Op-ed: Equality Will Come From the Right



 The third and fourth groups on the right that the LGBT left needs to understand are inner-directed social conservatives and outer-directed social conservatives. Inner-directed social conservatives rely on their own consciences to make moral decisions. They respect and admire virtues such as devotion to a life partner and service to the community. They are wary of LGBT equality because they don’t know how it will affect the stability of society, the institution of marriage, their religion, and the strength of our military. However, inner-directed social conservatives can be won over by LGBTs who show them we too are devoted to our spouses, families, and community service.

In contrast, outer-directed social conservatives are the permanent and implacable foes of LGBT equality. They are immune to our stories of devotion and lead lives according to the dictates of their religious leaders. LGBT activists should shoo them out of government and back to their proper place in the realm of persuasion, where religions reside in America thanks to the First Amendment guarantee of religious freedom.

Finally, perhaps the most important argument for marriage equality that makes sense to conservatives is that the government must define marriage in order to protect the freedom of religion for all its citizens. If the religions fighting marriage equality succeed in grabbing the power to define marriage away from the government, instantly they will become totalitarian governments unto themselves, with enormous coercive powers. People who now have the right to marry will lose their rights to divorce, to change religions, and to marry without belonging to a religion. This would be a huge loss of individual liberty. That is a message that resonates with most conservatives.

So why is Andrew Breitbart (or even Ann Coulter, for that matter) a better friend to LGBT people than Barack Obama? Well, for one thing, Breitbart surely has more gay friends. He publicly pushes back against antigay groups that try to exclude LGBT conservatives from conservatism’s big tent. In addition, Breitbart is a fiscal conservative fighting for the principles of wealth creation that allow the LGBT community to thrive.

Meanwhile, Obama’s bus has two places for LGBTs: at the back or under. What can we do to change that? The main reason we get so little respect from Obama and the Democrats is that they’ve got us believing we have nowhere else to go. Show the Democrats they’re wrong. The more that Democrats see that LGBTs are willing to engage in a dialogue with conservatives and Republicans, work with conservatives and Republicans, even vote for conservatives and Republicans, the more power we will have. What’s not to like about that?