Bob and Dale’s voter guide

I always look forward to Bob Page and Dale Fredericksen’s GLBT voter guide.  The guide is compliled by Greensboro GLSEN’s Gary Palmer.

Bob and Dale (and kids) are an upstanding Greensboro family who take a lot of time assessing candidate’s views on “is they is, or is they isn’t” friendly toward issues related to the GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual and trandsgendered) community.  (As an aside, their voter guide was found in my “deleted”  file because I have my software set to filter out emails containing some of those words).

Click here to see the GLBT voter guide.

The guide is important to me because so many of my friends are GL and sometimes B.  I may have some T friends or acquaintances, but perhaps I just am unaware of it (which is a high compliment I imagine).  In any case, their issues are my issues.

The most interesting, and somewhat disturbing, part of the guide has to do with those candidates for which Dale, Bob and Gary are unable to determine “friendliness” toward GLBT issues.  Those candidates are given an “unknown” label.  If the candidate’s views on the subject are unknown AND the candidate is a registered Republican an asterisk preceeds the designation.

When you read what the asterisk denotes at the bottom of the page, the voter guide reminds us of the “big tent” position which the North Carolina Republican Party adopted in their 2004 platform on familly issues (Article I):

We believe homosexuality is not normal and should not be established as an acceptable “alternative” lifestyle…”

My Party’s policies on family are as conflicted as a transgendered person’s personae. 

In one sentence “we” state, “our nation’s strength lies with the family….” then we declare that a family should only be considered as such when it is a “… a two-parent family, where a husband and wife live in harmony in one home…”,  and that only such an arrangement, “… provides the ideal environment for raising children and is the best model for family life.“ 

But, it is apparently OK by us if one of those harmonious spouses breaks ranks with our ideal because we make a special effort to recognize the resulting family when “we praise the courageous efforts of single parents who work hard to provide stable homes…” just so’s you won’t think we are closed-minded or anything.

Oh, but wait… we’re progressive because we are aware of the fact that there are a lot of children who are in need of adoption, so “we support efforts to hasten the adoption of foster children into permanent, safe and nurturing homes“.  

But our fear of homosexuals overides our desire for placing orhans in just any old nurturing home because ”we oppose… the adoption of children by same-sex couples…”. We could give a hoot if some gay couple has been together for fifteen years longer than the average “normal” couple.  We apparently just think this whole gay thing is a phase and if we ignore it, it’ll go away.

It is no wonder that Bob and Dale cite the Republican “family” platform when a Republican candidate’s views are “unknown”.  They, like other gay couples I know well, are rearing their adopted (and/or biological) children in wholesome and nurturing two-parent households. 

While I certainly agree with my Party’s statement that the ideal set-up for parenting is the ying and yang that parents of the different sexes bring to bear on child rearing, good parenting is certainly not the exclusive province of such an arrangement.  From my experience, good families can be found among any mix in the number of, or the sex of, or the sexual orientation of, dedicated and caring parents.

I truly wish my North Carolina Republican Party’s leadership would see its platform on family values for what it is – a fear induced and bigoted statement of backwardness, repleat with contradictions.

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