COLUMN: A right-winged gay on being a right-winged gay

I am in a weird spot where I often get criticism from both sides of many debates. 

I get called a bigot in one conversation and a fag in another. 

My ideological beliefs tend to be conservative — I hope I have made that clear throughout my columns.  Likewise, it typically does not take more than a minute or two of a conversation to assume my sexuality. 

Notice I wrote “likewise” instead of “however.” I like to think of these two attributes of my life — maybe because they are two of the largest attributes that form whom I am — as simply coexistent, yet independent characteristics of my identity. 

Take for instance the 2017 Supreme Court case Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, in which a cake shop owner refused to bake a cake for a same-sex couple on the grounds of it violating his religious beliefs. 

I may receive hatred and backlash from my fellow members of the LGBT community, but I have some sort of ethical obligation to support a man’s legitimate religious beliefs over a couple’s desire to buy a cake from that shop. 

At the same time, however, I recognize the persisting inequality due to homophobia, and I often see it firsthand. Despite decades of progress, no federal law exists which explicitly prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in areas such as employment.

One in four LGBT employees experience employment discrimination, and 8 percent of LGBT employees reported discrimination negatively affecting their work environments.

I want my sexuality to be a footnote in my political life. I desire to spend my life advocating for the growth of this nation and preservation of liberty without making it about myself in any way. 

My sexuality does not underscore my decisions, ideas or value. It is just another part of my personal identity, completely separated from my political ideology. 

There is nothing oxymoronic about being a gay conservative. Just the same, our ethnicities, races and gender identifications should not make political statements on our behalf. 

Sure, sometimes they can help us see the failures of our legal system at a personal level, but they ought not be a sole contributor in any decision-making. I think we should move past the days where identities define us.

I simply want to make note that these immutable characteristics have nothing to do with values. 

Don’t get me wrong — I am not disgraced by my identity at all. Some blatantly ignorant assumptions come with saying that gay Republicans do not want to speak of their sexuality, because they are ashamed of it. 

That is not me. 

I want to yell it from the rooftops just as much as I want to yell about the failures of Obamacare. 

We need to recognize — as any community of people — that our personal characteristics such as sexual orientation do not automatically place us into any given political affiliation. But rather, it is our thoughtful values and ideas that should construct our agendas. 

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