Gay conservatives dejected by Senate vote
Patrick Guerriero, executive director of conservative gay rights group Log Cabin Republicans, has been getting asked one particularly humorous question a lot these days: "So who are you going to vote for? John Kerry or Ralph Nader?" After all, he and his group of gay Republicans have seemingly been hung out to dry by the Bush administration and its backers in Congress. This week Republican leaders in the U.S. Senate pushed for but failed to pass a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. A procedural vote on the proposal needed 60 votes to pass but went down on Wednesday by a vote of 48 votes backing the amendment to 50 against. Still, Guerriero and his fellow gay conservatives have been left feeling beleaguered by all the antigay rhetoric that surrounded the Senate debate. "I do a lot of soul-searching," Guerriero admitted. "Our membership is ticked off."
Mind you, that does not mean Guerriero is going to leave his Log Cabin post or the Republican Party. Growing up in a middle-class Boston suburb, he feared that his sexual orientation would thwart his political ambitions, especially as a budding young Republican. But unlike generations of gay and lesbian conservatives before him, he has refused to stay in the closet and has been successful. However, he is furious that the GOP--of which he and others have remained loyal to for so long--seems to be completely shunning gay men and lesbians while catering to a far-right agenda in which advocating the opposition of gay rights has become a favored means for raising campaign funds.