Posted in current events, democrat, election, gay, lgbt, news, politics, republican, Uncategorized

Could You Vote for an LGBT Supporting Republican? Vote in the Poll

Exit polling from the 2012 Presidential Election
Exit polling from the 2008 and 2012 Presidential Elections

The breakdown of the demographics of voters in an election has always fascinated me. You can typically know that for the most part, a specific demographic of individuals is going to vote for a certain political party or a ballot initiative based upon their demographics. Gay people, women, other minorities and the poor are more likely to vote for democrats compared to Caucasians, the rich, Christians and straight men are more likely to vote for a republican candidate.

The midterm elections of 2014 are already shaping up to have many interesting races to follow. In Pennsylvania the incumbent governor may become the first governor to be unseated by a challenger in the state’s history. There is also a real possibility of Pennsylvania nominating its first female governor. The governor’s race in Texas will be intriguing to watch as the state legislature continues to pass polarizing initiatives and Rick Perry is not going to seek reelection (Could he be gearing up for another run for the White House?). The mayoral and city comptroller races in New York City that will be held later this year featuring two candidates with sex scandals are sure to be entertaining.

ballotbox

As the dynamics of the 2014 elections are beginning to take shape, I pondered a question that I want to conduct some research on for a future blog entry that I will present before the November 2014 elections.

As a gay man, I have considered myself to be conservative for a while now. My support for Republican candidates has been swaying over the years as I have become more disgruntled by the way Republican candidates pander to the neo-conservative base of their party. John McCain was one of the most moderate conservatives to run for president in many years. Rumors say he wanted Joe Lieberman as his running mate in 2008, but the conservative base refused that notion and instead he chose Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. One of the reasons Mitt Romney was able to be the governor of the liberal state of Massachusetts because of his willingness to cross party lines and being a moderate. He too was forced to become a hardline Republican to win over the pocketbooks of large neo-conservative donors, which makes up only a small fraction of the republican party. Most Americans want a moderate president, Congress, governors and state legislatures. I often feel disenfranchised by both of the main political parties in this country because we get two polarizing candidates instead of the more moderate politicians.

Senator John McCain
Senator John McCain

Bipartisanship is becoming a bad word in this country and each side prefer to stonewall their opposing party. One of the latest examples of this comes to us from Wyoming Senatorial candidate Liz Cheney. She recently made a statement about bipartisanship in Obama’s administration by saying, “Instead of cutting deals with the president’s allies in Congress, we can be opposing them every step of the way.” Now don’t get me wrong, Congresspeople that treat bipartisanship as a disease come from both sides of the political aisle. I’m getting a bit off topic here, so I digress.

I assume the majority of my blog’s viewers are either gay or support the LGBT community. Republicans have given a bad name to themselves by becoming the “moral crusaders” over the years. I believe over the next few years we will see some republicans evolve on the issue of LGBT rights. We’ve already seen it with some lesser known Republicans that ran for president in 2012. Former Ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman, Jr. acknowledge his support for civil unions for gay couples. We also saw Former New Mexico Governor, Gary Johnson support full marriage equality for LGBT couples. He ran for the Republican nomination before dropping out and winning the Libertarian nomination for president. He was the candidate I supported after Jon Huntsman dropped out of the nominating process. With an impending evolution of republicans, I wonder how many of you could support a Republican candidate for political office if they supported equal rights for the LGBT community in America.

Former Ambassador to China with his family including his adoptive children.
Former Ambassador to China with his family including his adoptive children.

Now to get down to the meat of my intention for this entry. I would like to know if those that identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, transexual/transgendered, or a heterosexual supporter of gay rights would vote for a republican candidate for any political office if the candidate was supportive of LGBT rights. What if they are an active supporter and would advocate for LGBT rights? What if they were passive and while support gay rights they would not actively campaign for the passage of pro-LGBT legislation? Why would you, or why would you not?

For my straight conservative friends out there, could you support either scenarios I have painted above? Why or why not? And, if no, could you support a candidate that is running as a democrat if they were against gay rights? Why or why not?

I have provided multiple methods of voting and letting your opinion be heard. You can vote in the polls below, you can answer in the comments, you can tweet me at PoliticalQueers, or you can email me at zenzeis@outlook.com. For the sake of this entry, please refrain from saying couldn’t vote for a candidate because of other issues you may disagree with. For instance many might say they couldn’t vote for a republican because they’re pro-choice and the candidate is pro-life. Think only of the fact the candidate is a republican and supports gay rights. Let me know if you email or tweet me your opinion if you voted in the poll as well.

I plan to publish my unscientific findings at another time in the future. I want to get a good turnout for this poll and ask that you pass the poll around to your networks. Also, I plan to use some comments I get. Let me know if you want to remain anonymous. If you don’t state you want to be anonymous I will assume I can identify you in the future post. I look forward to seeing the results! Thank you so much for helping me on this.

Posted in Defense of Marriage Act, democrat, DOMA, gay, gop, government, homosexuality, lgbt, libertarian, marriage, marriage equality, news, politics, prop 8, republican, same-sex marriage, supreme court, Uncategorized

[UPDATED: June 23, 2013] Supreme Court Watch: Prop 8 and Defense of Marriage Act

gay

When I first started brainstorming ideas on a new blog I could start with a specific but broad enough theme to it, I assumed I would eventually broach the subject of marriage equality. I didn’t originally plan to talk about this topic so soon, or even as my first political entry. I think with marriage equality being at the forefront of the gay rights movement and with the fight reaching the Supreme Court that its important to discuss the topic now.

In March, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments about two major marriage equality questions. They first heard arguments about the voter-approved Constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman only in California. The case is officially known has Hollingsworth v. Perry. It is unofficially called and more widely known as Proposition 8 or Prop 8. The following day, the justices heard oral arguments about the Defense of Marriage Act. Rulings on both cases are expected to be handed down sometime next month.

Opponents of marriage equality cite religion as the reason why same-sex couples should not be afforded the same rights as their heterosexual counterparts. They also argue that the definition of marriage cannot be changed. A problem is that many religious people believe they have full ownership over marriage. Marriage actually predates many organized religions and same-sex marriage was not uncommon. Not until around 342 AD did rules start getting placed on marriage. The point here is that until religion came along, same-sex marriage was a common practice.

The problem with people claiming the definition of marriage cannot be changed is that the definition has changed throughout time. Marriage was once seen more of a transaction between a man and the bride’s father than about being in a loving and committed relationship. For a price, the man could trade something to the bride’s father for the right to marry her. The woman was seen more as property than an equal counterpart to the marriage. A woman was to be a baby-making machine that catered to the household needs. She would cook, clean, do laundry, etc. The man provided a house, money and protection for the woman. Today, in western culture, marriage is about one man and one woman having a loving, committed and equal footing on the relationship. The roles the man and woman have changed over time, therefore the definition of marriage has changed through time.

Several religions have also defined marriage in more than one way. The Bible defines marriage in many different ways, eight to be exact. Judaism also had multiple definitions of marriage, including polygyny. Islam also allows for polygyny. Hinduism used to allow for polygyny until 1955 and Buddhism believed in marriage to be more of a civil ritual compared to a religious rite.

People tend to forget that in American history, marriage is not only a religious institution. Marriage represents a civil contract and a religious union. The problem lies in the fact that marriage and religion have become so intertwined through history that it’s hard for most people to separate the two types of marriage from each other. The fight for marriage equality in the United States isn’t a fight for religious marriages, but a fight for civil marriage equality. ¬†We don’t live in a theocracy, or have a government that prefers one religion over another, or we’re not supposed to. Religion holds no bearing on the argument for or against marriage equality.

Since the defendants in Hollingsworth v Perry can’t argue that same-sex marriage would impede on religious principles, what have they decided to argue? They are arguing that same-sex couples can be discriminated against and treated differently than opposite-sex couples, because gay people can’t procreate. Yes, you read that right. Before the Supreme Court Justices, the defendants argued that same-sex marriage can be banned because a requirement for marriage must be about two people’s abilities to have biological children. The defendants were asked about infertile couples and older couples, but tried to sidestep those logical arguments. Marriage isn’t about procreation. Marriage is about two loving and consenting adults entering into a bond together.

The plaintiffs in the Prop 8 case are arguing that the defendants do not hold bearing to represent the state of California and do not have direct consequences as a result of Prop 8 being overturned. They also argued that banning same sex marriage is a violation of the 14th amendment of the United States Constitution.

While it’s a no-brainer where I stand on the issue, I don’t think this case is going to legalize marriage equality for the entire United States. The United States Supreme Court has a couple of rulings they can make at their disposal. The first, unlikely ruling is that banning same-sex marriage anywhere in the United States is unconstitutional and marriage equality must be provided to everyone. The second possible ruling is that states that have created a “separate but equal” type of state, in which gay people are provided with domestic partnerships or civil unions are unconstitutional and marriage equality must be given in those particular states only. These states would include California, Oregon, Nevada, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan and New Jersey. The third and more likely ruling will sort of be like a non-ruling in a sense. The Supreme Court Justices in a split 5-4 decision will uphold the ruling of the Ninth Circuit of Appeals. In essence, same-sex marriage will be legalized in California and California only. They will agree with the lower court of appeal’s decision that the defendants do not have grounds to represent the state of California in the Prop 8 debate. I believe we will have to have another couple or group of couples appeal their denial of a marriage license in order to get the landmark decision we are all hoping for.

The Defense of Marriage Act is a law that was passed by the United States Congress in the 90s and signed into law by President Bill Clinton, a democrat. The law defined marriage as between a man and a woman and gave states permission to not recognize marriage equality when two same-sex people are married in a state that recognizes marriage equality. I expect this court case to be a huge victory for equality in the United States. I’m a little less knowledgeable on what the specific vote will come down to, but I do believe the Defense of Marriage Act will be ruled unconstitutional. During the oral arguments in March, most of the Supreme Court justices seemed to question the constitutionality of DOMA. A ruling on this case is also expected sometime next month. It will likely be around the same time, if not at the same time when the justices rule on the constitutionality of Proposition 8. If DOMA is struck down as unconstitutional, this will put into place the federal government having to provide federal benefits to couples that are married in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage. We will start seeing states that do not already have a Defense of Marriage Act of their own passing these laws in order to make it so gay couples’ marriages in other states are not recognized in the state they are going to or may currently live in. I think gay couples that are not able to be married and get federal benefits simply based upon their state’s recognition of a “traditional” marriage will have better chances of getting a case to the Supreme Court and getting a more sweeping ruling in the future.

I hope to be able to write about these victories next month and I plan to eventually write a bit more extensively about same-sex marriage.

Posted in democrat, gay, gop, government, green party, homosexuality, lesbian, lgbt, libertarian, marriage equality, news, politics, republican, Uncategorized

A Quick Update

Hey everyone. I just wanted people to know that I am still out here. I’ve been a little busy, so I haven’t been able to make my first real post as quickly as I had planned to. I have been working on it though. I just signed the blog up for a twitter account. If you want to keep up to date on what is going on with the blog and get updates I find about the gay community, then you’ll want to follow me on twitter.

 

Twitter: queerpolitical

 

I can’t wait to get the discussion going.