Texas Liberal

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Should Houston’s Gay Voters Consider Republicans?

Two incumbent Republicans running for judgeships in Harris County, Texas have applied for the endorsement of the Houston Gay Lesbian Bisexual & Transgender Political Caucus.

For information’s sake, the two judges are Mark Davidson and Sharolyn Wood. I don’t know anything about either of these people. The records of these judges is not relevant to this post in any case.

The question is should the Houston GLBT, and gay voters in general, consider Republican candidates? The Republican record towards gay rights is so poor and mean-spirited, it’s fair to ask why any gay person would vote for any Republican.

Still, I feel the Houston GLBT caucus should consider Republicans. I say this even though I believe the rights of one group of people are connected to the rights of all people. Hopefully, the endorsement interview process asks a variety of questions about a broad number of civil rights topics. An assurance that just the rights of gays will be protected is not enough.

These things said, we see with black voters the perils of voting for only one party. Or of only having one party willing to take you. (This last issue could be a problem for gay voters as well. The chairman of the Harris County Republican Party, Jared Woodfill, is opposed to Republicans seeking the GLBT endorsement.)

Not forgetting that many good and principled people run for office as Democrats in America’s cities, many urban Democratic parties have essentially acquiesced to border-line genocidal rates of AIDS and incarceration among black Americans.

Options blacks have now are to vote for the Democrat and hope for the best, consider a third-party candidate if one exists, not vote in a specific race if both candidates are odious, or wait what could be a lifetime for the Republican Party to change.

Another option might be, for both blacks and gays, as a kind of experiment, consider a Republican in the limited context of one or two small-time offices and see if it leads to better treatment by Republicans.

I realize some number of gay voters would like to be Republicans if only the party would stop saying they will spend eternity in Hell. Democrats would lose these people if Republicans see some light on gay rights. Yet on the other hand, if both parties competed for gay voters, issues related to gay people might not become wedge issues used to help defeat Democrats.

Politics is in good part about using people. When you offer your support to same folks time and time again, you are likely to get used. You will be taken for granted.

As long as Houston’s GLBT Caucus is keeping in mind what’s best for all people and not just one group of people, they might do well to keep their options open.

August 2, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Houston, Politics, Texas | , , , , , , | 3 Comments