Author: Brad Polumbo

Trump, Partisan Politics and Gay Rights

On February 19, the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump announced a new international gay-rights campaign, which will focus on fighting laws in 72 countries that still treat same-sex relationships as criminal acts. “Although the decriminalization strategy is still being hashed out, officials say it’s likely to include working with global organizations like the United Nations, the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, as well as other countries whose laws already allow for gay rights,” reported NBC News. Most of the targeted countries are in the Middle East and Africa. But it is widely suspected that the policy was formulated with one specific country in mind: Iran, a long-time U.S. adversary that ranks as one of the worst gay rights abusers in the world. Indeed, Iran is one of only four countries where the death penalty for homosexuality is codified under Sharia and implemented on a countrywide basis (the other three being Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen). This is not simply a case of archaic old laws that the Iranian …

The Politically Homeless Life of a Gay Conservative 

I knew I was gay when I was eight years old, at least subconsciously. That was the first time I had that feeling, the one deep in my chest that took me decades to understand, for a boy named Ben at summer camp, and his deep blue eyes. I didn’t know that I was a political conservative for many more years, until I came of age in an era of political correctness and resurgent socialism, developments that pushed me away from modern liberalism. When I realized I was both gay and conservative—that’s when I knew that I was a sort of living contradiction, at least insofar as how much of the world would see me. The modern conservative movement still isn’t an entirely welcoming home for gay men. That much is widely known. But the true disgrace is that the progressive movement, to which most gays reflexively adhere, is too deeply ensconced in identity politics to reliably champion real progressive values. They see gay people like me who cross party lines not as independent thinkers …