Surprise! Texas GOP Candidates Don't Support Gay Rights -- or Do They?
Every week or so, managing editor Patrick Williams disappears into his office and reemerges a cranky, nicotine-addicted, third-person-referring superhero we like to call Buzz.
What's Greg Abbott really thinking under that handsome head of Republican hair?
So The Associated Press last week reported the results of a survey it sent to the top Republican candidates for statewide office, including Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who's running for governor, and a bunch of other white guys we can't tell apart, asking them for their stances on gay rights.
The survey turned up just tons of huge surprises. For example, did you know that before he decided to enter politics, gubernatorial candidate Tom Pauken dreamed of becoming a professional jazz dancer? Or that state Representative Dan Branch, candidate for attorney general, has seen A Chorus Line 135 times?
We kid. What they really offered in response to the AP's six questions about gay rights were variations of "Oh, hell no." But you knew that.
The upshot is that, according to the heterosexual-as-far-as-we-know men likely to lead Texas, LGBT people don't need any legal protection against discrimination because they're never, ever discriminated against and if they do by some remote chance happen to face what could laughably be construed as discrimination, that's OK because it's what Jesus wants.
"Sadly, in a culture infected with political correctness, people of faith are targeted for defending their beliefs with no consideration of their First Amendment rights," responded Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, who is running for re-election on the "Stop Throwing Christians to the Lions" platform. (It's been very successful over the years.)
Abbott said that as far as he knew, employers don't ask about sexual orientation, so every thing is jake for gay people. Unfortunately, as far as Abbott knows is not very far. The AP asked whether "homosexuality is a disorder that requires treatment." Abbott said he couldn't judge anyone's sexuality because he's not God -- just one of God's chosen mouthpieces. He referred the AP to the American Psychological Association, which (surprise!) endorses gay marriage, does not approve of "conversion" therapies and is very down on LGBT discrimination.
So either Abbott is a crypto-liberal on gay issues, or he needs to do a little more research. He should start with a study released by Rice University last spring called "The force of law: The effects of sexual orientation antidiscrimination legislation on interpersonal discrimination in employment," which found that gay and lesbian job seekers faced significantly less discrimination in areas that have anti-discrimination laws. It's available online from the American Psychological Association.