Sunday, October 09, 2005

Gay Republicans - Not such a rarity

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From the Washington Blade: Gay Republican rebel Matthew Tien is conservative, Christian and Republican By JAY BARRY | Oct 9, 11:34 AM For a lot of sexual, ethnic and religious minorities, politics is fairly easy: Clinton, good. Bush, bad. Democrats, good. Republicans, bad. Religious Republicans, really bad. Mathew Tsien says he isn’t a gay Republican in spite of his Chinese and Democratic background, but precisely because of it. (Photo by Jay Barry) But things are nor that cut and dried for Matthew Tsien. Tsien is bisexual. And of Chinese descent. But he’s also a Republican. A conservative Republican. In fact, he’s a religious conservative Republican. Republican are welcoming, gays are not Tsien currently serves as vice president for development of the Florida Gold Coast Log Cabin Republicans, the gay wing of the Republican party. “We’re just as much a part of the Republican base as the women’s clubs or the young Republicans,” he insists. “We’re chartered by the state party. We’re treated like everyone else.” Well, the Republicans treat him like everyone else, he says. “We get more hostility from the gay community than from fellow Republicans,” he says.“Republicans are glad we’re here. Republicans are a very diverse group. It’s gays that wish we didn’t exist.” In fact, he says, “It’s a whole lot easier to be gay in the Republican party than to be Republican in the gay community. But everyone forgets that 25 percent of gays — one million gay people — voted for Bush.” Raised a Democrat by his schoolteacher mom in Louisville, Kentucky, “we were very poor,” Tsien relates. “It was a broken home, and my brother was mentally retarded and had cerebral palsy. But my mom was from the World War II generation and very patriotic.” Unquestioning patriotism, the influence of his University of Maryland economics professor father, and a stint in the Air Force put Tsien “at odds with liberalism in the 70s. As an Asian American, I supported the U.S. attempt to liberate Southeast Asia from communism.” What Tsien describes as “the Democratic party’s hatred and anti-Americanism” eventually drove him “out of the Democratic party.” To read the full article CLICK HERE ====== A lot of my friends and colleagues brand me as nothing more than a "closet" Log Cabin Republican. Well, they are wrong... but somewhat right. I am somewhat more conservative than many people in the Democratic Party, but I am still a Democrat. I wish that the more liberal portions of the gay community could realize that there is a broad spectrum of political beliefs within our community. I guess the more liberal gays think that just because someone is "conservative" that means that they are against LGBT civil rights. That is not true. I'm conservative on issues other than those involved with the Gay Rights Movement. My brand of conservatism is also rare. I'm against abortion (but I would not interfere in someone's right to choose), I'm against the death penalty and I am against war. I'm not against those things just because of being "conservative." I am against them because they go against some of the most basic tenents and teachings of my faith: "Thou shall not kill" and "Love your neighbor as yourself", as well as "Love thine enemies." Gay people are just as diverse as the rest of our nation and it is time that the more liberal portions of our community come to respect and accept those with differing political ideologies. It doesn't mean we have to give up working for equality... it just means we might be better off leaving out all of the other political issues which separate us and cause nothing but division.