Since its shellacking in the November 2012 elections, the national Republican Party has been doing a lot of collective soul searching. The Grand Old Party is scrambling to appeal to younger voters, Latinos, blacks, women, city dwellers and other demographic groups that appear firmly in the Democratic camp.
In a latest attempt to gauge members’ views, the Republican National Committee has sent out a detailed questionnaire that seeks out information on a range of issues -- including same-sex marriage, abortion and legalization of marijuana.
America Blog, among others, reported that the survey includes a number of peculiar questions and employs language one might not normally associate with the GOP.
The RNC uses the words "gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender" -- hardly revolutionary for the rest of us, but an apparent breakthrough for the party that only last August made opposition to marriage equality one of its positions. If the RNC may finally be trying to be more inclusive, the survey’s final question has raised more than a few eyebrows on the Internet: In asking members to give their sexual orientation, it offers the following choices: straight, gay, bisexual, not sure, or, "in the closet."
"While on a Democratic survey you might expect a question about sexual orientation, die-hard GOPers like to claim that no one should be asking anyone what his or her sexual orientation is since it’s ’just a sex practice,’" John Aravosis writes on America Blog. "But this survey treats it as far more than a sex practice.
"Oh, and Dear RNC," the gay blogger wryly adds, "’in the closet’ is not a sexual orientation. Though I guess in Republican circles, maybe it is."
A few other examples suffice to show that the Republican Party, despite whatever cluelessness bloggers may be satirizing, is wavering on a number of issues. Question 15, for example, dares to ask whether members like the Tea Party.
"Ouch. Polling about how well Republicans ’like’ the Tea Party?" Aravosis asks. "That means they’re worried that people don’t like the Tea Party. Interesting that the RNC didn’t ask how well people like conservatives, or even liberals, in the party - they only asked about the Tea Party."
The survey asks its members if they think that the "Republican Party discriminates against people" and then proceeds to list African Americans, white people, men, women, Latinos, Asians, environmentalists, and gays and lesbians. As Aravosis points out, because the survey puts gays and lesbians in this question, they are implicitly acknowledging that LGBT Americans are not only an identifiable group but also that our rights are up for grabs.
Finally, the survey asks members if the Republican Party "seems fun" and if the GOP’s leaders and politicians are "too old." (No comment necessary.)
In related news, the chairwoman of the Georgia state party, Sue Everhart, showed that the National Committee has its work cut out for it. Everhart told the Marietta (Georgia) Daily Journal that straight people might enter into fraudulent same-sex marriage in order to obtain benefits on Monday.
"You may be as straight as an arrow, and you may have a friend that is as straight as an arrow," she told the newspaper. "Say you had a great job with the government where you had this wonderful health plan. I mean, what would prohibit you from saying that you’re gay, and y’all get married and still live as separate, but you get all the benefits? I just see so much abuse in this, it’s unreal. I believe a husband and a wife should be a man and a woman, the benefits should be for a man and a woman. There is no way that this is about equality. To me, it’s all about a free ride."
Everhart does not mention the fraud possible in opposite-sex marriage (maybe she should begin by renting the film "Green Card," based on people marrying so one partner can obtain legal residency in this country).
She also does not understand that heterosexuals often vary how they use their "plumbing," especially since "sodomy" (which includes fellatio and cunnilingus) has been legal in all 50 states for some years. "If it was natural, they would have the equipment to have a sexual relationship," Everhart told the newspaper.Jason St. Amand