Sometimes friends and family are surprised by my support for the Democratic Party and more specifically the Liberal base of that party, but my political views were shaped in the 80s and 90s when I was coming to grips with both my sexuality and the politics of that time.
In the mid- to late-80s I could not understand why President Ronald Reagan sat idly by while tens of thousands of quilts were being sewn in memory of those who died from AIDS. In the 90s the Christian Coalition reached the heights of its influence in the Republican Party and with leaders like Speaker Gingrich they drove through discriminatory legislation like Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Don't Ask, Don't Tell all while funding local initiatives to limit and deny gay men and women basic rights such as adoption, hospital visitation rights, etc...
No longer a kid and no longer apologizing for my sexual orientation, my disdain for the Republican Party started to turn to rage when in the 2000 Presidential election Bush returned campaign donations to The Log Cabin Republicans (a GLBT Republican group) and several high profile gay donors, because they were gay and then was applauded by the entire leadership of the Republican Party.
Obama's win knocked the wind out of the Republican Party. But now the party is back and will likely take control of one or both of the houses in the U.S. Congress. Unfortunately, this isn’t the result of the Party moving to the center or becoming more inclusive. This comes from what I describe as an unholy alliance with the newly, rebranded Christian Conservative now called The Tea Party.
So discussions about taxes, economics, foreign or domestic policy aside - until the Republican Party defends GLBT rights and calls out the homophobic slurs their supporters seem content to regularly hurl at me and people like me, I will not consider any other alternative when I enter a voting booth. To the rest of the US who seem to be readily accepted and have representation in both parties - I say lucky you, but think of me when you’re voting because who you elect impacts me too.
Update - 10/5/2010
Earlier this month, GOP Senate leader, Tom DeMint's told attendees at a rally that had significant media coverage he would work to deny gays the right to be in certain professions, such as teaching school.
No wonder I feel like I'm at war with this party? Insert the word Jewish, Black, Latino in place of the word "gays" and the Republican party would be distancing themselves. Sadly this is just the latest in an onslaught of weekly garbage I have to listen to. Is it any wonder gay kids are being bullied or feeling isolated. Look what the "adults" of this country are saying with impunity and often times to the cheers of thousands. You can read the full story here.