One of the many challenges conservatives face today is moving away from old social views and into the future. As the election season comes to a close, I think one particular group of voters has been left in the dark and ultimately discriminated against on many different levels – the homosexual republicans.
Although the older platform of the Republican Party is against a Constitutional equal marriage act, the direction of the new party, the future of the party, is considering alternatives to ensure the rights of all citizens no matter what their sexual orientation is.
The past couple of years, the Democratic Party has been labeled as the party of tolerance and acceptance. You would hope, in such a liberal state like Massachusetts, this would be true but recently the acceptance toward gay Republicans has been brought to the limelight in this state.
First of all, we have our first-ever openly gay Republican candidate running for congress in the 6th District. Richard Tisei, former Minority Leader of the Massachusetts Senate, is part of one of the most watched congressional races in the nation, contesting against the 8-term Congressman John Tierney. Recent polling has shown Tisei leading by almost 17 points, and with the recent endorsement from The Boston Globe, this modern Republican candidate is making progress within the party on the rights of homosexual couples. But just because Tisei is leading in polls does not mean he has not faced challenges during his campaign trail. Tisei is fighting for the future of the Republican Party, but other voters, on both sides of the political atmosphere, aren’t as enthusiastic for the party to progress.
In another recent incident, the youth coordinator for the Scott Brown campaign, Ross Hemminger, was personally harassed at the Framingham Senate debate stand out. While Hemminger was leading the crowd in shouting “Go, Scott, Go!” the opposition started chanting “You sound gay” and then two of the Elizabeth Warren supporters walked up to Hemminger and starting saying derogatory remarks toward him and his sexuality. Not only are these actions hypocritical on a political standpoint, but blatantly rude and damaging towards a person. No matter what your political opinions are, comments like the ones said to this campaign staffer, whether he was a staffer or not, are wrong. If the youth of this country wants to start promoting equality, we need to start at the basics on all sides of the political arena.
“I’ve been tabling for Republican candidates on my campus,” sais Emerson College Republicans President and Massachusetts Alliance of College Republicans Treasurer, Paul Almieda, “and people will seriously come up to me and ask me if I am crazy or something for sitting here. No, I’m not. I may be gay, but I still relate most to the Republican party’s platform economically and on the majority of its social issues. The fact that I am gay isn’t my only concern with our country.”
Just because a person is homosexual does not mean he or she automatically relates to the Democratic Party. If this is our future, we need to accept that there will be both conservatives and liberals in the gay community and we need to still follow our basic principle of treating them all the same, no matter what their political standpoint is.