Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 22, No. 40, Ed. 1 Friday, February 17, 2006 Page: 32 of 72
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Gay conservatives ideas flourish on Internet
Conservative bloggers stop the liberal gay media from serving as
the gatekeepers of public opinion for the world's GLBT community
Perhaps more than any inven-
tion since the printing press, the
Internet has decentralized infor-
mation and opinion. The market-
place of ideas, including ideas
about the appropriate tactics and
even direction of the gay-rights
cause, is more robust than ever.
Gay conservative bloggers and
websites, of which there are now
dozens, are major competitors in
When I began writing
OutRight in 1994, the gay press
was dominated by a narrow ideological band.
The views expressed in gay periodicals, either
explicitly in opinion columns or implicitly in
"news" features, ranged from liberal to radical. It
brought to mind what Dorothy Parker once said
of Katherine Hepburn's performance in a movie:
"She ran the gamut of emotions from A to B."
This limited range could and did produce dis-
agreement that the protagonists regarded as pro-
found. But to an outsider it was all pretty dismal.
Gay publishers and editors acted as gatekeep-
ers of opinion, defining what was acceptable.
There were a handful of libertarians writing for
gay papers, but real conservatives could hardly
be found. Even gay periodicals that ran my col-
umn back then often felt the need to run a left-
wing counterpart, as if doing so was necessary to
provide "balance" in a paper already dominated
by liberal views and reporting.
Two nearly simultaneous developments
changed this. First, beginning in the 1980s, main-
stream gay people, whose wide spectrum of
political views mirrors the country's, came out of
the closet in large numbers. They could not be
ignored. And they could not understand why
their sexual orientation necessarily entailed sup-
port for things like high marginal tax rates or lib-
eral abortion laws.
Second, the flowering of the Internet in the
mid-1990s ensured that anybody could become a
self-publisher whose views were immediately
available to millions of people.
The day of the opinion gatekeeper is finished.
What has taken its place? A cacophony of views,
including those of gay conservatives and libertar-
ians whose energy and intellectual vibrancy
seems disproportionate to their numbers.
Here's a few of the websites and blogs by gay
Dale Carpenter Outright
writers who dissent in important
ways from the tactics and goals
of the gay left and its organiza-
tions. Not all of these writers can
easily be categorized as either
conservative or libertarian. All
are committed to equality for gay
(1) Independent Gay Forum
ought to be the first stop for any-
one interested in gay conserva-
tive and libertarian views. It fea-
tures columns from more than 40
writers (including me) on just about every gay-
related topic. It also features a terrific blog called
Culture Watch, written by Steve Miller, who has
something trenchant to say about everything.
(2) Andrew Sullivan (andrewsullivan.com).
Sullivan is the granddaddy of all bloggers, and
easily the most widely read gay blogger in the
country, getting 70,000 to 80,000 visits a day.
Passionate, perceptive, and wickedly smart, he's
interesting and challenging even when he's
wrong. Cruise him daily.
The flowering of the Internet in the
mid- 1990s ensured that anybody could
become a self-publisher whose views
were immediately available to millions
(3) Jonathan Rauch (www.jonath-
Rauch is one of the most influential and finest
gay authors on the planet. He writes for respect-
ed mainstream publications, like The Atlantic
and National Journal, on a wide range of issues.
His recent book, Gay Marriage: Why It Is Good
for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for
America, is the best and most concise argument
for gay marriage I've ever read. While his web-
site is not a blog, it will quickly get you to his
(4) Bruce Bawer (brucebawer.com). Bawer
wrote the most important book of the 1990s on
gay issues, "A Place at the Table." It awakened a
generation of gay Americans to the possibility of
an alternative to gay-left orthodoxy. Now he's
defending classical liberal values against Muslim
extremism. Also not a blog, this site will give you
entree to Bawer's best stuff.
(5) Beth Elliott (thebethzone.com). Elliott,
who's been active on gay issues since the 1970s,
calls herself "a girl-kissing California girl with a
Southern heritage and a Jesuit education." Her
irreverent blog effectively takes on lesbian-femi-
nist shibboleths from a libertarian perspective.
(6) Gay Patriot (gaypatriot.net). Two skillful
and informed pundits take turns whacking at
Democrats and the gay left on this blog. It's prob-
ably the most reliably conservative gay blog on
(7) Tim Hulsey (mystupiddog.blogspot.com).
Hulsey, a "gay, conservative grad student and
former writing teacher/' ruminates articulately
on culture and politics. When I want a thoughtful
analysis of a movie I'm thinking about seeing, I
go to Hulsey's blog.
(8) Jon Rowe (jonrowe.blogspot.com). Rowe
is a libertarian college professor with a law
degree. His blog covers everything from consti-
tutional theory to sex to religion, all the things
one shouldn't talk about in polite company. It is
intelligent, refined, and measured — qualities
badly lacking in much of the blogosphere.
There are many more good ones: ricksin-
gayorbit.net, malcontent.typepad.com, average-
press.com, and too many more to list.
Be aware that many blogs often offer little
more than links to, or quotes from, substantive
points made by others, contributing nothing
original of their own. But whether you're a bud-
ding gay conservative looking for some intel-
lectual support or a skeptical gay liberal moni-
toring the right, you'll find something on the
gay-conservative Internet to keep your mind
Dale Carpenter is a law professor at the
University> of Minnesota. Some of his past
columns can be read at the Independent Gay
"Diversity is a part of what makes
Dallas a great city."
Phillip Jones, president and CEO of the Dallas
Convention and Visitors Bureau, on
the importance of bringing SLBT
tourists to the city
"Our beneficiaries are the true stars of
the Black Tie Dinner."
Tom PhippS,, ccHSffair of thg Dallas-Fort Worth
Black Tie Dinner Committee
"What we are trying to do is target
people in the community that we think
will want to be supportive of the park's
Linda White, spokeswoman for
the f riends/of Reverchon Park,
about an upcoming celebration to
kick off a campaign to upgrade
the 46-acre park
32 I dallasvoice.com I 02.17.06
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Vercher, Dennis. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 22, No. 40, Ed. 1 Friday, February 17, 2006, newspaper, February 17, 2006; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth238896/m1/32/: accessed October 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.