The trendy political story at the moment, at least in the Mainstream Media which is busy chasing sound bites as an attempt to remain relevant, is the rise and presumed success of the Tea Party movement. There has been some chatter out there, in the blogosphere, as to whether or not gays and lesbians ought to get behind the Tea Party movement. On it’s surface, the Tea Party seems to be about small government, and holding politicians accountable to the people. It claims to be about lower taxes for everyone- how can that be a bad thing for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender folks? We know that many, especially women and trans persons are un or under employed, and lower taxes could help these individuals. But don’t be fooled, by the 15 second soundbite look at the Tea Party. Don’t drink the Tea!!!Here are 3 reasons why the Tea Party movement, and the political changes that could come with a Tea Party win in November is bad for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans voters.

1) Tea Party Candidates don’t care about following the rules or laws. Consider this: in her zeal for power, it is reported that Christine O’Donnell acted as her own campaign finance manager, even though that is against FEC rules. This rule is important, and is designed to keep elections honest. It is the type of error, that candidates back at the smallest level of government ought to be learning, so that by the time they are running for a Federal office, they are able to run clean campaigns. Somewhere, O’Donnell missed that one, or should it be understood that she has either no smarts, nor any respect for the law? If Tea Party candidates don’t care about laws, there isn’t any chance they will care to pass laws that protect gays and lesbians.

2) At least 5 of the Tea Party backed candidates in this year’s election, (and most look like they could win) are against abortion even in the cases of rape and incest. If they can get their way, any woman would be forced to carry a pregnancy to term after they are raped or sexually assaulted by a family member or a violent criminal.  Even most moderate pro-life supporters accept that there are cases like rape where it is wrong to force a woman to complete a pregnancy. If Tea Party candidates can wish to force woman like that, do you really think they won’t expect to force abusive reparative therapy onto gays and lesbians?  If we see Tea Party activists taking control of government, there will be multiple states where efforts push forward to criminalize being gay.

3) Tea Party candidates are mostly shallow knee-jerk reactionaries who are puppets to a large and behind-the-scenes conservative powerhouse. Remember the fake “grass-roots” anti-healthcare rallies. For gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender folks, equality seems like a simple matter.  Like, of course, everyone should have equality. But in reality, the issue of equality is complex and those on the far right don’t understand the ways homophobia and the laws that perpetuate it, affect the real everyday lives of the LGBTQ community. To bring about equality, it will require politicians who can see past knee-jerk reactivity. This won’t be Tea Party candidates.

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