Not fast enough, in my own opinion, but there seems to be real change occurring in the GOP. Thirty-five Republicans voted in favor of adding gays, lesbians, and bisexuals to current hate crimes legislation. Just a short time ago, nearly none of them would have touched that issue, and I think Log Cabon Republican president Patrick Sammon has it right:
“You have folks who are looking ahead to 2008 and they see the landscape is going to be very difficult and they need to reach out to moderate voters,” he said. “This is one issue to do that on.”
Clyde Wilcox, a Georgetown University government professor, agreed.
“This helps them at election time,” he said. “It’s a minimal kind of support, but it’s still an issue that resonates in American culture.”
What caused that change in American culture, I would submit, is not using blanket statements to condemn every Republican for the faults of the decided majority. It was gay people of all stripes who took a more tactful approach, whether it was coming out to more conservative friends, or by joining groups like Log Cabin Republicans. As much as you might think “gay Republican” is an oximoron (or simply moronic), you can’t deny that there’s been a significant political change in the attitudes of Republicans towards them.