Speaker Addresses Gay Republicans
By TENILLE GOODMAN
Chris Barron, chairman and co-founder of GOProud, spoke in Lee Hall on April 11 about the relationship between homosexuals and the Republican party.
GOProud is the only conservative organization currently representing homosexuals and their allies, according to Barron.
He stressed reasons he supports conservative values and emphasized the need base their votes on the issues alone.
“Principles are more important than parties,” he said. “It should not [be] about partisanship, getting votes or telling people what they want to hear.”
Barron stated that each evening, as he sits at the dinner table with his partner to discuss the issues facing them, such as healthcare, retirement security, jobs, and taxes, the policies and principles associated with conservative values prove to be more beneficial.
“I believe sincerely that the conservative movement is better for gay and lesbian couples,” he said.
As an example, he explained that conservatives are in favor of allowing citizens to purchase insurance across state lines. Therefore, same-sex couples living in a state that does not allow civil unions can buy insurance in states that do support such unions, which is, “the beauty of a free market”
During the presentation, Barron also lamented that the LGBT community has simply become a, “special interest group for the democrats.”
In his opinion, democrats try to make the gay community feel like they cannot fend for themselves and need the federal government to solve their problems.
These views from the democrats are what influenced Barron’s conservative ideology.
“[I am] supporting policies that are better for my family and my community,” he said.
Barron asserted that too many people believe, “acceptance is going to come from the federal government,” and explained that people who complain regularly about the government being involved in too many aspects of their lives are, “closet conservatives.”
“The biggest discriminator is the federal government,” he said.
Democratic principles put, “more government in your life,” according to Barron. He said the motto of sorts for conservatives is, “we need government out of our lives.”
It boils down to the power of the individual over the power of the state, he said. People who value more individual power and less government involvement need to get involved with the conservative movement, he explained.
Barron said he is looking forward to the day when older generations of close-minded Republicans will be replaced by a younger generation that supports homosexuality. Until then, he hopes to, “change hearts and minds at the grassroots level” and inspire people to become more involved with GOProud.
The Mary Washington College Republicans may very well prove to be the younger generation Barron seeks.
The majority of the College Republicans are in favor of gay rights and gay marriage, club president, junior Erica Gouse explained. She referred to her group as “New Wave Conservatives”
“We’re on the same page as other students,” Gouse said of the College Republicans’ stance on rights for homosexuals.
Overall, the College Republicans and Barron are trying to change the negative, close-mind opinion people have of republicans and conservative values.
“[We are] not your parents’ conservatives,” said Barron.