OCALA, Fla., January 27, 2014 — The gay rights movement has travelled light years in just about a decade.
The question now is very simple, and no less important: What’s next?
“There is a coming stampede of liberal gay converts to the gay conservative movement,” Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director Gregory T. Angelo explains to Communities Digital News. “Marriage equality as the law of the land is not a matter of if but when, and once that happens, you are going to see a large number of gay Americans who have considered themselves lifelong liberals reconsider their positions on fiscal matters, Second Amendment protections, and a whole host of issues championed by the right.
“The ‘gay vote’ will no longer be seen as a bloc that belongs to the Democrat Party, and once that happens, you’re going to see a far more interesting dialogue in politics competing for the gay vote.”
During the 2012 Republican primaries, Fred Karger became America’s first openly gay presidential candidate. Prior to this, he consulted on the campaigns of Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Bob Dole, among others. These days, he is an advocate for moderate GOP politics.
Karger tells CDN that those in the gay rights movement “must continue our fight for full equality in this country. However, we need to greatly increase our activism around the globe to combat the horrific laws of so many other nations. While we do battle for marriage equality and fight against discrimination here in America, LGBT people are literally fighting for their lives in much of the world.
“Our vast experience, our leadership and our money all need to be directed to places like Russia, Africa, Afghanistan, Asia and the Caribbean in order to help those who are unable to help themselves.”
While gay rights advocates seem to know where they are going, it would be a serious mistake for them to ignore potential roadblocks. What is the greatest challenge facing their movement today?
“The greatest challenge facing the gay rights movement is the notion that equal rights for gay Americans is a liberal value; it’s not, and if you want to get more allies for equality, you need to engage with Republicans and celebrate those members of the GOP who stand up on the right side of history in support of things like ENDA and marriage equality,” Angelo says.
He continues: “We are at a tipping point in this movement where the preponderance of traditionally blue states have recognized marriage equality, so the gay left now has a choice: hit a wall on the marriage equality front or understand that you need Log Cabin Republicans to be a part of the strategy to make genuine equality a reality for all gay Americans.”
Karger claims that gay rights supporters “have much to do stop those who are spewing out hate against the LGBT community. The funders, religious leaders and the heads of these far right hate groups need to learn that those days are over and that there may well be consequences for all the damage they do to LGBT Americans.
“So many religions like the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) continue their evil ways by terrifying young gay people. As proof, we just need to look at a recent study conducted by Dr. Caitlin Ryan, Director of the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University which showed that Utah, home to the Mormon Church, has eight times the attempted teenage suicide rate of any other state.”