An Open Letter to Gay Republicans

Dear gay Republicans,

Rick Santorum's surge and near-win in Iowa should be a wake-up call: your party hates you.

Let's put economic and other issues aside for a moment; we can have a spirited debate about the backward GOP approach to taxes, the environment, and foreign policy another time. I don't understand how you can look beyond the fact that a major portion of your party's fundamental beliefs are that you are not equal.

This isn't a minor issue within your party. The Republican Party platform calls for amending the United States Constitution to discriminate against you. Party officials actually want to use our country's foundational document, which grants and extends rights and freedoms to people, to limit yours. But that's only the tip of the iceberg.

Santorum's come-from-behind, surprise second-place finish is creating quite a mess in the primary. Not only does he have a long history of anti-gay remarks, but his campaign is centered around coded homophobia. When he is asked a question about most issues, he brings it back to the family. Even the poor economy he manages to blame on the breakdown of the "traditional family." And when he talks about needing to return to our "traditional family," he's speaking to fellow homophobes about how scary us gays are. Because he doesn't actually care about families; if he did, he'd support adoptions by LGBT couples, marriage rights for same-sex couples who already have children, and all manner of legal rights to parents of children in LGBT relationships that are not now afforded them, including hospital visitation rights, access to survivors benefits for social security, and a host of other necessary protections for the family. No, when he says "family," he means straight families, and all of his supporters know that.

Your party has, as one of its major leading presidential candidates, a person who doesn't think you should be able to serve openly in the military, who doesn't believe that you can create a loving family, who thinks that your committed relationships are destroying the moral fabric of America. Your party has thrown you in the deviant pile. Your party has labeled you a sexual predator. Your party is afraid of you and does not incorporate your voice or believe in your dignity.

This fact isn't a small debate within your party. It is not some misguided homophobes who are simply unaware of the LGBT community and all its accomplishments, struggles, and contributions, speaking out of turn and out of step with the platform. This is your party's platform. They don't like you, they don't want you, and they want to strip you of your rights and make you and your core personhood illegal, and Santorum exemplifies it. Even though he will almost certainly never be president, your party elevates him to the highest levels. I'm sorry that this has to be pointed out so bluntly.

And sadly, even so-called "moderates" like Romney have been forced to mimic Santorum on all LGBT issues in order to increase their electability. So when you vote for these guys and actively try to put them in power, you are hurting yourself, you are hurting me, you're hurting every loving LGBT family, and, most importantly, you're hurting America. Hate is not a family value. Hate is not an American value. Hate should not be a Republican value, but it is.

As a gay man, I humbly ask that you withdraw your support from the Republican Party unless and until the homophobic party platform is demonstrably and fully remediated. Bullies cannot serve the people of the United States of America, uphold the Constitution, or embrace you.

Asher Huey