Pocan Op-Ed: An Open Letter to the LGBT Community
By Mark Pocan
Last week, two openly gay business people held an event for GOP presidential hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz in New York City. Ian Reisner and Mati Weiderpass invited friends over to meet Cruz and hear his views on key issues -- except, apparently, gay marriage.
Cruz's views on the subject of marriage equality, whether real or created for political expediency, are atrocious. Repeatedly, Cruz has blown the dog whistle on the issue, trying to galvanize evangelical and conservative voters to his candidacy. He's evenintroduced a constitutional amendment to give states the ability to refuse any federal court ruling that would grant full marriage equality.
Yet Reisner and Weiderpass seemed unaware of Cruz's disgusting views as they gleefully hosted and posted pictures of Cruz at their event last Monday. And within a week both have responded to the backlash and apologized for hosting Sen. Cruz.
People, we need to get ourselves together.
I know there are Republican members of the LGBT community. And there are Republican legislators who support equality, albeit not many. Fine, go ahead and throw them a fundraiser they will remember for a long time. But let's not support those who believe we'll burn in hell because of who we are and who we love.
But the vast, vast majority of Republicans are still strongly opposed to marriage equality. And the crop of Republicans running for president is even more so, with primaries coming up in less than a year.
To put together an event to show support or raise money for people who oppose your basic rights just because of who you love and your very being seems not only ridiculous, but also counterproductive.
If you can be a outspoken homophobe, but have leaders of the LGBT community host an event for you, just how bad can you be? Right?
Well, plenty bad. Just look at Ted Cruz's record. Or Scott Walker's. Or Mike Huckabee's. Or most any of the group running for president on the Republican side.
I know we're not single issue voters. But, how can you provide financial and political support to a candidate whose views are completely at odds with your very being?
It just doesn't make sense.
So as the political season kicks off, let's do a little more research before we jump off a cliff, so to speak.
Does a candidate for any office support your existence as a human being? Do they support your quest for full marriage equality? Would they make sure you couldn't be fired from your job merely for being gay or lesbian? Will they help protect our LGBT youth with strong bullying protections? You get the idea.
Please add those and other issues to the list of questions you ask BEFORE you invite a candidate over, introduce your friends, raise money for them or post pictures on the internet smiling with them -- because apparently some people will use anyone to get ahead, even if they completely disagree with you as a person.
Let's face it. We look smarter and more organized as a community. And we should not support people who'd rather see us without any equality at all.