The linked story is from RedState, a decidedly conservative blog, and offers an attack on Obama and the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT). There are a few things about it which raise my interest, and I want to point out.

  • The post fails to mention all of the Republicans who voted for the repeal, nor does it mention that the repeal wouldn’t have happened if Collins, a Republican from Maine hadn’t been a co-sponsor of the stand-alone repeal bill.
  • The singular purpose of the post however, is all about Obama-smearing, and gay-bashing. OK- there are two purposes- Obama-bashing and Gay-bashing.

Unless, I misunderstood the whole Red State/Blue State thing, the very notion of this post being placed at this site, leads me to ask, can Gays really be a part of the Conservative movement? Maybe yes. That there is still a viable and real battle going on over the heart and soul of conservatism. In this “glass half full” perspective, groups like GoProud and the Log Cabin Republicans actively help keep the GOP from falling off the side of the cliff called Social Extremism. but another way to look at it is to see the Conservative movement as a space wherre is is a no-win for gays and lesbians, and even less room for trans persons.

Cliff Kincaid of Accuracy in Media writes of George Washington’s opposition to homosexuals in the military.  In 1778 a soldier was court-martialed for attempted sodomy. The official record of the trial verdict and punishment makes clear Washington’s disgust with homosexual activity within the military’s ranks.

One way to think about this is to recognize that the Tea Party folks (and this RedState blog is very Tea Party) want to turn the clock back to the late 1700’s.  If it was good enough for George Washington, then it is good enough for 2011! so what happens if we think that through a bit further. How about Slavery? Guess we should bring that back, along with the way to treat sodomites, right?  And women! How were women treated in the time of George Washington? I suppose that is how we should be treating women today too?  This reference to good old George, much like other Tea Party rhetoric, is designed to legitimate the bigotry, and rally a sense of revolt and rebellion.

So while the Continental army was in the fight of its life and the projection of victory was unsure at best, George Washington found it of utmost importance to place high value on personal conduct within the military ranks.

The funny part of this, is that the repeal of DADT does just this! It makes all in the military act in a professional manner and call for high standards of respect and honesty in personal conduct.

The writers here, such as all the far right crazies (including John McCain) seem to think that a person lying about who they are, shows higher personal conduct than honesty. Their line of crap doesn’t directly say it, but insinuates that there are no gays serving, and especially none serving openly at this very minute! But the Military’s own study demonstrated that a large number of enlisted already know or knew they had served with gay and lesbian soldiers, they were OK with that (George Washington, notwithstanding). But there is another part of this phrase, I want to draw attention to.

So while the Continental army was in the fight of its life and the projection of victory was unsure at best,

We currently are not in “the fight of our life,” and victory, if it is possible, is clearly not going to come from the Military. Even our Military leaders have said that any victory will come from negotiation and a political solution that brings all the different factions together in some way under the direction of a legitimate government. In other words, there are no similarities what so ever between what was happening in 1778 and what is happening today. None.

Also missing from this post is any recognition that many other militaries around the globe allow openly gay and lesbians to serve, and they are as powerful, as cohesive, and as strong as ever before.

But the intended purpose here, isn’t to be accurate, either historically, militarily (is that a word?), or politically. This post displays a new tactic being expressed by anti-gay forces everywhere. In a sense, it isn’t new, but the way it is being used is new in some regards. At issue is “homosexual action,” not the simple fact of being gay or lesbian. This plays on the fallacy and misinformation that being gay is a choice and people choose to act gay. Those who express this, are often closeted gay people themselves, and that explains why they feel this way. To them, the problem isn’t who they are (because they don’t want to believe that that is who they are) but rather that they do gay things. Bad gay things.

Every lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans person needs to grow much thicker skin, because we are gong to see more and more of this outright verbal gay bashing all over the place, not just in crazy far right blogs. This is just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak.

So, back to my original question. Can gays have any place within the conservative movement, along side the likes of this post author? The Tea Party movement, while played up to be about fiscal responsibility, and small government, is really all about social purity first and foremost. That’s why we have seen a number of far right wing hate groups, like the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) pull out of CPAC, the conservative convention because the gay group, GoProud is a sponsor.

Here in Pennsylvania, there is talk of a Log Cabin Republican (LCR) chapter forming. On the one hand, I’m surprised one doesn’t already exist, and on the other hand, I’m not sure what to think about it. Clearly the LCR’s have had a great impact in Utah, where the Mormon church is softening its anti-gay rhetoric. Additionally, I believe that the LCR’s were calling for a stand alone DADT repeal well before it became clear that that would be the only way to get the thing passed.

via The Repeal of DADT: To March or to Sashay into the Future? | RedState.

Photo credit: By Steve Rhodes

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