Alaska conservative supports LGBT rights: "Their time is coming"

On Monday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals extended the hold on same sex marriages until they review the Prop 8 case in December. The waiting couples will have to wait longer, but the case is being fast-tracked and the Prop 8 supporters will have to prove their right to appeal, which is still in doubt.

One side effect of this slow but inevitable progress toward marriage equality in the U.S. is that the issue is splitting the GOP, even in Alaska.

While the culture war conservatives are raising holy heck about Prop 8 being overturned and proposing a Constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage, the mainstream GOP is trying to avoid the issue, and big name conservatives are coming out in favor of marriage equality.

For example: Arnold Swartzenegger, the Republican governor of California, will not appeal Judge Walker's decision and asked the court to allow the marriages to resume. Attorney Ted Olson is co-counsel on the case representing the gay couples and touts the conservative arguments in favor of same sex marriage. Republicans like Cindy and Meghan McCain are vocal supporters of marriage equality. Fox contributor Margaret Hoover wrote an editorial last week encouraging the GOP to listen to young conservatives and be on the right side of civil rights history. Even Glen Beck said that he doesn't care if gay and lesbian couples get married.

But did you know that some Alaska conservatives are in favor of same sex marriage? Conservative ADN contributor Paul Jenkins wrote a strong piece on LGBT equality. Jenkins wonders
"why gays and lesbians are forced to fight so hard for rights the rest of us take for granted. How did we come to believe -- and blindly accept -- that gays and lesbians have fewer rights? How did we start being comfortable thinking of them as lesser people, second-class citizens at best?

As a conservative, I wonder at those who think the Constitution takes sides, picks winners and losers. Count me among those who believe it protects us all equally; that it means what it says and exists to provide equal opportunity and freedom from an oppressive government. No one group has more rights than any other. I've read the Alaska Constitution, and nowhere does it say, "except for gay people or anybody different," and I'm here to report the U.S. Constitution does not either, at least the copy I read. In no place did I find, "but not gays or people we are not particularly fond of."

Too many of us believe our prejudices somehow trump those documents; that our hatreds are somehow codified in them and therefore acceptable; that some of us, incredibly, do not deserve the same protections as others.

Some believe that enshrining religious beliefs and taboos in a constitution is not only acceptable but necessary. Face it, in this country you are allowed to hate anyone -- as long as you do not act on your hatred. You are allowed to think what you want, feel what you want, resent, loathe or despise anybody who strikes your fancy. You can be prejudiced. You can be a jerk. But you have no more rights than anybody else -- straight or gay.

Too often, too many of us forget that. We use our differences and our fear of gays and lesbians to demean them, at least constitutionally. We have no right.

No matter the outcome of the ACLU lawsuit against the city and state, or the California federal court decision, gays and lesbians are here -- and have been since the dawn of time. They are part of our community. Now they are demanding the rights we have denied them, and it is increasingly difficult, even for bigots, to justify denying gays and lesbians the very rights we take for granted.

Their time is coming soon. Get used to the idea. We'll all be better for it."
Wow, great piece. So why are conservatives, even in Alaska, writing articles in support of gay rights?

Conservatives see the writing on the wall - gay rights are coming, and they might as well get their base ready for it. The GOP doesn't want a war over this because they know they will lose, they have more important issues, and the youth overwhelmingly support LGBT equality.

Besides, gay rights is a great opportunity for the fiscal conservatives to take back control of their party and put the bigots back on the fringe where they belong.

Making marriage equality a bipartisan issue is good news for mainstream conservatives, and excellent news for gays. It's also good for Democrats who have supported us all along and celebrated our victories. They know that once LGBT's have equal rights, we can focus our political skills on other issues that are important to us and our allies.

The only losers are the bigots who continue to push an agenda of hate and fear after everyone else has seen the light.

Our time is indeed coming.

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