Texas Liberal

All People Matter

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 »

  1. This was an interesting read. You brought up a situation that I never imagined, the support of equal rights by both parties. I’ve never even thought about it because I’ve spent my whole life hating Republicans mainly for their stance on gay rights. Don’t get me wrong, I agree with Democrats on many issues, but there are some things I don’t agree with all the time. While I am a gay liberal, there should be a relatively equal balance of gay conservatives, including a number who vote for Democratic candidates only for their stance on gay rights. After all, I know plenty who vote Republican in spite of it.

    Neither of those candidates got the endorsement did they? I just assumed the GLBT Causes printed a single page with a big D on it.

    Comment by Ian | November 11, 2008

  2. i would imagine most republicans that are not fanical are not too interested in the life sytles of those they are not familiar with. with the exception of the religious extreme most people probably dont care who marries who. though 8 passing in cali was a suprise to me. so maybe there is more a phobia that i gave the country credit for. I think all people should marry who the want, they deserve the same rights as anyone else. maybe its not called marrige but serves the same legal obligation and is recognized as a committment.

    Comment by bill brady | November 11, 2008

  3. Ian–Much as I dislike Republicans, it does make sense that many gays would be Republican all other things being equal. I’m not sure how long it will take, but I bet the Republican view changes. Or at least becomes more muted.

    Neither of those candidates got an endorsement.

    Bill–All people should be allowed to marry and people’s right to marry should not be up for a vote.

    Thanks for both comments.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | November 12, 2008


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