When did LGBT equality become merely a ‘social issue?’Editorial, Top Highlights Thursday, September 13th, 2012
Ryan Trabuco, president of the San Diego Log Cabin Republicans, wrote an eloquent response to my desire to understand LGBT Republicans. What I find interesting is that while his arguments were written beautifully, they can easily be refuted.
First Ryan says, “Our very first Republican platform in 1856 advocates ‘equal rights for all citizens,’ a clear testament to our party’s founding values that even to this day, are values that I personally cherish.” Ryan admits that today there are elements within his party that he disagrees with on “social issues.”
“Social issues.” When did LGBT civil rights become a social issue? Underage drinking, drugs; those are social issues. My ability to not be fired from my job for being gay or to have the same inheritance rights as heterosexual couples are not social issues, they are about my equality in the United States.
Ryan is right when he states that “I acknowledge publicly that I do not agree with my party’s stances on social issues, but I’m not bound or forced to promote and advocate for those issues, and I choose not to.”
That’s the problem, the thought that LGBT equality is not a civil right, it is simply a pesky “social issue.” Civil rights are those given to a person based upon birthright. They ensure a citizen’s ability to fully participate in the civil and political life of the state, without discrimination or repression, and protect the freedom of classes of persons and individuals from unwarranted infringement into those rights by governments, private organizations and other entities. That’s what the LGBT civil rights movement is about; we are not a social issue.
So I finally get it. LGBT equality is not a civil right to LGBT Republicans and other issues matter more. It was very brave of Ryan to admit what so many LGBT Republicans try to avoid, LGBT equality is at best a back-burner social issue.
Ryan says, “I am proud to stand with you on issues like marriage equality and adoption rights, but there is so much more than just a platform that states ‘We support marriage equality’ – there is a governing philosophy that is starkly different.”
Yes, a governing philosophy which discriminates against the LGBT community. Ryan believes the Democratic platform espouses big government, with which he vehemently disagrees. OK. You know the big government that saved the auto industry, repealed Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, eliminated monetary caps by health insurance companies and allowed LGBT people hospital visitation rights. I kind of like that government.
Ryan also eloquently talks about his efforts to change the Republican Party from within with respect to the “social issue” of LGBT equality. Of course, those efforts have failed, but “progress” has been made over the last few election cycles.
Ryan, as you “circle the bubble” for the Romney-Ryan ticket, I have one question; why couldn’t you try to change the fiscal philosophy of the Democratic Party from within? At least the Democrats support your equality. It might be an easier task.
San Diego LGBT Weekly
Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=28878