Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Gay Waterboy for the Right

It is not easy being a gay Republican. The first thing I've heard other gays tell me is that being a gay Republican is akin to being a Jew for Hitler.

That always bothers me. No, it angers me. In the years I've been involved with Log Cabin, I've worked hard to gay rights. I've lobbied legislators and been a voice for inclusion. I know many gay Republicans who are working hard to fight what some have called, the last respectable prejudice.

So, it's rather dismaying to see that the lead spokesman for anti gay GOP Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA)is gay. He was recently outed by a gay blogger. Not only is he gay, but he stands by his boss. Robert Traynham says about Santorum:

"Senator Santorum is a man of principle. He is a man who sticks up for what he believes in. I strongly do support Senator Santorum."

Santorum has a history of attacking gays. In 2003, shortly after the Supreme Court struck down sodomy laws in Lawrence v. Texas, the Pennsylvania Senator compared consensual gay sex to bigamy and incest. Here is the memorable quote:

"If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual (gay) sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything..."

Santorum is standing by his gay spokesman, calling him an "exemplary staffer" and a "trusted friend [and] confidant to me and my family." He then chides those who have outed him.

I don't agree with outing. It does nothing to advance gay rights. What is the story here is that Mr. Traynham is working for a man that is actively trying to curtail his rights. People will look to him as an example of all gay Republicans who basically kow tow to the far right. He is an embarrasment.

As for Santorum, it's nice that he considers Traynham an fine person. But I'm at a loss to explain why he is then so willing to treat Mr. Tranyham with such "respect" and yet won't allow him to be an equal in the eyes of the law.

It's a bad situation all around.


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