Monday, November 08, 2010

"Why I Voted Republican"

Two days after Election Day 2010, for the last hour of the show, I asked those LGBT people who voted Republican to call in to the show and explain why. The phones lit up with people calling from all across the U.S.

Exit polling shows gay, lesbian, bisexual voters cast a ballot for Republicans in double the numbers from 2008: from 19% to 31%. True, the sample is small, and any such polling should be taken with a grain of salt. But it's undeniable that many LGBT voters were disappointed with the White House and Democrats, and it's plausable that many stayed home or voted for another party.

And yet, the Republican takeover of the House and many statehouses means there will be no votes expanding gay civil rights protections, in Congress and in most of the states that went GOP (and there likely will be antigay votes, such as in Minnesota where Republican pledge to push a marriage amendment), which begs the question of why gay people would vote Republican in this election. The phones were jammed with people who voted GOP who wanted to offer their explanations for casting votes for politicians like David Vitter in Louisiana, for Rand Paul in Kentucky, for Rick Scott in the governor's race in Florida, and for various other, Senate, House and local races.

This clip includes a few of those calls, two from Kentucky and one from Maine, where the caller voted for Paul LePage, the Republican governor-elect who has actually floated that the Maine Human Rights Act -- which gives basic anti-discrimination protection to gays -- should to be revisited, in addition to be against marriage equality, which Maine could have been on the brink of voting in again (after voter rescinded the newly-passed law in a ballot measure) if Republicans didn't take the statehouse and the governorship for the first time since 1964.

I took calls from GOP-voting gays for the full last hour of the show, devoting the time to them (the following day we took calls from those responding) and at the end of the show the lines were still fully lit and many callers could not get through at all.

UPDATE: Rosie O'Donnell called the show responding to the callers in this video. Be sure to check that out too.