I’m glad to have the opportunity to be a contributor to this blog. I’ve had my own blog over at Atlanta Public Affairs since January 2005.
Yes, I’m a Democrat. I’m socially liberal and fiscally moderate to conservative. Oh, and I’m gay.
I’ve been with my partner and had a monogomous relationship with him for over 5 years now. We’re both professionals, pay a lot of money in taxes, vote, own a home on a quarter of an acre, have a dog, have two cars, don’t do drugs, love our friends and families, and never been charged or convicted of a crime. It’s pretty much a typical, conservative if you will, family life. We’re actually pretty boring. We really just want to be contributing members of society.
While we’ve gone out and spent a bunch of money for an attorney to draft up wills, powers of attorney, etc. to protect us, it would be nice to be able to know for sure that these things would hold up if something happened to either one of us. We would take these things for granted if we were married. I’m not asking for marriage in Georgia, necessarily, but I do want the state to provide us many of the same rights that we would have if we were married. Call it marriage, civil union, domestic partnership, I don’t care. If you don’t want me to get married in your church then fine, I wont. Gay marriage, or civil unions, is actually a pretty conservative concept.
It scares us that some states are doing more than just defining “marriage” as between a “man and a woman.” The State of Virginia passed a “marriage protection” law that said that two people of the same sex cannot enter into contracts with each other (basically outlawing the arrangements I mentioned that we made above). How can you justify that?
I support the concept (not necessarily the Bush plan, but the concept) of private Social Security accounts. I do so because I want to be able to pass along some of the money I’ve invested into the system to my partner if I should die. Otherwise, I’ve just thrown a bunch of money into a hole and he would not currently qualify for survivor benefits. Bet you never thought of Social Security reform in that way, have you?
While I’m openly critical about the Bush Administrations handling of the Iraq war, I did not oppose invading Iraq (although I did so based on the theory that Iraq had WMD’s which we have not found and not spreading “freedom” as is now the reason for going to war). Nonetheless, I believe that if we left Iraq now and did not finish the job, we would leave a bigger mess than what we started with. That is unacceptable and would put our country and interests at risk. But the Bush Administration needs to start getting honest with the American people about what it will take to win.
Quite frankly, I could probably be fairly comfortable about being a Republican if it weren’t for the Republican Party’s current hostility towards gay people and its close association with the religious right. The left wing looneys (ala Cynthia McKinney and her ilk) drive me crazy just as much as the right wing fanatics. You people don’t even realize how many other gay and gay friendly people out there feel the same way, but are so repulsed by the Republican Party’s such outward hostility towards gay people, and a seeming obsession with gay sex by many in the religious right, they can’t bring themselves to be a Republican.
I don’t mean to imply that the Republican Party is the only party at fault here. Look, I’m the first to admit that the Democrats were in power in the State House when the marriage amendment passed in that body. And I respect the hell out of Republican Rep. Jill Chambers for the stand she took.
It took a lot of Democrats voting for it in order to pass the amendment. Former Speaker Terry Coleman is not a friend. We’ve got a lot of work to do within our own party. However, most of the outward hostility towards gay people seems to come from religious conservatives and Republicans.
I believe in freedom, whether it be economic freedom or social freedom. In general, I feel that less government regulation is the best policy, whether it be in our pocketbooks or whether it be in our family lives.
I don’t plan my posts on this blog to be focused on “gay issues.” However, I want you all to know where I’m coming from. I actually plan to do most of my contributing about Metro Atlanta politics. We have many local elections in 2005 this year that I want to cover. My first post later this week will be on city elections in the new city of Sandy Springs.
So, there you go. My first entry on Peach Pundit.