Open Phones Follow-Up: Gay Conservatives

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Gay Marriage (Getty Images)

Welcome to Politics Bites, where every afternoon at It's A Free Country, we bring you the unmissable quotes from the morning's political conversations on WNYC. In the Brian Lehrer Show interview with Andrew Breitbart on Wednesday, he asserted that there is a significant gay conservative vote. Today, Jimmy LaSalvia, executive director of GOProud, an organization Breitbart is affiliated with, discussed his organizations work and the balance between social and fiscal issues within the GOP. Are you a gay conservative? How did you arrive at your political philosophy? Let us know!

LaSalvia reiterated Breitbart's assertion that the "gay vote" is up for grabs. 31 percent of gay voters voted for Republicans in the midterm elections, and LaSalvia said that more and more Republicans are making their case to gay voters.

Every single issue that affects any American affects gay Americans. And we know as gay conservatives that conservative policies are good for America and in many cases they are uniquely beneficial to gay people.

LaSalvia thinks moral issues are important but Capitol Hill isn't the right place to discuss them. He said a candidate's support of gay marriage is not a deal breaker for many gay conservatives.

I know many gay conservatives like many liberal gay people, who are concerned about the direction of our country and don't make that their number one priority. That is certainly demonstrated in voting patterns, although I don't know if you can look at a Presidential vote and tell, considering that that issue is decided on the state level and we've never had a candidate run for President with a nomination on either party who supported same-sex civil marriage.

Overall, LaSalvia feels more under attack from the political left than the right.

The gay left is by far the most intolerant towards us. Are there some on the right who don't like gay people? Sure, but the vast majority of our critics come from the left.

And he's happy to have Breitbart on his team.



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Comments [23]

Terry from South Dakota

Outspoken gay, Outspoken conservative, and outspoken against gay marriage here! Nice Job Jimmy!

May. 12 2011 04:03 PM
Ray Parnell from Jacksonville, Florida

Excellent enjoyed the broadcast. Jimmy LaSalvia did a great job as usual. We need to concentrate on the issues economy, jobs, wild spending by congress, Obamacare, National Security, gas prices. Being Gay is not a novelty anymore just a way of life. Jimmy you were right on thanks for representing me.

May. 12 2011 03:18 PM
Mike from Tribeca

Were phone calls ever taken during this segment? I don't recall any.

May. 12 2011 12:45 PM

I'm not sure which is more ridiculous, "Log Cabin republicans" or "Hip hop republicans".

What is it with these absurd names?

What annoys me most is when people try to blur the line between racial and sexual acceptance with political acceptance with phrases like 'gays or blacks should be allowed to be conservatives'.

They are, none of us are saying you shouldn't be what you want. Don't expect a free pass on criticism for your conservative values.

May. 12 2011 12:02 PM
Edward from NJ

The issues he points to as gay issues -- taxes, health care, social security -- would all cease to be gay issues if there were marriage equality. Where does he stand on, let's say, anti-gay violence? I suppose being able to buy health insurance across state lines would help pay the hospital bills after you're beat up in the street for holding hands with your partner. So there's that.

May. 12 2011 12:02 PM

Political trimmings aside, whether "conservative" or "liberal," I cannot see why anyone, LGBT or heater, black or white, of any background, would support a group that keeps it second-class citizens in their own country.

We have seen that it is fatuous to think that one can change the GOP--or "conservative" movement--from within. It just doesn't happen. If it can, it will take total national meltdown (something like what happened to the Axis nations in 1945). With the current Republican game of "chicken" with the budget cuts and debt ceiling, this is not a matter of "if," but of "when." These policies are self-delusional at best, and have accounted from our fall from being "No. 1" to something like No. 28 in all measures of life quality here.

When you're on a ship that hit an iceberg at 30 knots, you don't say "Full speed ahead!"--you stop, send SOS messages, and launch lifeboats to save as many people as possible. This is NOT the current GOP or "conservative" ideology--it's blame the victims and set up diversions.

May. 12 2011 11:58 AM
Cliff from Ozone Park

In a perfect Republican world, gay people would be outsourced. Permanently.

May. 12 2011 11:52 AM
Judith from Brooklyn

Anyone who says that the effort to defund abortion is simply to balance budgets and control spending is lying. Several states are trying to defund abortion providers which will result in net losses of federal aid, thereby worsening their budget deficits. Despite lip service to the contrary, Republicans are back to waging culture wars (and are not particularly interested in "jobs, jobs, jobs").

May. 12 2011 11:52 AM
Carl from Paterson from Paterson, NJ

Gay "conservatives" remind me of something worse than "Jews for Jesus"--how about early Jewish backers of the Nazis? "Conservative" fiscal policies do not work--and this has been proved three times (the 1987 recession, the S&L crisis of late '80's/early '90's, and the 2007 crash), and trickle-down does NOT produce jobs. "Social issue" conservatism is just a diversion, like a pickpocket's accomplice. So please, let's can this crap!

May. 12 2011 11:47 AM
Nick from NYC

The debate is meaningless until the distinction is made between

1) Marriage that takes place in a church
2) Marriage that takes place in a state/county office

Note that only "2" is the important one for legal status.

Turning away gay people from obtaining a legal union under the state (#2) is no different than turning someone away for their race or color of their eyes.

The catch-all rubric "Gay Marriage" just confuses the issue by conflating the religious and civic.

No discussion of "gay marriage" should ever happen without that distinction being made front and center.

May. 12 2011 11:46 AM

You probably face more criticism from gay liberals than straight conservatives because straight conservatives are not your buddies. You will never be the buddy of a vast majority of conservative middle America. Sure there are exceptions, but I know a lot of 'nice' middle Americans who would welcome you in their house and then laugh at you behind their back. I've seen it because I'm not gay, and I've seen them make the jokes.

Much of conservative America does not approve of you. That is, in their perfect world, you would not exist.

I understand that some of the conservative values are positive and good, however you can't ignore the right's track record of discrimination, bigotry and hate and at least question which is more important to them.

One value of conservatism is supposedly smaller government and fiscal responsibility. Yet under Bush, government was expanded and gay marriage was not looked down on.

The republican legacy before Bush was rabidly anti-gay, or have you already forgotten Regan's gay disease?

So I ask you, what does the right's actions say about what values they care about more - fiscal conservatism or discriminating against gay?

May. 12 2011 11:46 AM

Gay conservatives are Groucho Marx fans: they want to belong to a club that doesn't want them.

May. 12 2011 11:46 AM
Mike from Canarsie

Oh goody, another conservative who equates the unfettered pursuit of money with "personal freedom."

May. 12 2011 11:45 AM
Ken from Little Neck

J - You unintentionally made a good point. Mr. LaSalvia seems to share the same persecution complex that Mr. Breitbart displayed to a staggering degree yesterday. Neither he or anyone he supports has ever been wrong, it's just that everybody else is going out of their way to attack them.

While I don't doubt that there are may gay people who hold conservative views, I can't understand how any of them could possibly support the modern republican party.

May. 12 2011 11:44 AM
james from brooklyn


Please remind this man that yes, we have a thing against republicans... In a time when Reagan is considered the icon of the GOP. A man who would have been happy to ignore the AIDS crisis for almost his entire presidency.

May. 12 2011 11:44 AM
art525 from Park Slope

Sorry but I still can't understand supporting politicians who demean you or pander to folks who do.

May. 12 2011 11:43 AM
Mason from NYC

I would love to hear the 'gay conservative' position on international couples. The US citizen in these couples cannot sponser their partners.

May. 12 2011 11:42 AM
Edward from NJ

The "gay left", as the guest calls them, doesn't like gay conservatives because of their politics. The cultural conservatives don't like them because of who they *are*.

May. 12 2011 11:42 AM
Gabriel from NYC

Of course your biggest critics are coming from the left in the gay community. Just like the opposition to all conservative movements comes from the left. I have to agree with Michael from Greenpoint. Gay conservatives seem to be self hating and opposed to their own welfare. I don't think that gay issues have made it far enough to start to try to take them away from within the community.

May. 12 2011 11:42 AM
Tony from Canarsie

Sounds like a class issue to me. For many, gay and straight, one's financial interests trumps all.

May. 12 2011 11:41 AM
michael from greenpoint

as a gay man, i can say that a gay conservative is like a jew for jesus. it doesn't make any sense. Fiscally conservative fine, but otherwise you're just a self-hater.

May. 12 2011 11:38 AM

Considering the movement in favor of gay marriage as a drain away from other important gay positive initiatives is NOT the same thing as being against gay marriage.

May. 12 2011 11:38 AM

believe me they are not conservative.
they are just greedy selfish americans who don't want to pay taxes.

May. 12 2011 10:10 AM

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