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July 12, 2008

Unlikely Support From A Black Conservative Republican

Ward Connerly is a black conservative republican who is not exactly the kind of political conservative most of us in the GLBT community would applaud.

In fact, according to a July 6th article in The Arizona Republic, Mr Connerly "...has made a name for himself - and some would say a lucrative career in the process - as a Black man at the forefront of the battle to end racial and gender preference in the workplace and on campus."

Now most of us usually equate conservative opposition to Affirmative Action to anti-gay everything positions as well. And, unfortunately, that has all to often proven to be the case. But wait --- there seems to be much more to Mr Connerly than a superficial glance would show.

Regardless of whether or not you agree or disagree with his argument against continuing Affirmative Action (see the whole article), what he says later in the interview definitely caught my attention.

When Mr. Connerly was asked by Viewpoints Editor Joe Garcia, "You've been a proponent of domestic partnerships for gay couples, which puts you at odds with a core element of the Republican Party. How do you marry the two stances, if you will - anti-affirmative action but in favor of gay rights or domestic partnerships?"

Mr. Connerly replied:

"Very, very easily. I don't want the government making decisions about people's personal lives or making decisions about treating people differently on the basis of their identities. So, to me, it's a natural fit. . . .

The government shouldn't be making distinctions about people on the basis of what they do in the privacy of their bedrooms. And those within my party that try to inject the government into that, they're not the conservative, I'm the conservative. I'm saying, keep government small, keep government out of people's personal lives. If you're going to give benefits to people who happen to be straight, give the same benefits to people who are gay. That to me was a very easy call.

I took a lot of heat from "strong conservatives" who said that I was eroding the concept of marriage. I'm not "eroding the concept of marriage." If marriage is that fragile, that giving people who are gay equal benefit (would cause harm), then we're in big trouble. I believe in the institution of marriage, but I also believe in freedom. I believe in treating people equally. . . .

I grew up in a time when I was forbidden from marrying people who were not of my race. In 1962, when my wife and I got married, in some parts of the country, we would have been breaking the law. It wasn't until 1967, when the Supreme Court in the Loving (vs. Virginia) case said that that's unconstitutional. So, I feel very strongly that the government shouldn't be treating people differently just because they are gay."

Now that's the kind of statement I can easily applaud him for. What really ruffles my feathers though is if a man like Connerly gets it so easily then why can't others see the same simple logic? Of course, I have my opinions about that but that's for another post addressing the paranoid, or even avaricious, meddlings of most of the church institutions. That, in my opinion, is the main engine driving much of the homophobia throughout the world today. That and politics of convenience.

To read the whole article/interview, go to: Arizona Republic PDF File


Rainbow Dragon 76 said...

Good for Mr. Connerly. He is a good guy.