Maybe I'm finally beginning to understand the incomprehensible. -- Georgia Equality now has GOP ties. Whence goeth we from here?
On Saturday Mr. Basinger provided the following information the Augusta Chronicle (excerpts):
Chuck Bowen doesn't sound like your typical gay-rights crusader. Gay-rights advocate has a GOP past
Chuck Bowen doesn't sound like your typical gay-rights crusader.
The 48-year-old openly gay South Carolina native made two failed bids for public office in his home state as a Republican and considers former President Nixon his personal hero.
Mr. Bowen also admired the foreign policy and economic agenda of President Reagan, often maligned by many gays for his handling of the AIDS outbreak in the 1980s.
As the new executive director of the statewide gay-advocacy group Georgia Equality, Mr. Bowen said he believes his GOP-tinged background will be an asset in his new nonpartisan job, which he began Nov. 1.
"Gays and lesbians have to learn you can't identify with single-issue candidates," said Mr. Bowen, who now considers himself an independent after being registered as a Democrat in New York since 2002. "You have to look at the whole picture. You might not agree with a candidate's voting record or position on one issue, but you might agree with it on another."
Mr. Bowen arrives in Georgia at a time when knowing how to think like a Republican will be a must for gay-rights supporters.
Many of the top lawmakers who now will be guiding legislation through the state Capitol are self-described conservatives and some have said privately they would like to see more "moral values" laws passed, including a ban on allowing gays and lesbians to adopt or serve as foster parents.
Still, Mr. Bowen is optimistic that common ground can be found.
"It's going to be a long, hard task," he said. "But we've got to pick ourselves up, shakes ourselves off, and we've got to go forward."
Mr. Bowen's political background was one of the major reasons Georgia Equality's board of directors chose him from a field of 11 candidates.
"We've got new political realities to deal with in Georgia," said Sharon Semmens, Georgia Equality board chairwoman. "(Chuck) is familiar with how state legislatures work, and so I think that will serve him well."
If the bolded statements reflect experience and a sense of realism, will someone please tell the Georgia Equality and its new executive director to put their leadership where their mouth is.
The title asks where do we go from here. Could it be that Georgia Equality wants us to play into the hands of the GOP? From reading the above about Mr. Bowen, I would not think he would want to be at the helm of an organization that kept its head in the sand, ignoring reality all around it.
If this is the case, I sure would appreciate learning the logic of how maintaining the current course does not do just that, play into the GOP's hand at election time in 2006.