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COMMENTARY: The myth of the tolerant Republican

So, the question I was asked is this: “Barb, do you really think I’m a bad person because I’m a Republican?” That question was followed by this: “You know I support gay rights; how can you say I don’t based on the fact that I’m voting for Mitt Romney? I’m not like Michele Bachmann or Rush Limbaugh and don’t you say I am.”

Well, the fact of the matter is; yes, you are. If you vote Republican – this is who you are. This is the party that you align yourself with, this is your moral code, and this is what you believe. You are aligned with Rick Santorum, Herman Cain, Mike Huckabee, Rick Perry and the ever-popular John Boehner.

Be proud that you stand with Mitch McConnell, who made no pretense about making sure Barack Obama was a one-term President being his single most important political goal, and then made sure that the United States Senate derailed every bill President Obama placed before them that may have done something to help the economy. At a time when the people of the United States needed help the most and needed to feel united as a people – the Republicans did absolutely nothing to help – in fact, they did all they could to make sure nothing got done just to make the President look bad. This is who you are aligned with if you are a Republican.

If you are a Republican woman, you can pride yourself in having the same moral code as Jan Brewer, and stand tall knowing that you have aligned yourself with the party that has given us forced vaginal ultrasounds, and want to decimate Planned Parenthood. Make no mistake that you are aligned with the likes of Michelle Bachmann, Christine O’Donnell and Sarah Palin, who really don’t have the best interest of any women in their hearts – except maybe their own.

For those of us in the gay community, Republicans have little to no tolerance for us. Oh, don’t tell me you do when you want to vote for people who want to take away all that we have fought so hard to achieve. And honestly, why should we have to fight for the right to marry when it was given to us by the Founders that the Republicans love to identify with. We all know why; Republicans and their religion.

Why do Republicans align themselves with these Christian Evangelicals who are just intolerant of everyone who doesn’t believe what they do? Even if you do call yourself a Christian – if you don’t believe in their radical, evangelical, homophobic ways, then you aren’t the right sort of Christian. I didn’t know there was a right or a wrong way to be a Christian, but apparently by Republican standards there most certainly is.

Why any gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered person would want to associate with the Republican Party is a mystery to me. Self-loathing, ignorance, tradition – whatever you might say it is – I don’t get it. This isn’t the party of tolerance and understanding. This is the party of Paul Ryan, who was asked by Jim Daly, the president of the homophobic Focus on the Family, about gay marriage and said the following:

“It’s the foundation for society and for family for thousands of years. First of all, Mitt Romney and I — I’ll just say it, it’s worth repeating — we believe marriage is between one man and one woman, that’s number one. Number two, you know where I come from we had one of those amendments in Wisconsin, I was a big supporter of it and we passed it like you say, where it’s put on the ballot it passes. The second point is, President Obama gave up defending the Defense of Marriage Act in the courts, I mean, not only is this decision to abandon this law the wrong decision, it passed in a bipartisan manner, it is very troubling because it undermines not only traditional marriage but it contradicts our system of government. It’s not the president’s job to pick and choose which laws he likes. A Romney administration will protect traditional marriage and the rule of law and we will provide the Defense of Marriage Act the proper defense in the courts that it deserves.”

Let’s be real here – Mitt Romney isn’t going to balance the budget or give us jobs in four years. What he will do is make sure the gay community can’t get married and women can’t get abortions, and he will continue to send his money to the safe tax-free safe havens offshore and give tax breaks to his billionaire buddies. Those are a given, the rest of his plan for the country is iffy.

So, you can tell me that you are tolerant, and you love me and you support me, and that you want smaller government, and you’re fiscally responsible, etc. – all I will see is that you identify yourself with a group of people who are hateful, intolerant, judgmental, racist, homophobic and xenophobic.

If you are a gay Republican, please know that the Republican Party doesn’t like you, nor do they respect you: They want you gone, or at least changed. Understand this first and foremost and then decide if your smaller government is worth your self-respect.

Barb Hamp Weicksel was born in 1952 in Pennsylvania and moved to California in the early 1980s, where she met her partner Susan. They've been together some 30 years and share the love of Susan's four children, nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Her blog, Barb's Gift of Gab," can be found HERE.)