A Reminder on Why I Will Not Vote Republican

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If there is one insurmountable obstacle blocking my path from voting Republican, it is their backwards and bigoted social policy stance. In the case of Virginia Governor Bob Mcdonnell, it is literally backwards.

In 2006, then-democractic governor of Virginia, Tim Kaine, added sexual orientation as a grounds for discrimination for Virginia State workers. The current governor, Bob Mcdonnell, erased sexual orientation from Virginia’s employment discrimination laws. Governor Mcdonnell’s actions are deplorable on many levels and here is why:

To those not familiar with the tragic effects of homophobia, let it be absolutely clear: it kills; it maims(mentally and physically) ; and it destroys lives, solely on account a living, breathing, human being’s sexual orientation. It is a force that must be met with a greater force of condemnation for it is powerful and pervasive. Anti-discrimination laws’ purpose is more than the surface goal of enabling society’s more vulnerable groups to have a livelihood. By coercing otherwise homophobic, discriminating employers into hiring LGTB individuals, a barrier is pierced. This employer, then, will be confronted with whatever irrational prejudices against homosexuals they had prior to actually having to interact with them. The heretofore prejudices may melt away, or may not. But even if, say, only 30% of employers realize their past folly, it is a success; the alternative will let the oil of hate simmer and, in some cases, catch fire in the form of a hate crime against a homosexual. By the latter, I mean to say that society’s entrenched religious/ideological opposition to homosexuals leaves a door open for homophobia to bare its ugly fangs.

Political Culpability

Governor Mcdonnell is not alone amongst Republicans in his flagrant acquiescence of the religious right’s persecution of homosexuals. In fact, I’d venture a guess that he is in the majority. For example, despite efforts to include sexual orientation as a grounds for discrimination and as a hate crime under federal law, the Republicans–ever the fawners to the powerful, populous religious right– prevented any such law from being passed. The rationale behind their opposition always lacks substantive merit; it is nothing more than reflection of its constituents’ unfounded prejudices. This has to stop. A short example from abroad is irrefutable proof as to why.

This past semester, I conducted heavy research(for an asylum case) of how Gays are treated in Latin America. Treated isn’t the proper word, severely oppressed is. Murder, Extortion, Robbery, pervasive Employment Discrimination(by both civil and state actors, like the police) are common fates that Gays face in much of Latin America. The principal cause of this, not surprisingly, is religion. If God says a group of people are bad, and a lot of people take God’s word at face value, bad things can happen to the designated “bad” group. This is exactly what happens in Latin America, and it happens in the U.S., too, but luckily not to the same degree of severity. I have no problem with God, but when it results in persecution of homosexuals, I will risk His smite. And so should the Republicans. Not only is a Republican divorce from the Religious Right a moral obligation–to protect the lives of our citizens and provide that they are afforded the same opportunities of success as anyone else–it is an practical solution to improving politics on the grand scale.

Imagine this: Republicans focusing on issues (the economy comes to mind as an important one), that can improve the lives of all Americans instead of so steadfastly clinging to a policy stance that directly and exclusively aims to worsen the lives homosexuals. This could, oh dear i think I’m dreaming, provide us with political candidates–both Republican and Democractic–who are competent in a concrete manner(like a health policy expert) instead of the countless demagogues that crawl into office because they were capable of striking an emotional chord within their constituencies.

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5 Responses to “A Reminder on Why I Will Not Vote Republican”

  1. Rob Says:

    Bryan,

    The next step for the gay movement should be dropping the “T” and carrying the “LGB” to gain Conservative and Republican acceptance. The current Virgina State anti-bias bill includes “transgender” (itself being a mental disorder) in the definition of “sexual orientation:” http://www.wtkr.com/news/dp-va–xgr-discriminatio0208feb08,0,7865563.story

    An employer, public or private, should be protected from litigation based upon perceived “gender identity” discrimination. The alleged discrimination could be having male and female bathrooms or failing to refer to a man who is “pre-operative transgender” as a woman. In both scenarios, the employer is not discriminating against an employee based upon a irrational belief (e.g., homophobia) but upon a rational assumption–that is, separate gender specific bathrooms maintain a safe and orderly working environment; a man is a man and cannot become a woman.

  2. bjohns15 Says:

    What if the bathroom scenario was specifically ruled out as a grounds for litigation?

  3. Rob Says:

    If both scenarios were ruled out as grounds for litigation, it would be a step in the right (pun intended) direction.

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