The decision by Ann Coulter to speak to a group of conservative gays called GoProud at an event called HomoCon 2010 is revealing a certain nuanced view toward gays and gay rights by many conservatives, especially younger ones.
While WorldNetDaily, a fringe group that has touted, among other things, Obama Birtherism (i.e. the theory that the President was born in Kenya, hence not a “natural born American,” hence not really President), canceled a speaking engagement by Coulter, a number of young conservatives are praising Ann Coulter for her outreach, according to Matt Lewis.
Younger conservatives, including Red State’s Erick Erickson and columnist S.E. Culp, have been among those who have praised Coulter’s decision to address HomoCon. Other conservatives who have been shown to be more gay-friendly than not are Ted Olson, who is leading a court fight to overturn Proposition 8 banning same sex marriage in California, Glenn Beck, Tucker Carlson of the Daily Caller, and anti-tax activist Grover Norquist.
Some of the friendliness toward gays from the right is generational; younger conservatives tend to be more libertarian toward social issues than older conservatives. Younger conservatives tend to be more supportive of same-sex marriage, not only as a matter of right and fairness, but also as a means of promoting social stability.
Many conservatives are able to take the leap from wanting the government to stay out of their economic lives to wanting the government out of their personal lives. Telling gays that they cannot marry one another seems to many young righties to be an intrusion into private life. The argument that marriage is a sacred institution only meant to be between one man and one woman falls on deaf ears.
There is also the sense that, in these times of economic distress, issues of smaller government, lower taxes, and economic growth are far more important than a side struggle over a cultural issue like same-sex marriage. Not having a job or paying confiscatory taxes are far more immediate problems than whether or not two gay people can marry.
Even social conservatives, who do balk at same sex marriage, find the idea of civil unions for gays, marriage in effect in all but name, to be perfectly acceptable. Civil unions, indeed, might serve as the basis of a compromise and as a bridge to a time when they become marriages in name as well as in fact.
Conservatives are not averse to change, though often they suspect that when a liberal yells “change!” he means exchanging one set of social ills for brand new ones. But the right takes the stance of Edmund Burke, that change should happen gradually, rather than abruptly.
Ann Coulter to Headline Gay Conservative Fundraiser, ‘Homocon 2010’, Mark R. Whittington, Associated Content, August 7th, 2010
Ann Coulter Applauded by Young Conservatives for ‘HomoCon’ Speech, Matt Lewis, Politics Daily, August 19th, 2010
Ted Olson vs. Proposition 8, Mark R. Whittington, Associated Content, May 27th, 2010
Glenn Beck on Gay Marriage and Abortion (Video), Mark R. Whittington, Associated Content, August 12th, 2010
Ted Olson and the Conservative Case for Same Sex Marriage, Mark R. Whittington, Associated Content, August 8th, 2010