By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
A week before the August primary elections, Salmon stands before a dozen Republicans at Arizona GOP headquarters. Behind him, the walls are adorned with portraits of such prominent Republicans as John McCain, Barry Goldwater, and Abraham Lincoln.
Salmon announces he's the new president of the Arizona Log Cabin Republicans (the election was uncontested) and gives the floor to various Republican candidates, who are trying to earn votes for the following week. The Log Cabin Republicans listen attentively, while the candidates give energetic speeches about their platforms.
Speakers include congressional candidate Janet Contreras and state Senate candidate Bob Thomas. They talk about immigration reform and balancing the budget. No one brings up gay issues until former state legislator Steve May speaks up from the back row.
"There are four issues of importance to the gay community," May says. "Those issues are: repeal 'don't ask, don't tell,' repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, partner immigration equality, and employment non-discrimination. Where do each of you stand on those four issues? I want a 'yes' or 'no' answer."
May doesn't get simple answers. The candidates run in verbal circles (Contreras finally says she opposes a federal marriage amendment), and Salmon turns around and grins. Until now, the candidates have been preaching to the choir. But when it comes to fighting for gay equality, Log Cabin Republicans are a minority within their own party.
"Gay Republican" sounds like a contradiction to most people. After all, this is a party whose image has been dominated by the religious right. Salmon understands that.
"The religious right has such a strong hold on the Republican Party," he says. "Because even though they aren't really the majority, they are the loudest, they have the most money, and they are the most zealous. They're the ones that care to get in other people's business."
On the other side are the Log Cabin Republicans, a national organization founded in the late 1970s that advocates equality and supports Republican candidates willing to work on gay issues.
The Arizona chapter was active through the 1990s and early 2000s, when May was in the Legislature and Jim Kolbe was in the House of Representatives. It was also around the time Barry Goldwater came out in support of his gay grandson, Ty Goldwater, and gay rights. In 1992, Goldwater endorsed Democrat Karan English for Congress over Doug Wead, her conservative Republican opponent.
It wasn't the last time a local Republican went against his constituency. Near his retirement in 2006, Kolbe refused to endorse Randy Graf, a Republican candidate opposed to same-sex marriage.
Kolbe admitted he was gay in 1996, after his vote in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act caused an outcry among gay rights activists. At that point, Kolbe had been closeted in Congress for 11 years.
"It is certainly within reason that [gays] can also have beliefs that align with some of the values of the Republican Party," says former Tempe mayor and GLAAD president Neil Giuliano. "It becomes much more difficult when the 'gay Republican' denies their true sexual orientation and sides with the anti-gay Republicans to hold back our progress toward being equal citizens in this country."
In June, Salmon wrote a guest blog for gay and lesbian website bilericoproject.com, titled "An Elephant Doesn't Fit in a Closet." He wrote he agrees with "the core ideals" of the Republican Party: "limited government, individual freedom, personal responsibility, strong national defense, and free-market economy" and that "all of those basics support equality for GLBT individuals."
Numerous readers disagreed in the comments section. Some called Salmon names, everything from "crazy" and "traitor" to a "delusional young whippersnapper" and "an enabler to continuing discrimination and oppression of LGBT Americans."
But Salmon believes the Republican Party can become more open about gay rights. He hopes more people from the gay community will become Republicans, lending support to more moderate candidates who might work toward equality.
"Matt's a dynamic leader, and he will be a potent force for good in the state of Arizona for a long time to come," May says. "Him having the same name as his dad is interesting, but that's not who this kid is. This is an amazing young man who has unlimited potential."
Salmon's willing to work alongside Democrats and recently met with representatives of Equality Arizona, Human Rights Campaign, and Arizona Stonewall Democrats. "I'm really glad that Matt's revived the Log Cabin Republicans, because the Democrats need a group on the other side of the aisle to work with," says Democrat and state Representative Kyrsten Sinema, who is openly bisexual. "The fact is, as a body politic, we need to support Democrats and Republicans who are willing to work in the middle."
Ty Goldwater, who operates an interior design firm in Phoenix, says the Log Cabin Republicans have another purpose: "They are important in the sense that they can work from within to sway the hearts and minds of the average Republican."
I don't have any kids yet, and sometimes I worry I'll screw up parenting. But then I read this and take comfort in the fact that I would never do to my children what the Salmons and the Flakes did to their sons. I honestly can't understand how people could treat their families this way.
It could not have happened to nicer, right wing, Mormons. For all those that prayed that Salman's kids might grow up gay, prayer does work. For over 40 years the state legislature has been under the control of republicans and Mormons. Though an occasional Dem has held the governor's seat, we all KNOW that all they can do is sign or veto bills. Now, we are in the worst shape this state has ever been in. Thanks again to the policies of the republican/Mormon cabal that runs this state's legislature. To hell with their gay problems. This state is last in education, health care for the indigent, etc. But, the governor signed a health care program that pays for her molester son's care in the state hospital with her line item veto pen. Way to go, brain dead, Brewer.
So, because he is gay, this bright young man's mother and father have a 'strained' relationship with him and his siblings stopped speaking to him for a while. That, absolutely, is their loss, not his.
"There were a lot of us 10 years ago that prayed one of Matt Salmon's kids would turn out gay," says Steve May Nice steve.
um yeah can we get a picture of the two of your kissing for the cover.... yeah and maybe one of you could sit on the other ones lap... thats the money shot... its a wrap.
After reading the story I admit that I am confused as to the point. Was it that you can be gay and still be a Republican? Or was it an expose on the son of a prominent Mormon politician coming out of the closet? As a conservative and as a Mormon, my NATURAL tendency was to assume the latter. However (and my whole point in posting), the most redeeming information in the story was Matt's comment at the very end about how it took him 20 years to come to grips with his lifestyle and he could appreciate the fact that it might take his parents some time as well.
I think people on BOTH sides of this issue could learn from that. I have definite beliefs that I know not everybody shares. I have very real and personal reasons for holding and reinforcing those beliefs that I don't expect everybody to understand. Conversely, I don't understand the gay lifestyle and don't want to be expected to understand it. However, I can associate with individuals who are gay, respect them for the good they contribute to an organization or society as a whole and as long as their lifestyle and/or belief system doesn't infringe upon my rights or my pursuit of happiness, I can honestly say, I am fine with them choosing to live life as they desire. When their lifestyle and/or belief system in some way (in my perception) imposes upon my rights or my pursuit of happiness, then there needs to be rational discourse and I need to expend energy to try to understand the other's point of view and would expect the same of the other side.
This is my first time commenting on a story in any publication but have been an avid reader of many stories surrounding gay marriage (and other issues) and the various comments posted from either side. As a general rule (and there are always exceptions), the comments from BOTH sides are very much intended to intimidate or belittle the opposite side. Can't we all just allow each other to take some time (and make an effort) to understand each other?
Wow, how do you like that, the article alludes to the fact that maybe the notable Republicans in the story should be ashamed that their progeny or relations are gay. How typically liberal; spewing out of both sides of their sleazy mouths.
Gays supporting Republicans...not very different from rape victims supporting the neighborhood rapist and black Americans supporting the KKK.
This is one messed up, conflicted dude. Log Cabin Republicans, what a joke. More like Jews for Hitler.
This whole article reads as if Matt wrote it about himself, by himself. I'm sure he loves the attention.
Yup! Keep hating the gays. There's this thing in life call Karma. The more hate you got the more you'll be confronted. Hate is never about someone else but yourself. Like masturbation it's a self gratification act in a very bad way. It might not literally make you blind. But intellectually and spiritually you are.
Yo Randy_blackmer - please, we don't subscribe to your delusion. Why is it that you obvious a gay man think straight guys are all curious? "May like it a lot?"
Feel the need to go on and on about it & actually get mad trying to prove your point. Put your hand on the wrong man Randy-your going to get your clock cleaned.
Sounds like their are a whole lot of "straight guys out there" that are actually "curious". Watch out straight man, you may like it alot.
Thank God that we can now see that all religions, all faiths and all people are not compelled to be straight. Some try very hard to be what they percieve as the expectation of parents and their religious leaders. And why wreck a spouses life trying to be straight. Explore you sexuality and enjoy it, it is a part of you, you can not change it. Their is no cosmetic surgery to add alittle here and take away alittle there. Too bad the Mormon church is not better educated and up to date on real life, I feel sorry for all Mormons.
Randy, I don't need or want your sympathy. You read one ex-Mormon's view and recollection of the church's perception of homosexuals, one that has been edited with some creative license (Matt Jr. would obviously know that "ministers" in the Mormon church are actually called "bishops"). I recall clearly the Sunday that the proposition was briefly discussed in our meeting. No money was ever solicited, although volunteers were accepted to aid in the phone center. Nothing demeaning AT ALL was said about gays. Our bishop even said, and I quote, "If the purpose of this is to target and attack homosexuals, I would not be up here talking about it and I would not support it.". He then went on to define how our faith, and many others, defines marriage -- by it's definition in an official church document called "The Family: A Proclamation To The World" (http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index..... It states that a marriage between a man and woman is ordained of God, and that the family is central to His eternal plan. It was presented on September 23, 1995 by President Gordon B. Hinckley...well before the 2008 election cycle. Our bishop never mentioned "homosexual promiscuity" or anything like it, and I doubt any bishop from the pulpit would. I think, assuming he was quoted accurately, Matt Jr. is being less-than-honest in his portrayal of his former church leaders. Maybe it's retribution to the church after years of feeling guilty, I don't know. Hopefully he and his family can iron things out.
Either way, it's unfortunate that the New Times has chosen to publish another hit piece (indirectly) about the LDS. Until they insist on more accurate reporting and less bias, they'll never be taken too seriously. FOXNEWS.com of the left, maybe?
Pdog2006, you talk like you know what was said in every meeting around the state. You were not in the meeting I was in that day. I know what I heard, and I heard a high councilman say exactly what Niki quoted. Yes, she inaccurately quoted "minister" but as far as what was said, she got it right on. As you may know, men have a tendency of adding their own interpretation, that is what the councilman did at that time. In no way did Niki claim that every single leader said that over the pulpit, she was however relating a story of my past for which I stopped actively going to church. We all have different experiences, accept that, just because your bishop did not say ignorant things, doesn't mean ignorant things were not said elsewhere.
In no way am I seeking retribution, as it is not something I require here.
Holy Crap! Like I want to see a pic of 2 dudes kissing. Disgusting! Pics of unnatural acts is not news! If mother nature doesn't support it = not natural, no matter how much you try to brainwash yourself into thinking that it is. Your life, your choice, I'm fine with. But a spade is a spade and don't call it something else. :)
Speaking of Homosexuals, how about Benji? He steals the article of a Cincinati writer, plants it in a Scottsdale testerone laden sophmoric rag to make him look masculine. He fakes a family photo.... classic closet gay ploy. Hires a wife, and lives at Mommy and Daddy's house in Paradice Valley.
This story was on a radio talk show in DC, and that's how I found out about it.
Wishing you two all the best in your relationship.
Oh big whoop. There are way more important things going on than whose son likes to plow whose nephew's back forty. This is just a bunch of irrelevant gossip.
True. I don't know you. What do I know is your community, your life style, and the many issues that surround both.
So, if you donated blood around 18 or 19, did you know you were gay then?
Untrue [about anal sex]. Where there are heterosexuals that do, they are probably even more in the minority than homosexuals (let's face it, Mike, NO ONE has stats on THAT particular subject). But (all pun intended) because anal cancer is more representative in the gay community, I would ball-park it and say anal sex was not common among heteros. Anal Cancer is common in people who regularly participate in poo-fun. Eww... even a 5 yo old knows to stay away from someone else's poo, Mike.. I mean, dude... seriously. Get a grip.
And the big blue ribbon award for World's Most Ignorant, Venomous Asshole goes to...ByteRider. May the membrane-eating affliction in your brain spread to your ever-flapping poisoned tongue and then rapidly to your righteous rectum. Clearly, no one can save you.
Think I'm being harsh, Smarm?
Yesteday the CDC announced, and it was on a lot of headlines, "1 in 5 America homosexual males have HIV".
But the CDC must be filled with homophobic ignorant, venomous assholes too, huh?
How do I UNASSHOLE myself? "Oh, I'm sorry, poo is fun, those 5 yo's were misled by their hetero parents, shame on them". Face it dude, truth hurts.
What the CDC actually said was "Nearly one in five gay and bisexual men in 21 major U.S. cities are infected with HIV, and nearly half of them do not know it, U.S. health officials said on Thursday."
They expressly did not apply the statistic to all homosexual males, as the statistics can not be defended in a peer review.
Of note, however, you were discussing the occurance of rectal cancer, not HIV, so what really was your point, other than to demonstrate you can't be trusted to accurately use sources you cite?
Please don't forget our most popular gay politician. PAUL BABEU. Gay Republican Sheriff for Pinal County. Ask him, don't listen to silly comments here. PAUL IS GAY. If he would do like responsible practicioners, he would admit it and move on with his political life. Another time we will visit with you about the ages of some of his male lovers.
hmm anyone else think this article is a little biased? apparently if you're not pro-gay anti-religion you're wrong?
What is disgusting about Arizona is not that it has gay politicians. Whatever. What is more important than these people's personal lives is their political stances, whether those stances benefit Arizonans in general, and how they spend their time in the legislature on the public dime. What disgusts me about Arizona is how it's OK in this antiquated outpost of a territory for men to be gay and be in politics but for women's rights and issues to be so anathema to the legislative, political and judicial systems here.
I would hope that Arizona someday becomes a little more open and progressive and less run by bigoted individuals motivated by religious insanity.Gayness does not automatically mean that one is feminine and the other masculine. This is an old misconception. Two men can fall in love with each other am make very good partners and contribute every bit or more to society.
As reported by the CDC, Sept. 23rd, 2010: "1 in 5 male homosexuals in America have HIV".
Still feel so open minded about things, Henry? This is a community that espouses promiscuity and debauchery. Proof is in the numbers. Don't take my word for it.. yes.. I am biased, no doubt about it... so, don't listen to me, people, just look at the numbers and forget I even exist.
No, dipshit, as reported by the CDC:
"Nearly one in five gay and bisexual men in 21 major U.S. cities are infected with HIV, and nearly half of them do not know it, U.S. health officials said on Thursday."
They specifically did not state that one in five of all gay men have HIV, as they don't have the stats to back that up.
You must learn to read critically, and to cite accurately. Today - you get a big fat fail.
Hell, I've known gay men that you -would not- want to be in a fight with...
Labels suck (except when they don't - geek and proud of it!).
Whats sad is the feminization of men in this country our culture is very i'lland it's examples of this lifestyle that is bringing our nation to ruin.If the maker had intended for such a life style, he would have created us all as dual genders.the facts are the facts, if all of us where gay we would become as the Dinasours.I too had desires of sex with boys when young, I think we all have that as we are growing, but I realized that it was not right, and thought why would I want to live such an empty life
I think you are just still closeted, thats all. Someone has brainwashed you into believing your desires are wrong and go against your "maker". Sad that you can't just accept yourself for who you obviously are. I known and highly respect many gay men and women. You are wrong though that everyone has desires for the same sex while growing up. I believe I firmly fixated on the fairer sex when in second grade a pair twin girls and I would crawl into an empty 55 gallon barrel and play doctor during recess. We did that often and I'm certain that I fell madly in love with the female during those exquisite hours of forbidden play. My family moved to a ranch that summer and I remember vivid dreams of those wonderful girls and their beautiful bodies when I had to take my nap every afternoon. In the following years I would seek out girls who enjoyed that type recess and after school play, but they were few and far between until my early teens. Never had the slightest interest in males though.
Gotta love that binary thinking style, you have there. There must be no dawn, nor any evening in your small world...
If there is one thing I have learned from my study of biology, its that there is no "black and white"; everything is a "shade of gray". To think that sexuality is somehow different, is to be blind to the reality of evolution (which, as a process, can't help but produce gradations).