Contrary to stereotypes, there are — gasp — queer people who are conservative. There’s nothing in Ye Olde Gay Handbooke that states that in order to be gay, one must be a screaming liberal, so go on with your GOP selves, gay people. In fact, the queer conservative group Log Cabin Republicans filed the lawsuit in federal court challenging “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.”
In celebration of gay conservatives’ rise to prominence in the political and media sphere, the organization GOProud threw Homocon, an expensive dinner party in the New York City home of billionaire and libertarian PayPal co-founder, Peter Thiel, featuring Ann Coulter as keynote speaker. GOProud touted her as the “right wing Judy Garland” and welcomed the outspoken commentator to deliver prepared remarks.
While each LGBT person is entitled to his or her political opinion, the conservative celebrity’s comments were downright offensive to many queer people. Coulter already has a terrible track record with the LGBT community, particularly for her reference to former presidential hopeful John Edwards as a “faggot” and her more recent complaint about the "irritating" lesbians "shutting down high school proms across the country because they can’t take their girlfriends to the dance as the Founding Fathers intended."
Her speech at the dinner only enhanced her colorful repertoire on LGBT rights. She remarked, “I thought I’d try to talk you out of gay marriage,” as she believes that marriage is for procreation and is something the government must protect. She went on to declare to the audience that marriage “is not a civil right — you’re not Black.” So basically, since gay people aren’t Black, Coulter says, their rights to get married are not protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. Coulter continued, “Blacks must be looking at the gays saying, ‘Why can’t we be oppressed like that?’” I don’t even think we should go there on this statement.
In closing, Coulter announced, “Right-wingers have always liked gays.Look at all of Ronald Reagan’s gay friends. Look at my personal hero Joe McCarthy and his” — airquotes — “special assistant.”
Whether or not her sweeping statement about right-wingers having "always liked gays" is consistent with the real political truth, some high-profile conservatives, such as Elisabeth Hasselbeck, have offered their public support of basic gay civil rights, demonstrating a positive political and social shift in attitudes towards LGBT Americans.
Coulter’s appearance at Homocon, in theory, could have demonstrated similar new support from the GOP for out LGBT people, but with such blatant anti-gay rights comments, her appearance sends the wrong message from the political right and clarifies her lack of support for equal protection of LGBT people under Constitutional law. Her celebrity status brought the media attention that Homocon wanted, but her content belittled the members of GOProud and other conservative queer people, who, while possibly in favor of maintaining states’ rights in deciding gay marriage, are certainly supportive of their own rights under the protection of the Constitution. There are many LGBT-friendly conservatives around the country, but Ann Coulter is clearly not one of the them.