By Daniel Borgen, PQ Monthly
If you’re anything like me, you might find it hard to separate queer politics from other sorts, even those you might feel strongly about–tax reform, economics, you name it. So when a candidate as vehemently anti-gay as Mitt Romney has become, it’s hard to imagine supporting him in any scenario–when someone is campaigning so hard and so fervently against your right to simply be equal, in my mind there’s not much of a choice. There’s little room for nuance and debate when someone wants to roll back rights to pre-Stonewall days.
So it’s with great interest that we turn today to The Advocate‘s dissection of GOProud’s recent endorsement of Romney–the one that caused a bit of a ruckus this week. (GOProud is an American 527 representing conservative queers.)
It turns out the endorsement had only two gay backers. More, from the story: “Four of seven GOProud board members supported the endorsement, and of those only two are gay: Jimmy LaSalvia and Bruce Carroll.” That means the endorsement heard ’round the world came very close to not happening at all. (LaSalvia is executive director.)
To revisit the ED’s statement: “GOProud is the first and only organization representing gay Americans to endorse Governor Romney’s Presidential bid.” When called upon for comment on the board’s narrow, split decision (and alleged lack of queer support), LaSilvia had this to say: “GOProud represents gay and straight conservatives. Every member of our board’s vote counts the same regardless of their sexual orientation. That’s the definition of equality.”
Funny, I thought the definition of equality had more to do with all citizens being equal.
Thankfully, The Advocate pulled this up from about a month ago, where LaSilvia lamented publicly about Romney’s various shortcomings: “With his speech at [Jerry] Falwell’s Liberty University, it is clear that Governor Romney’s message to Goldwater conservatives is: drop dead. Many on our board and among our grassroots supporters have long had reservations about Governor Romney’s record – particularly when it comes to issues of importance to conservatives.” Many on our board = must be talking about the gay ones.
And: “If Romney expects to be the candidate who can beat Obama in November then he needs to embrace a strategy that makes victory possible – falling into the culture war trap laid by Obama is a guaranteed electoral loser.” Well, there’s some verbiage I can get behind.
I suppose we’re all allowed changes of heart.
If you’re interested in the rest of the story, check it out here.