Gay Republicans Question Conservative Credentials

I had a revelation today about the odd ducks we call “gay Republicans.” While they may well be true conservatives, I think they are simply in the GOP to confuse and anger the religious right. If so, GOProud is doing its job extremely well.

Recently, GOProud was able to coax Grover Norquist to agree to be on its advisory board. Norquist is the president of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) and has a long list of conservative affiliations from the National Rifle Association to the American Conservative Union. In his bio he proudly includes a quote from Arianna Huffington calling him “The dark wizard of the Right’s anti-tax cult.”

The fact that Norquist has lent his considerable conservative clout to a gay group has Tony Perkins at the Family Research Council on the attack, and not just against GOProud, but the almighty Norquist as well, noting that “he is well known for his questionable affiliations (from being a middle man for convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff, profiting from the oppressed Northern Mariana Islands to partnering with Poker Players Alliance to advocate for legislation that ultimately taxes the Internet) and also for his disdain of social conservative issues like life and marriage (once deriding pro-lifers as ‘pontificators’ and on marriage that he doesn’t ‘focus on it.’) Yet in this case he is actually going beyond his normal ‘profit and party before principles’ motto.”

In addition to taking potshots at Norquist’s conservative credentials, Perkins questions whether GOProud’s agenda is truly conservative.

most of their “conservative” positions are centered and conditional on that the “gay community” gets special carve-outs. They oppose the Death Tax, but according to their own website they oppose it because it “discriminates against gay and lesbian couples for whom there is no marital exemption.” They opposed the health care bill, and again according to their own website, because it “does indeed discriminate against gay families.”

Which is sort of a strange complaint since Perkins and the religious right oppose or support laws simply because they directly affect their families and friends personally in some way. I thought that’s what advocacy work, on either side of fence, was all about. Seems a bit ridiculous to point out that a group would support or oppose something simply because the law may help or harm the community you advocate for.

Christopher Barron, chairman of GOProud’s board, fired back, questioning FRC’s own dedication to conservative principles:

“Tony Perkins and his cronies at the Family Research Council aren’t for limited government. They support policies, like the federalization of marriage and family laws, which would represent one of the greatest usurpation of state’s rights in the history of this country.”

While I disagree with both groups on a number of issues, it’s fun watching the religious right have to defend itself against gay Republicans who say they aren’t true conservatives.