I'm not sure than anyone who reads this blog much cares for my periodic political rants, but that's not going to stop me from making one.
It's no secret that I'm a Democrat. That wasn't always the case. As recently as 2004 I was a registered Republican in New York state (though I've been moving steadily to the left in my politics since about 2001). But I am a Democrat now, and next Tuesday I'll be casting my vote for Bob Menendez in the hopes that he will be a part of a Democratic majority in the United States Senate. On issues ranging from tax policy to immigration to homeland security to the war in Iraq, my views are better represented by the Democrats than the GOP. Plus, I'm sick to death of hearing Republicans demonize those who oppose the Bush Administration's strategy (or lack thereof) in Iraq and the fight against global terrorism as unpatriotic cowards at best, traitors at worst.
But one issue makes my blood boil: GOP hypocrisy on gay rights. As others have pointed out of late, demonizing gays and fighting same-sex marriage is a tried-and-true Republican campaign tactic. And with the recent court ruling in New Jersey granting gay couples the same rights as heterosexual couples, Republican anti-gay rhetoric has been turned up several notches. President Bush has been leading the way in fighting to "protect" "traditional" marriage.
Nevermind that I have yet to hear a coherent and convincing argument about how homosexuals wanting to make a commitment to each other is anti-family or threatens the marriages of heterosexual couples. (Indeed, given that many gay men and women are parents, I think opposition to gay marriage is the true anti-family position.) President Bush has perfected the art of demonizing his political opponents, so it's pretty easy to dismiss his rhetoric as a simple manifestation of his propensity to adopt immoral and dishonest campaign tactics.
What infuriates is that the GOP does this while relying on the talents and skills of gays and lesbians to, among other things, run the House of Representatives, implement global health policy, advise members of Congress and manage their staffs, and manage its political campaigns. I'm tempted to condemn those gays and lesbians who work for politicians and policymakers who demonize them and stand in opposition to granting them equality in their relationships. But my scorn is reserved instead for the GOP leaders, from President Bush to Senator Rick Santorum (whose chief spokesman is gay) to Karl Rove (whose adoptive father was gay), who so callously use these people for political gain while stomping on their dignity and humanity.
When I was living life in the closet, passing as a straight man, it was easy for me to not care much about all of this. Now that I am acutely aware that I as a gay man am a target of such hateful politics, I find it much harder to swallow. I see activism in my future.