations that destroys relationships? Why do we have to vote to give people their civil rights. It is a priviledge for us all. I salute and love my friends very much, and stand ready to work as an agent of change to speak out against this injustice.

TomJeffersonIII February 28, 2012 at 9:58 am

1. Yeah, racism, sexism and homophobia are still problems in our society. So is prejudice against the disabled and thinks like anti-Semitism. We should not bury our heads in the sand and pretend that prejudice/stereotypes do not exist, but we also probably should not get into the ‘who is oppressed more’ game.

2. It would be nice and lovely if people who were mistreated or victims of discrimination or abuse or cruelty used that experience in order to learn how to be better people (in terms of human rights/human dignity/fairness/respect/compassion/etc). But, that does not always happen. People are a bit more complicated.

3. I was not in California during Prop 8 and I am just a undergraduate student now. However, what I am learning in my poli sci classes tells me that the people trying to fight Prop 8 were making many mistakes. In Minnesota we are trying to defeat a similar ballot measure (but we do not have even civil unions statewide) and a clear effort is made to build coalitions with Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Green Party, Libertarian Party members. As well as young people, old people, people of color, people of faith, urban folk, rural folk, etc. We also have people willing to volunteer their time to make phone calls, door to door, have a civil and frank discussion, etc.

4. I friend of mine recently came out and he is a hard core Republican and wants to, after college, run for office and all of that stuff. But as a socially liberal/fiscal conservative. Well, the State GOP basically told him to get the heck out of the party. So, now he is probably going to be a Democrat or maybe, the MN Independence Party.

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