Gay Republicans Make Their Peace With Palin

This article is a response to gay friends who have taken issue, quite civilly, with my support of John McCain for President. (Disclaimer: there is a comment on the article from someone named “Kirk,” who is not me.)

While John McCain’s “selection of the Alaska governor has energized the GOP’s socially conservative wing,” it has also inspired a lot of gay and lesbian Republicans. It has brought together left-leaning lesbians and Hillary-supporting gay men concerned about Barack Obama’s qualifications with gay conservatives unhappy with McCain’s frequent departures from party orthodoxy.

We see in Sarah Palin John McCain’s real commitment to reform. That is why, despite her mixed record on gay issues, we are excited by her nomination.

The article is by a co-author of GayPatriot, which has been my favorite gay conservative blog ever since Andrew Sullivan let his Bush Derangement Syndrome morph into McCain Derangement Syndrome.

The reference to Sarah Palin’s “mixed record” is a euphemism at best — the only things on the positive side of the ledger are that she vetoed an anti-gay law (because she believed it was unconstitutional), and apparently she interacts respectfully with openly gay individuals. But there’s nothing really “mixed” about her stand on gay issues — she’s simply on the wrong side.

For me, and for some gay voters, national security is a more pressing issue in selecting a president. I think Palin was a bad choice on the basis of experience (although she is better qualified on that basis than Obama). But I think her reform record is admirable, and since for now at least she clearly is helping the ticket, I’ll take my chances on McCain’s continued good health.

Along the same lines, I also want to note estimates that nearly one out of every four gay voters pulled the lever for Bush in 2004 (as did I), despite Bush’s odious support for the proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. (As for this year’s GOP nominee: “In the Senate, McCain has been an ardent opponent of a federal constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, arguing his case on federalist grounds.”)

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