Recent Press Links

I’ve been quoted in a number of recent national politics news stories. Here are the links to a few of those stories:

Log Cabin, Former GOProud Leader Differ on Mike Pence, The Advocate, July 15

An Openly Gay Speaker Will Address The GOP Convention For The First Time In 16 Years, Huffington Post, July 14

Donald Trump Picked His Running Mate And You’ll Never Guess Who It Is, Elite Daily, July 14

Here’s everything gay advocates think is wrong with the Republican Party’s platform, Rare, July 13

Trump’s LGBT support after Orlando excites some, angers others, Newsday, June 23

Obama visits Orlando as Trump tries to get gay support, Bay Area Reporter, June 23

The Every Reason Except They’re Gay Takedown

In my latest piece over at Salon.com, I wrote about Eric Fanning’s nomination to be the new secretary of the Army. I’m pretty sure I know why his nomination has been stalled in the US Senate  – “the every reason except they’re gay takedown.”

I hope you’ll check it out. Here’s a link to the post.

Pretending it’s not a gay takedown: Pat Roberts, the GOP and the bigotry driving the stalled nomination of Eric Fanning

Comment From a Reader of ‘No Hope’

“Jimmy! Your book addressed dilemmas that have been a political debacle in my mind for years. Growing up as a Republican in Kansas I frequently found myself between both sides as a gay man. The answer is clear to me, neither side is right for me at this point! Being authentic, thinking independently and true to yourself as you are doing is commendable. It is my goal and I follow your lead to be part of the Independent thinking Party! Thanks for the great read!”

-Reader of my book, No Hope: Why I Left the GOP (and You Should Too).

When Right vs. Left Becomes Right vs. Wrong

I wrote this piece for The Advocate earlier this week. I decided to re-post it here as my last post here for a while. I am going to do some work on this website over the next couple of months, so I am not going to generate any more content here until I unveil my new design some time this summer.

When Right vs. Left Becomes Right vs. Wrong

The recent backlash and boycotts sparked after gay New York businessmen Ian Reisner and Mati Weiderpass hosted a meet-and-greet for presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz reminded me of 2008, when Manhunt’s Jonathan Crutchley was condemned for contributing to Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign. I thought to myself, Times change.

I thought the boycotts and backlash against Crutchley in 2008 were extreme and wrong, based on the standards and norms of that time. Today, we are living in a different time. Today, Ted Cruz’s views, which are more extreme than McCain’s ever were, are so far outside the mainstream that they are simply considered unacceptable to most Americans.

Sen. Cruz has mapped out the most antigay extreme path to the GOP nomination possible. He sent that message by announcing his candidacy at the late Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University, and he has been beating the antigay drum on the campaign trail ever since. He’s doing that because there is still a large portion of the GOP primary electorate who hold the extreme views of the past.

I spent most of my career as an openly gay conservative Republican working in the trenches of the culture wars. Before I left the GOP last year, I worked to help conservatives to evolve culturally, specifically on attitudes and issues affecting LGBT Americans. I spent more than a decade engaging in dialogue with conservatives in an effort to help them. I always tried to keep the mood of the country in perspective when advocating for engagement and coalition with antigay politicians. Now, in 2015, we are way past the tipping point of public opinion in favor of equal treatment for gay Americans.

The bottom line is that Cruz and the Republican Party have failed to evolve. Cultural evolution has always played a role in American politics. Slavery, women’s suffrage, civil rights, the sexual revolution, women’s lib, and other cultural movements have all had an impact on policy and politics. Societal standards and norms change over time. When it comes to cultural issues in politics, it’s likely that today’s deeply held belief will become tomorrow’s untenable position. Eventually, right versus left becomes right versus wrong in voters’ minds. That doesn’t happen with every issue, but it’s important to recognize it when it does. We’ve seen it over and over again — political movements that fail to evolve will ultimately be left in the past. Remember the Dixiecrats?  Continue reading “When Right vs. Left Becomes Right vs. Wrong”

Obama’s Evolution

I appeared on HuffPost Live earlier today to join in a discussion over recent revelations that President Obama was (allegedly) secretly a supporter of civil marriage for gay couples, even though he held the public position against it in the 2008 campaign.

Honestly, I can’t condemn him for taking the most politically palatable position he could at the time, one in favor of civil unions. If I condemned him for that, then I would be very very busy trying to hold many other politicians to the same standard on that issue. Not only that, we can’t forget just how fast this issue has moved. I just don’t think that we should judge the actions taken in the past by today’s cultural standards and norms.  Continue reading “Obama’s Evolution”