New Gay-Friendly GOP Targets LGBTQ Voters With Fabulousness, Fearmongering, While Democrats Embrace Hillary Clinton, Transgender Movement

From a limited-government, classical-liberal perspective, neither convention presented an inspiring future for LGBT activism.


Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Newscom

With the battles for same-sex marriage and military privileges won, what's next for the gay-rights movement? Representatives at the recent Republican and Democratic conventions presented drastically different paths forward. For Republicans, it was all about protecting gay people around the world from Islamic extremists. The Democrats' agenda was much more localized, with anti-discrimination laws and transgender visibility among top topics.

Both conventions marked historic moments for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) communities. The Democratic National Convention (DNC) saw its first official transgender caucus and 28 openly transgender delegates (even Montana sent a trans delegate). Overall, there were 515 openly LGBTQ delegates there, according to the Washington Blade. This year's DNC also featured the first openly trans speaker—Sarah McBride—to grace the convention floor of either major party, and delegate Marisa Richmond, a black trans woman from Tennessee, served as the DNC's official timekeeper.

At the Republican National Convention (RNC), gay tech billionaire Peter Thiel gave a headlining speech declaring himself "proud to be gay" and Lynne Patton, vice president of the Eric Trump Foundation, said from the convention floor that "LGBTQ lives matter." One of the hottest after-hours events that week was a pro-queer party where Breitbart contributor Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter—once notorious for anti-gay statements—were scheduled to speak (Coulter didn't end up making it). Meanwhile, Donald Trump made U.S. political history by uttering the phrase LGBTQ in his nomination acceptance speech—a first for a presidential candidate in either major party.

Yet from a limited-government/classical-liberal perspective, neither convention presented an inspiring future for gay and trans activism. Historically, libertarians have been on harmonious with the LGBT movement—Reason and other libertarian outlets were advocating for same-sex marriage and the repeal of sodomy laws back when Democrats didn't even touch these issues. But as the struggle for equality and acceptance moves away from striking down discriminatory state policies into new (and often strange) directions, this once-solid alliance faces a rocky future. These days, even conservative leaders in the LGBTQ movement side with progressives about the need to for new federal laws to stop discrimination, bullying, and other problems facing the LGBTQ community. Meanwhile, a gay-friendly turn in the Republican Party seems predominantly rooted in foreign policy hawkishness, anti-Muslim sentiment, and animosity toward immigrants.

LGBT at the RNC: Fear, Fabulousness, & Federal Power


Trump may have been the first major-party presidential candidate to explicitly say "LGBTQ" at a convention, but the reason he brought up these "wonderful Americans" (new euphemism alert) was in the service of criticizing Islam. After mentioning June's mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Trump promised that as president, "I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology. Believe me!"

The crowd applauded.

"As a Republican," Trump continued, "it's so nice to hear you cheering for what I just said."

For Gregory Angelo, president of the LGBT-conservatives group Log Cabin Republicans, the entire 2016 RNC was refreshing—especially in contrast to the party's official new platform. The 2016 platform is "the most anti-LGBT in the party's 162-year history," said Angelo at a July 26 Equality Forum panel in Philadelphia, held in conjunction with the DNC.

One new plank of the GOP platform states that "marriage between one man and one woman is the foundation for a free society," while another supports gay-conversion therapy. In contrast, the Democratic platform applauded "last year's decision by the Supreme Court that recognized LGBT people—like every other American—have the right to marry the person they love."

And yet, "the overwhelming majority of Republicans were just as disgusted with the platform as [the Log Cabin Republicans] were," said Angelo. "I talked to hundreds of people during the convention who said, 'We're so sorry about the platform. This doesn't represent me.'"

It's a sentiment echoed by Rachel Hoff, who this year became the first openly-gay person to serve on the Republican National Convention's platform committee. "Outside of the platform committee," Hoff told ThinkProgress, "our party is ready to move on."

The GOP has actually "come really far on LGBT issues" in the past four years, argued Angelo. In part, he credits that to the Trump campaign, which has "jettisoned a lot of the more fiery rhetoric around social issues." Angelo thinks Trump can win more of the LGBTQ vote in November than Mitt Romney did in 2012, when he only earned about 23 percent of the LGBT vote against Barack Obama.

As for what the Log Cabin Republicans would like to see from Donald Trump, Angelo says first, "do no harm on marriage equality." Angelo also pushes an amendment to the 1964 Civil Rights Act—which outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin—that would add sexual orientation and gender identity as protected categories. "Hopefully, we will get to a point with Mr. Trump where we have more explicit confirmations of at least his past declared support for federal non-discrimination protections," he said. The group "has supported some form of federal non-discrimination protection for years," Angelo tells me after the panel. And while "there is definitely a libertarian streak within some of our membership that supports a free-market approach to anti-discrimination," Angelo says support for federal law change is hardly a contentious point among members.

In khackis and a navy-blue suit coat, sitting on the Equality Forum stage, Angelo is the picture of gay respectability politics. His group hearkens back to the recent-past, when gay Republicans had to defend their dual allegiances to skeptics in and out of the party. For Log Cabin Republicans, like so many gay activists of the last two decades, gaining political and cultural ground meant playing it safe and emphasizing commonality with straight folks.

The Log Cabin Republicans stand in stark contrast to the young gay conservatives of the so-called "alt-right," led by Milo Yiannopolous—a kind of Ken Kesey for the Fox News generation—and their campy, gleeful rejection of anything deemed "political correctness." Yiannopoulos mixes Coulter-style provocation with the delivery style of a drunk old queen in a Tennessee Williams play. He embraces over-the-top fashion, calls Trump "Daddy," and makes deliberately taboo statements about sex, among everything else. At an RNC event he headlined, the overall vibe was 'Race-Realist' Chic.

A DJ with white-blond hair stood in front of a large Gadsden flag and kept the room lubricated with loud, pulsating pop remixes. Famous white supremacists like VDare founder Peter Brimelow rubbed elbows with men's rights bloggers, notorious Twitter trolls, and far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders. Wall artwork—topless young men in the American Apparel style with a twist: "Make America Great Again" hats—came courtesy of photographer Lucian Wintrich, the force behind Twinks4Trump.

Speaker Pamela Geller wore a sequined rainbow top that said "Love Wins," while Yiannopoulos favored a rainbow gun on his shirt, with the message "WE SHOOT BACK." It was a good encapsulation of the four themes guiding this Breitbart News-organized "WAKE UP!" party: fabulousness, LGBT pride, anti-"PC," and a raging desire to shoot some Muslims (or at least cheer-on for other people doing it).

The Village Voice described the WAKE UP! party's vibe as a new and "scary" mix of "European nativism, good old American Islamophobia," and "the rhetorical enlistment of gay rights in a violent nationalist agenda … all dressed up as something young and sexy and fun." Conservative blogger Robert Stacey McCain allegedly joked to Daily Beast contributor Jamie Kirchick that "it's good to be in a room where I'm not the only person on the [Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) extremist] list."

WAKE UP! invitation

Also on SPLC's list of alleged extremists: Geller and her colleague Peter Spencer, who co-founded the American Freedom Defense Initiative, a group that sometimes goes by the alternate name "Stop Islamization of America." At the WAKE UP! party, she opened her talk with this line:

A jihadi walks into a gay bar. The bartender says, "what'll you have?" And the jihadi says, "shots for everyone."

It fell kind of flat.

According to Geller, Republicans are "the party of defense against a jihad that hangs gays from cranes." (Listen to audio from Geller's talk here.) A 21st-century LGBT movement isn't about "transgender bathrooms," said Geller, but "the persecution, oppression, execution of gays living in Muslim countries under the Sharia. That is gay rights." After the cheering for this sentiment died down, Geller suggested that "all free people should reject the increasingly authoritarian Democrat left. The left stands against free speech, in accordance with Sharia."

Geert Wilders' talk was heavier on anti-immigration rhetoric, lighter on the new gay agenda. Founder and head of the popular Dutch Freedom Party, Wilders aspired to be the Netherlands' next prime minister earlier this year, but lost. At the WAKE UP! party, Wilders spoke of a Europe "collapsing" under the weight of constant terror attacks, spawned by "stupid government," open-borders policies, and Muslim immigrants intent on enacting Sharia Law across Europe. [Listen to Wilders speak here.]

European governments "allowed millions, millions of Muslim immigrants to come from Islamic countries to our free Western societies, without any demands of assimilation or integration. And that, my dear friends, is a suicide policy," Wilders warned the crowd of drunk gays, neo-Nazis, and journalists. "We allowed Islam to be planted, and we are facing now, all around us, Sharia law. My friends, you know, Sharia law means terror. It means violence. It means hate."

Yiannopoulos also touched on these themes, though he deferred to Geller as the expert. The left are "traitors to the gays," he declared. "I know you're watching Fusion, Vox, Buzzfed, Mic, Gawker, The New York Times. Fuck the lot of you. Fuck you. You've done nothing for gay people." While the left talks about "transgender pronouns," he continued, "Democrat politicians [welcome] in a religion that wants us dead."

It's hard to tell how much Yiannopouls really believed the logic that liberal immigration policies are the biggest threat facing LGBTQ Americans, but it was clear he was having fun with it. "I'm not the only one who recognizes that Donald Trump is the most pro-gay candidate in American history," he said, to enthusiastic applause.

"If the left wants to turn New York into Raqqa, it's got a fight on its hands, because it's going to have to go up against the gays first."

LGBT at the DNC: Hey, At Least We're Not Republicans


U.S. Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colorado) was impressed by precisely none of the GOP's alleged conversion on LGBTQ issues. A tech entrepreneur turned four-term Congressman, Polis is one of seven openly-gay members of Congress. "There's never been a question that Republicans—very few that is—don't want gay people to die," said Polis, speaking at a July 26 Equality Forum panel in Philadelphia.

But while Trump may have been the first to say LGBTQ explicitly, "it's no different than where Ronald Reagan or Richard Nixon or either of the Bushes were on LGBTQ issues, namely that they don't want terrorists killing us," said Polis. "It's a start, obviously, but… it's not anything close to equality."

Republicans "don't think gay people should be able to be married," he objected. "They don't believe that gay people should be protected from discrimination at work. They in often cases oppose gay people adopting kids."

That last one hits close to home, said Polis, who has has two children with his partner, Marlon Reis, and was a co-sponsor of the "Every Child Deserves A Family Act." The stalled bill would have prohibited adoption and foster-care agencies that receive federal funds from discriminating against potential parents "on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status."

Polis begrudgingly admitted that there has been some progress on "equality issues" on the conservative side:

When I talk to young Republicans, I think it's not an issue. When you have people in your twenties and thirties, it's not an issue. So in another 10 or 20 years I hope it's not an issue on the Republican side.

And he thinks "smart Republicans" today realize that they have to compete on equality issues—not just to appeal to gay, bi, and trans voters but also to appeal to millennials and generations that follow. For now, however, "people who vote based on equality issues [are] still going to vote Democrat," said Polis, because Republicans are still the party that "opposes their basic humanity."

Some would object that Hillary Clinton wasn't too interested in the humanity of LGBTQ voters, either, until it was politically convenient for her. Plenty of people hold an understandable grudge against Clinton over things like her husband's support for the anti-same-sex marriage "Defense of Marriage Act" and statements she herself made about the issue. But Polis doesn't think this will hurt Clinton with the community come November.

"Many LGBT people have parents that came late to [marriage equality]," says Polis when I speak to him after the panel. "I think it matters where people are today. The LGBT community is thrilled with Hillary's strong advocacy of equality, both marriage equality and employment non-discrimination."

At an official DNC LGBT Caucus, former Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank, the first openly-gay member of Congress, rallied behind Hillary Clinton and criticized the "Bernie or Bust" crowd "for telling us today they will not vote for Hillary Clinton because of these other issues. Please do not tell me," said Frank, "that you are dedicated to relieving America from prejudice and unfairness and people getting treated unequally, but ignore the important issues of fairness for African Americans and protecting the legal rights of LGBT people."

Mira Patel, an ex-Obama-administration staffer, predicted that people who care about equality will choose Clinton because what's the alternative? When they look at the Trump and Mike Pence ticket, "that's an easy decision for them."

Of course, Trump/Pence isn't their only option: they could vote for LGBTQ-friendly candidates like Libertarian Gary Johnson or the Green Party's Jill Stein. They could stay home. Pundit and Democratic political strategist Richard Socarides suggested that recent successes with same-sex marriage and gays in the military could make LGBT voters complacent come election time.

"A lot of the items on the official gay agenda have been checked off," said Socrates. "What do Democrats have to demonstrate to get the LGBT vote?"

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Newscom

For Gautam Raghavan, vice president of public policy for the Gill Foundation, the answer lies in securing anti-discrimination protections—in state laws and via the federal "Equality Act"—and pushing for transgender rights. The fight for marriage equality "sucked up a lot of oxygen," said Raghaven, "but there's so much left to be done."

Rep. Polis warned that with increased awareness and activism around transgender issues there "often comes a backlash," and "it's important to have somebody in the White House who's willing to stand firm against that backlash and toward greater acceptance of the gender continuum and of different orientations and gender identities." As for the Equality Act, it has "overwhelming support" in Congress on the Democratic side, "so if we're in the majority I think we pass it."

At the LGBT Caucus, other Democratic politicians echoed their support for the Equality Act. Yet a majority of Republicans in Congress oppose it, as do the Log Cabin Republicans. President Gregorcy Angelo calls the Equailty Act "the Equal Rights Amendment of its day," and he doesn't mean that as a compliment.

"It's hyper-partisan," said Angelo. "It's a liberal litany of all things that this one coalition would like to see passed. It doesn't strike a reasonable balance… on religious liberty and LGBT equality."

Rather than endorse such an "overly broad" measure, the Log Cabin Republicans are holding out hope for yet-to-be-introduced legislation from U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pennsylania) which is supposed to address similar issues but puts more value on religious liberty. Angelo said Dent's legislation will address gender-identity and sexual-orientation-based discrimination in public accommodation, housing, and employment.

What no one really mentioned was that the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission has already interpreted existing federal anti-discrimination protections to cover discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Courts have also been interpreting anti-discrimination law this way when considering cases involving public accommodations (a category that covers most private businesses so long as they interface with the public). At times, it seems Democrats are so keen on anti-discrimination legislation because it makes for its own kind of fear-mongering: In a world where "religious freedom" is simply a Republican pretext to hate and discriminate, only liberal leaders can save LGBTQ folks from blatant bigotry.

To his credit, Rep. Jared Polis rejected this tendency to impugn the other side's motives. When it comes to the tension between anti-discrimination laws and freedom of conscience, Polis said he thinks a bunch of "really good civil rights lawyers" sitting down with leaders of major faiths in this country "just need to hammer out language that works" in terms of new legislation. "Most of us, as Americans, of course we believe in religious freedom," said Polis. "The question is, what is in the public space, a public accommodation, and where do you allow that discrimination?" There are "legitimate concerns about religious freedom and faith and we want to address those in an appropriate way, just as our country always has."

Whether he was playing devil's advocate or earnest, the panel moderator expressed surprise to hear Polis presume Republicans were acting in good faith and not out of anti-gay animosity, calling it an "interesting" answer.

The Gill Foundation's Raghavan chimed in that "religion has been used to discriminate against pretty much every community in America." For him, "the guiding principle should be that LGBT people should be treated just like any other population, whether it's based on race or gender, in terms of religious exemptions or for the purpose of laws that already exist. Let's not create a separate treatment of people because they're LGBT."

Divorce Democrats and Republicans, Keep the Fight for LGBT Rights

From the two major-party political conventions, it appears that getting with Republicans on "equality issues" means supporting strict immigration restrictions and imperialist foreign interventions, while rallying with liberal LGBTQ activists means standing for big new federal laws of questionable necessity, likelihood to achieve intended results, or concern for constitutional freedoms. I'm reminded of Scott Shackford's piece, "A Libertarian-Gay Divorce?," from Reason's November 2015 issue. "Libertarians and gay activists were aligned in the pursuit of ending government mistreatment," wrote Shackford.

… but libertarians draw a bright line between government behavior and private behavior, arguing that the removal of state force is the essential precondition for private tolerance. Many gay activists believe that government power is a critical tool for eliminating private misdeeds. What many activists see as righteous justice, libertarians see as inappropriate, heavy-handed coercion.

From disagreement over the need for new anti-discrimination laws to where to draw religious-liberty lines, there's a lot of room for disagreement among libertarians and mainstream LGBTQ activists right now. With transgender issues, however, "libertarians and LGBT activists are closer to being on the same page," Shackford suggested.

There are plenty of trans-rights battles which libertarians can support, including: sane and human treatment of transgender inmates in jails, prisons, and federal detention centers; pathways for trans people to change their listed gender on official documentation, such as state driver's licenses; repealing policies that prevent businesses from offering gender-neutral bathrooms; fighting bills that would force trans people to use bathrooms associated with their biological sex; and decriminalizing prostitution, the prohibition of which tends to come down particularly hard on trans women of color and LGBTQ minors. And there's still some room for smashing the state in gay, lesbian, and bisexual activism, too: repealing the Food and Drug Administration's ban on gay blood donors; fighting overly-broad "religious freedom restoration" laws.

At Equality Forum panels during the DNC, some speakers offered other sane areas for future advocacy. Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin pointed out that Americans are still dying of AIDs and "there's so much more that we could do to bring that chapter to a close" in this country. "We are able to end an epidemic. The tools are in our hands," said Griffin, referring to "PREP"—pre-exposure prophylaxis—drugs that significantly reduce the risk of HIV transmission. Fighting government policies that prevent or limit access to such medications is integral, as is ending laws that discourage HIV testing.

Kevin Naff—editor and co-owner of oldest LGBT paper in the country, the Washington Blade—spoke at Forum about the need to end laws that criminalize HIV-transmission even when it's not intentional. According to the Center for HIV Law & Policy, 32 U.S. states "have HIV-specific criminal statutes and thirty-six states have reported proceedings in which HIV-positive people have been arrested and/or prosecuted for consensual sex, biting, and spitting. At least 180 such prosecutions occurred from 2008 to 2013 alone."

"Many people aren't even aware that [such laws] exist," said Naff, who thinks these measures hinder progress on ending AIDs by discouraging HIV testing. "The message these laws send is 'don't get tested,' because if you find out you're positive and can't access treatment, then you're going to possibly end up in jail."

U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-New York) talked from a panel of queer elected officials about the Department of Homeland Security's 2015 raid on the company behind gay-escort site Malone was one of few elected officials to condemn the raid, asking DHS in a letter what "role that anti-LGBT attitudes and biases may have played in your pursuit of this matter?" At the Equality Forum, Maloney pointed out that "the language in the indictment made a big deal out of the salacious nature of the postings, as if there was something pernicious or pejorative out of the way gay men have sex and interact with each other." He never received a response from DHS about his letter but said he would now follow up.

Are any of these issues prioritized by Democrats or Republicans working on equality issues? Not really. Then again, those parties have always been behind libertarians on issues of personal liberty and privacy, especially as they concern the rights of sexual minorities. And while libertarians may not agree with all of the goals of modern LGBTQ activists—and may be some of the biggest critics on anti-discrimination and harassment decrees that go too far—most LGBTQ activists (like libertarians at large) can hardly agree about their goals, either. It's not a necessary condition of working together on some things that we all agree on everything.

The practical issues outlined just above may not command the most media or political attention, nor instill the same sense of panic in voters as hate-filled Jesus freaks and homosexual-killing jihadis. But taken together, they could offer a glimpse of what a post-marriage-equality libertarian agenda on gay and transgender freedom looks like.

NEXT: DePaul University has a double thug problem

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  1. Meanwhile, Donald Trump made U.S. political history by uttering the phrase LGBTQ in his nomination acceptance speech?a first for a presidential candidate in either major party.

    Infinite monkeys with infinite typewriters and an infinite amount of time would produce the works of Shakespeare completely by accident. Give how fucking long Trump’s speech was, it’s equally inevitable that every possible combination of words/letters/human-producible sounds would emerge from his mouth at some point within it.

    1. And yet, he mentioned it and Hillary picked Muslims over gays. Yes, Trump is awful in lots of ways, no secret there. It’s just funny how folks treat some of what Trump says as gospel that should inspire pants-shitting but dismiss other statements as meaningless.

    2. My last pay check was $9500 working 12 hours a week online. My sisters friend has been averaging 15k for months now and she works about 20 hours a week.
      I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out. This is what I do…

  2. LGBT-conservatives group Log Cabin Republicans

    Now THAT is a strange euphemism…

  3. The Village Voice described the WAKE UP! party’s vibe as a new and “scary”

    One of the hottest after-hours events that week was a pro-queer party where Breitbart contributor Milo Yiannopoulos and Anne Coulter?once notorious for anti-gay statements?were scheduled to speak

    No mention of the Daily Show’s attempt to crash the party, spin the event as some exercise in self-loathing, or something

  4. The GOP platform makes no mention of conversion therapy. It does say this: “We support the right of parents to determine the proper medical treatment and therapy for their minor children.” I suppose in some backhanded way this could be interpreted as support for conversion therapy, but it’s not like they are going to be putting gays into some reeducation camp.

    1. That might be a sop to anti-vaxxers as well.

      1. I have lefty pediatrician friends who want more power to force parents to submit to all kinds of medical advice.

        When I recount the conflicting medical advice I have been given for my kids and the number of times I have rejected at least one doc’s opinion, lefty doc just say “I didn’t mean you.”

        1. And that power will eventually have to be enforced at the point of a gun.

          1. Doctor: Do you have guns in the home?

            1. Reply to Doctor: Do you?

        2. When I recount the conflicting medical advice

          We’ve landed on a practice that’s halfway reasonable but, at one point, the next doctor that uttered the word ‘sub-clinical’ in my presence and as part of my child’s diagnosis was going to get punched in the face.

      2. Are you saying that the GOP is targeting the Vashon Island vote?

        Hmm, organic hippies swinging GOP… interesting.

    2. The GOP platform makes no mention of conversion therapy. It does say this: “We support the right of parents to determine the proper medical treatment and therapy for their minor children.”

      And ENB omits even the slightest of details about that plank in the platform, preferring instead to summarize it for her largely libertarian audience that might otherwise add this to the tally of her inconsistencies on issues of liberty.

  5. It is ok to Hillary to come late to equality because she is old? But GOP coming late is bad because go team blue?

    Where are they on consensual polygamy?

    1. Where are they on consensual polygamy?

      They’re all over it.

    2. As has been the case for the powerful in all times and places, it’s basically a don’t-ask-don’t-tell situation.

    3. It is ok to Hillary to come late to equality because she is old?


      Just because the Dem candidate opposed gay marriage like 100000 years ago doesn’t give you the right to point fingers and demand some rational comparison.

      1. 2012 was 100000 years ago? Is this liberal economist math?

        Youtube compilations: Remember When The Democrats Opposed Gay Marriage?

  6. “Most of us, as Americans, of course we believe in religious freedom(1),” said Polis. “The question is, what is in the public space, a public accommodation, and where do you (2) allow that discrimination?”

    1) In the same way hillary believes in the right to keep and bear arms, sure.
    2) this “allow”/”give permission” thing? see, that’s not how the First Amendment works. It actually starts with the phrase “Congress will make no law…. “

    1. The question is, what is in the public space, a public accommodation,

      Anything owned and operated by the government, and nothing owned or operated by private parties?

      1. He didn’t mean to question “what is the “public-space””?

        he was taking that for granted; it is what the CRA of 1964 & ADA says it is.

        If you think Polis actually disagrees with Title II / III, i think you probably misunderstand him. He feigns that its an issue that remains undecided by law for rhetorical purposes. the fact that he says, “Where do you allow…..” belies any subtlety he might be trying to pretend to. The statement presumes the right to regulate anything in either the public or private space.

  7. If Republicans are so anxious to “shoot Muslims”, why aren’t there more occasions of it happening? The supposed backlash against innocent Muslims that has been bandied about since 9/11 simply hasn’t happened. Maybe some LGBTQ folks are figuring out that some Bible thumpers who don’t want SCOTUS to force states to recognize same-sex marriage, isn’t the same as having the State execute people for being gay. That is the fate of LGBTQ in Islamic countries.

    And really, the only thing Wilders is “right wing” on is unrestricted immigration.

    It obviously bums ENB out, that there really are Republicans who aren’t socons, and are totally cool with letting people live the way they want to live.

    1. “Muslims fear backlash from tomorrow’s terror attack.”

      1. They should but they don’t. If they did, they’d make some kind of effort to root out Islamism from the minds of their fellow practitioners. Yet each generation of Muslims is more radical than the last.

    2. If Republicans are so anxious to “shoot Muslims”, why aren’t there more occasions of it happening?

      Because they fear Obama and his righteous anger, duh. As soon as Trump is elected they plan to go on a Dawn of the Dead-style Mooslim-hunt. This is known.

      1. I love that scene. I love that movie.

        1. I never enjoyed “going to the mall” after seeing that film. Especially the food court.

    3. It obviously bums ENB out, that there really are Republicans who aren’t socons, and are totally cool with letting people live the way they want to live.

      I was outraged by that section in the article as well.

    4. Why don’t you ask a Muslim what it’s been like living in the US recently?

      1. Why don’t you?


        1. He can’t, you insensitive jackhole. The only Muslim Tony knows of is the Pakistani dude who manages the nearby 7-11, and he’s been banned from there.

      2. I’ll ask the Muslim surgeon I’m working with how hard he’s got it.

        1. Good thought. We just dropped some coin on visas for a couple of docs, one of whom was named Mohammed. I’ll ask him and his wife (assuming she is allowed to speak to men, of course).

          1. Dey took R Jerbs!

    5. Then, like moderate Muslims are always being exhorted to do, they need to step the fuck up and drown out the baying tards in the party.

      1. A French Imam recently admitted publicly after the Nice attacks that “Islam needs to get its [fucking] house in order”. I was pleasantly surprised.

    6. It obviously bums ENB out, that there really are Republicans who aren’t socons, and are totally cool with letting people live the way they want to live.


      I wouldn’t surprise me one bit if ENB refused to believe that someone could be both a (American!!!!) socon and still not want to see homosexuals killed de facto.

      The Stonewall Riots must exist in some sort of anachronistic bubble in these people’s minds.

    7. “[…] there really are Republicans who aren’t socons, and are totally cool with letting people live the way they want to live.”
      And when they start making efforts to ensure that their elected representatives are similarly “cool”, we’ll see a lot less LGBT opposition to the GOP.

      But they don’t. These “live and let live” Republicans have made no serious effort to make sure their elected representatives represent them on this topic. They’re fine letting the anti-LGBT Republicans get their way here in exchange for a few more votes, and consider LGBT folk “acceptable losses”.

  8. Nice choice of picture, too. Considering that the majority of Orthodox Jews vote Republican, this wasn’t set up or anything.

  9. What is a before photo of Chris Evans in Captain America doing in this story?

  10. a kind of Ken Kesey for the Fox News generation

    As in a Merry Prankster, or as in a completely over-hyped personality?

    1. Speaking of merry-prankster trivia =

      I went to high-school with someone i’d always thought was Ken Kesey’s bastard son. but being young and stupid i mixed him up with Owsley Stanley. In any case, his name was Starfinder, and he came to school every day with mice in his pockets. or weasels. and i think he also had a parrot.

      anyway, i’d not thought about him in many years, so i just googled him, and the pictures made me laugh He’s a veterinarian now, duh.

      1. Acupuncture for pets? Awesome.

  11. Jesus, in just the first three paragraphs, I started suffering “first” fatigue.

    Historically, libertarians have been on harmonious with the LGBT movement?Reason and other libertarian outlets were advocating for same-sex marriage and the repeal of sodomy laws back when Democrats didn’t even touch these issues.

    Democrats don’t touch anything until it’s politically bankable.

    “I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology. Believe me!”

    You know, I remember… gosh, back in the early aughts, Hillary Clinton chastising foreign ideology and if I recall her quote (to the best of my ability sans google search) she said it was time to stop calling these foreign ideologies “cultural” and start calling them “criminal”. This quote was specifically aimed at the plight of women in oppressive countries. Held in a vacuum, I actually had no problem with what Hillary was saying when I heard the quote. But my thinking on the issue is, when the rubber meets the road, how do you deal with these things without “meddling” in the internal affairs of foreign governments?

    1. how do you deal with these things without “meddling” in the internal affairs of foreign governments?

      Easy. Just wait for them to give your foundation a few million bucks, then you stop pointing fingers at them.

  12. Republicans are once again benefiting from the existence of a “Most Improved” award from the punditocracy.

    1. You know, i’m starting to think you don’t like Republicans.

    2. That, and not being enemies of the people.

    3. Are you upset about the republicans “progressing”?

      1. Only about the fact that it’s transparently a cynical pander used as a vehicle to bash of another minority group.

        1. you mean like the Muslim guy facilitating high-dollar immigration for fellow travelers who stood atop his dead son’s body king of pandering?

          1. kind of pandering

          2. In the words of a better politician than you, please proceed.

            1. the wrath of the Kahns was what it was – naked pandering and misdirection, waving bloody camo. Interesting how neither the dad nor Herself notices the toxin within Islam, choosing to pretend it’s all Trump’s imagination. Guess he was behind Orlando, San Bernardino, the numerous attacks in France and Germany, et al.

              1. Do carry on. This Kahn thing has been Trump’s finest hour, after all.

                1. The more we learn of Kahn, the more transparent his appearance becomes. Meanwhile, anything other nasty comments the DNC folks made about their various constituencies? Taco Bowl was a nice touch. But I guess Muslims have replaced Mexicans on the pecking order.

                  1. Now all that needs to happen to turn this Khan thing around is for the smears dreamed up on rightwing shitstain websites to be picked up by the lamestream media. Any moment now.

                    Of course it still remains true that rather than let an obvious pair of political cement shoes just go, Trump’s ego, a phenomenon worthy of academic study, won’t allow it, and he’s trying to get the party to go along with his insulting the mother of a dead US soldier. Presidential material right there.

        2. Did you have to go to the Russians and hire some hackers to get the secret plans away from the RNC or did you come up with that one on your own?

          1. working with the Russians on this one. What’s the point of having an ex-spy as your president if you can’t meddle on another nation’s affairs? We do it with far lesser espionage artists.

            1. Sorry, computer crash/threading fail, that was intended to be in response to Tony.

  13. while another supports gay-conversion therapy

    Might a direct quotation of this plank been omitted for brevity’s sake, or because it’s actually a broadly freedom oriented plank that seems too convenient for conversion therapy apologists? Since you won’t tell me, let me consult the great google.

    “the right of parents to determine the proper treatment or therapy for their minor children.”

    “, nodded to “conversion therapy” for gays by saying that parents should be free to make medical decisions about their children without interference”

    I realize that these two articles both interpret the amendment as an affirmation of gay conversion therapy but it’;s also worth noting that they included the specifics about that amendment because their typical readership isn’t too liberty oriented and knew that doing so wouldn’t raise any meaningful objections. Whereas you Elizabeth Nolan Brown, omitted the slightest of details about the context of the amendment because you know that libertarians tend to support things like parental choice in healthcare and treatment over that of the state. But that’s not exactly a sticking point for you now is it?

    1. It’s the libertarian position that children can be forced into dangerous and ill-conceived junk therapy against their will?

      1. “parents should be free to make medical decisions about their children without interference”

        1. That’s not a medical decision. Should parents be allowed to find a “physician” to give their children lobotomies to get the demons out?

          1. Tell me more about transgender surgery/treatment for minors.

          2. *waives New Age crystal*

            The power of Gaia compels you!
            The power of Gaia compels you!
            The power of Gaia compels you!

            *stomps off to acupuncture appointment and then to aroma therapist*

          3. Should parents be allowed to find a “physician” to give their children lobotomies to get the demons out?

            That’s not really a medical decision is it? Nor are they allowed to do that now. Nor is that at all comparable. But don’t let any of that stop you.

            1. Gay conversion therapy is considered abusive non-medicine, so I think they are.

    2. all libertarians support giving the government oversight over therapists & psychologists, and dictating what they can/can’t talk about. This is known.

  14. Quoting Wilders:

    European governments “allowed millions, millions of Muslim immigrants to come from Islamic countries to our free Western societies, without any demands of assimilation or integration. And that, my dear friends, is a suicide policy,” Wilders warned the crowd of drunk gays, neo-Nazis, and journalists

    So there were identifiable neo-Nazis there in meaningful numbers? Or is ENB being hyperbolic? At this point I’m starting to think that ENB would be a wonderful addition to the team over at NBC.

    1. I like the implication that “drunks and neo-Nazis” somehow negates the truth behind Wilders’ statement. If you disagree with him, then do it on substance.

  15. Yiannopoulos mixes Coulter-style provocation with the delivery style of a drunk old queen in a Tennessee Williams play.

    This description can’t possibly be okay.

  16. I fully support stupid people psychologically torturing their children in hopes of beating the dreaded gay out of them.

    1. I tried beating the gay out of Jesse, but my totally straight erection kept getting in the way.

      1. Just because it hasn’t worked so far doesn’t mean you should stop trying. My very soul is on the line here.

        1. *spits, rubs hands together*

          Once more into the breech!

          1. Not a euphemism.

            1. Correct. The anus is a type of breech.

              1. And that’s why I love this place. I had never put together that breech births referred to the ass coming first.

                4. a. The part of the body covered by this garment [breeches/britches]; the buttocks, posteriors, rump, seat.

                1. I owed you for “factoid” and “interobang”.

                  1. Awww. I’m touched you remembered…and also apparently in my breech.

              2. ^^THIS^^

          2. Or, possibly, once more into the breeches?


        1. Obligatory

          Huh, I didn’t see sarc in this thread.

          1. I was honoring FL Hipster’s “totally straight erection”…

  17. Policies that prevent private businesses from offering gender-neutral bathrooms?

    This just about takes the cake. Most of the policies that have been discussed tried to prevent cities from FORCING private businesses to create gender neutral bathrooms. NOBODY is arguing for government polilcies forbidding private businesses from setting up whatever bathroom structure they want.

  18. I really have just about had it with the whole transgender thing. Lumping this in with gay and lesbian issues was a mistake.
    One more time:

    Humans, just like EVERY OTHER MAMMAL are sexually dimorphous. MALE and FEMALE. There are a number of distinguishing characteristics that can be used to identify one or the other. In very small numbers of case, babies are born with both sets of genitals, or ambiguous genitalia. However, modern medicine can do genetic testing to determine if it is appropriate to do plastic surgery to more closely match their genetic sex.

    The majority of men are sexually attracted to females.
    A minority of men are attracted to other men (or both)
    A minority of men seem to have no sexual attraction. If they don’t mind, ok don’t bother them

    The majority of women are sexually attracted to males
    A minority of women are attracted to other women (or both)
    A minority of women seem to have no sexual attraction. (These are usually referred to as being married).

    Some men are sexually attracted to women’s feet, more than their breasts or genitals. Some women want to be submissive, or dominant. None of these things in any way changes the fact of their sex.

    A man is still a man, even if he wants to wear dresses, is gay, played with dolls as a kid, whatever.
    A woman is still a woman, even if she listens to K. D. Lang, has a mullet and wears flannel shirts.

    1. Are you trying to convince us, or yourself?

      1. He does seem rather tense. Maybe I should run his shoulders.

        1. Hold my beer. I’m going to run his shoulders.

          1. You know what I meant to type, bully!

            1. Boys, boys, boys, there are plenty of shoulders to go around!

              I mean, SHUT UP FAGZ!

    2. has a mullet

      I was watching some old COPS shows, and one had a female cop with a honest-to-god mullet.

  19. Overall, there were 515 openly LGBTQ delegates there, according to the Washington Blade.

    SInce there were 4,765 delegates at the Dem convention, that means nearly 11% of their delegates were LGBTQWERTY.

    Is that what they mean by “looks like America”?

    1. Politics is for fags.

      1. I thought it was Hollywood for ugly people? Or is that just D.C.?

  20. “last year’s decision by the Supreme Court that recognized LGBT people?like every other American?have the right to marry the person they love.”

    I too am glad that LGBT now have the same right to marry their partners as I have to marry my grandmother.

    1. With reproduction out of the picture, there is no reason to have incest laws.

      1. If it’s your paternal grandmother there shouldn’t even be a problem with reproduction. Incest doesn’t become a real problem until you start talking about biological siblings and/or multiple generations in insular communities. Incidental incest leading to reproduction isn’t always the best idea but, as long as we aren’t talking about some manner of compulsory inbreeding, it’s hardly a ‘must solve’ social issue demanding action.

        At the very least, there’s an open debate about whether unrelated people should be able to abort children with Down’s Syndrome. I fail to see how you make a decision there that doesn’t rather directly translate to incestual reproduction. Especially if sex selection is ‘allowed’, it should be rather easy for incestuous couples to select babies of the best breeding.

    2. Making legal kin-bonds with someone you already have kin-bonds with seems kind of redundant, but if your granny love is truly so insatiable as to need double-kinship, who are we to judge?

      1. I can judge him while insisting there be no law to stop him.

        1. You’re making this less of a safe space, FH.

          1. *pulls out whiskey and fireworks*

            You know it!

            1. *pulls out whiskey and fireworks*

              I’m gonna assume this is part of the sexplay referenced above. I approve.

            2. I thought it was another one of those damn euphemisms.

    3. If you don’t like incest laws, blame straight people.

  21. You know, I have to smile at the panic surrounding the awfulness of gay conversion therapy– how it’s abusive non-medicine. You really should read the linked Vashon Island article above– because it highlights the complications of passing a law making gay conversion-therapy illegal.

    If you pass a law banning people from talking to you about your sexual orientation which presumably carries a message that you can be converted out of it, and predicate the law on the idea that it’s fraudulent medicine, wouldn’t there be a law right on its heels about banning “practitioners” from warning people away from vaccinating their kids?

    I guess what I’m saying is, if I visualize a scale of awfulness in the abusive-non medicine arena, one seems a hell of a lot worse than the other, but one doesn’t even get considered a topic in the halls where legislation is passed.

    Relink so you don’t have to hunt.

    1. “[…] but one doesn’t even get considered a topic in the halls where legislation is passed.”
      Except that requirements that parents vaccinate their kids are a topic that comes up, pretty regularly. Usually around whether or not a school can require kids get vaccinations, and which vaccinations, but it’s not like the topic doesn’t come up.

      Laws specifically focused on pediatricians counseling parents on the danger of vaccines will probably start coming up when pediatricians start making a habit of doing so.

  22. Another thrilling article from Reason
    Republicans do something somewhat libertarian? It’s actually bad and evil because reasons. Why cant they be more like the democrats?

    1. Why are you reading the articles?

      1. I come to Reason for the sideboob.

  23. With the battles for same-sex marriage and military privileges won, what’s next for the gay-rights movement?

    Cake. They all want cake.

  24. Oh, and why the twink pic?

  25. “Trump may have been the first major-party presidential candidate to explicitly say “LGBTQ” at a convention, but the reason he brought up these “wonderful Americans” (new euphemism alert) was in the service of criticizing Islam.”


    That’s factually incorrect.

    “Only weeks ago, in Orlando, Florida, 49 wonderful Americans were savagely murdered by an Islamic terrorist. This time, the terrorist targeted our LGBT community. As your President, I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBT citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology.”

    —-Donald Trump, Nomination Acceptance Speech, Republican Convention

    He was talking about terrorism and a terrorist attack–he was not talking about mainstream Islam.

    If you want to take issue with the ignorant idea that there’s no difference between the hateful ideology of ISIS and mainstream Islam, then you should probably learn to recognize when other people are making the distinction.

    Or, I don’t know, is ENB one of these people who thinks ISIS and mainstream Islam are the same thing? I assumed she was smarter than that.

    P.S. Is ENB aware that many of us saw Trump’s speech ourselves and we have internet access, and we can look these things up? Or does she imagine we’re relying on her for this information?

    P.P.S. If you can’t make your case with truthiness, then maybe you’re making a bad case.

    1. And his repeated calls to ban all Muslims from immigrating?

      1. What he actually said in his acceptance speech was this:

        “Lastly, we must immediately suspend immigration from any nation that has been compromised by terrorism until such time as proven vetting mechanisms have been put in place.

        My opponent has called for a radical 550% increase in Syrian refugees on top of existing massive refugee flows coming into our country under President Obama. She proposes this despite the fact that there’s no way to screen these refugees in order to find out who they are or where they come from”


        What Trump argued for was to suspend immigration from countries that feature large amounts of anti-American terrorism–regardless of the immigrant’s religion–until such time as we develop a means to tell the good guys from the bad guys.

        Trump subsequently contrasted himself on that issue to Hillary Clinton–and her eagerness to bring refugees to this country despite an inadequate screening process.

        Regardless, even IF IF IF Trump had argued for discriminating against Muslims in his acceptance speech (which he did not), that wouldn’t mean he was championing the rights of LGBTQI to blame Islam. From the statement ENB is referring to and I quoted, that is simply not so.

        You see, Tony, just because you don’t like somebody doesn’t mean everything bad you say about them is true.

        1. Didn’t say anything about his acceptance speech. I’m talking about the multiple times he explicitly said he wanted to ban all Muslim immigration.

          1. Yeah, well, as much as you’d like to run around with the goalposts, ENB was referring to his acceptance speech–and so my comment. In fact, ENB was referring to the exact quote I quoted.

      2. Citation fucking needed, you twat. I can stand the guy yet even I see the constant ways people just make up whatever they want to say about him as fact.

        Oh, forget it. It’s Shriek town.

        1. “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on,” a campaign press release said.

          Do you not watch the news or what?

          1. And, what’s the date on that, Tony?

            Here the man has “evolved” on immigration (just like Hillary “evolved” on gay marriage, only faster), and you go beating him up for it.

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  28. A few weeks ago, Republicans were calling for more aggressive action in the middle-east, banning Muslim immigrants, and generally Islam-bashing.

    Now, they’re doing all that same stuff, but they’re pointing out how ISIS has been throwing gay people off buildings and it’s illegal to be gay in quite a few Muslim countries.

    Look, I’m not saying they wanted us dead a few weeks ago. But I haven’t seen anything to indicate that the GOP of a few weeks ago, which has done plenty of things over the years and recently to piss me off, actually changed on any of those points. The only thing that changed with the GOP after Orlando is that they found a new talking point for a cause they already supported.

    Call me when they change one of their previously-existing positions. Because finding a new reason to support a pre-existing mission? Isn’t progress. It’s a red herring.

  29. I think its a mistake to lump transexuals in with plain old vanilla gays. They can have, not just different, but diametrically opposed interests and goals. They both are for a more liberal sexuality than only heterosexual couples being seen as legitamite, which most of the commenters here, myself included, also are, but beyond that nugget of classical liberalism it turns into squabbling over identity politics spoils, which, as a white man, makes me feel left out. 🙁

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