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12/18/2013

Mass. GOP activist: Gay Republicans 'more dangerous' than liberal Democrats

by Jeremy Hooper

MassResistance's Brian Camenker has a really odd plan for moving his party forward:

[Openly gay Republican congressional candidate Richard Tisei] is challenging Democrat incumbent John Tierney, who beat him in 2012. Camenker says it would be better for Tisei to lose to Tierney again. "I've always believed that having a liberal Republican who is intent on changing the party to the left is much more dangerous than a liberal Democrat," the conservative activist states. "I would certainly prefer to see Tisei lose than to have him win."

Camenker says the Republican establishment has some sort of fantasy that liberals will vote for them if they run people who are like Democrats.
[ONN]

What Brian doesn't understand is that comments like his are also helping progressive Democrats, regardless of how he ends up voting. He's telling more moderate minded voters, who might be somewhat inclined to support pro-equality, pro-choice Republicans, that such views should be off limits on the GOP side. Whereas the most committed on the Democratic side are pushing for more freedom, and the conversation of equality has passed the point of debate and become a complete and utter no-brainer, Brian is reminding folks that a substantial block of the Republican party's most committed will never come around to a peaceful, benign, inclusive America that finds places at the table for LGBT brothers and sisters. For equality-minded voters who might have a more independent streak, Brian is sending out a cold reminder that this is, in fact, still the party that takes a decided stand for discrimination.

Eventually the GOP will leave the likes of Camenker behind, realizing that his small tent vision is a major liability for a party that wants to remain viable in the 21st century. That will be a good day. But for now, the GOP—which, might I remind you, still very much stands in opposition to marriage equality, the Employment NonDiscrimination Act, etc.—is still catering to Brian's tent and the circus underneath. Those who support an openly gay congressional candidate might be hoping to change from within, but sadly I think this lone act is not nearly enough to move a ship that is still so beholden to (and dragged down by) its long tail of LGBT discrimination. For now, when it comes to LGBT equality, there remains a clear difference between the parties.

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