LGBT Democratic activists are never at a loss to point out GOP nastiness toward gay legal equality and social inclusion. But when they claim that nothing has—or it’s implied, can—change in the Republican party, they are being willfully disingenuous.
This past week saw Dr. Ben Carson, popular on the GOP social conservative right, come out with some asinine claims that being gay is “absolutely” a choice — and prison proves it, “Because a lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight — and when they come out, they’re gay.” Carson’s remarks were so over the top that even he had to backtrack and issue an apology, sort of.
This same week saw GOP mega-donor David Koch, one half of the brother duo that’s a bête noire of progressive Democrats, join with other conservatives in filing an amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to rule against bans on same-sex marriage. LGBT Democrats will reply that this hardly makes up for the Koch brothers supporting anti-gay candidates through the years (the Kochs give their dollars to conservatives who favor less government intrusion in business and the economy, and many but not all of these candidates are also social conservatives).
But once freedom to marry is the law of the land from sea to sea, and with gay servicemembers now serving openly in the military, the political calculus is going to shift markedly as regards gay issues. There will be an intransigent religious right, but mainstream conservatives will embrace the new consensus that gay marriage, like gays in the military, is a done deal and so let’s move on.
The GOP may, more broadly, defend religious liberty from those who feel wounded that everyone doesn’t share and express their progressive views, and I believe there is merit in the party’s doing so. That will incite LGBT Democrats, but it’s a side skirmish. The war will have been won.
More. Via National Journal:
Any Republican who says something incendiary about gay people will surely get media play. But with public rebuttals, political counsel and money, gay conservative groups are working to build a wall of defense to keep these comments on the fringe—and out of the 2016 conversation.
Furthermore. Some LGBT progressive have in the past accused David Koch of “pinkwashing” the Koch brother’s record by embracing legal equality for same-sex couples. But in the days since Koch signed the amicus supporting same-sex marriage, it’s becoming clearer that the media response around the announcement (fueled to no small extent by the willingness of Koch’s publicists to cooperate) is meant to send a signal to candidates who receive (or will receive) Koch support. Which is, opposition to same-sex marriage is not going to be a winning position going forward, so get over it.
If so, not everyone is getting the message, however. The desire to run on Jeb Bush’s right is a contravening force that will be a political dead end, but it may take at least another election cycle to make that clear to the intransigents.