A “Townhall Conservative” who is not a homophobe

He believes court decisions in favor of same-sex marriage for gay couples and their children is “heartening and welcome”, and he happens to be a conservative. In his most recent post for Townhall.com, he writes, “I used to be a homophobe. I didn’t dislike gays a little; I disliked them a lot”. But the post continues with his evolution away from homophobia. “What happened to me, of course, has happened to millions of other Americans. It’s easy to be homophobic if you don’t know anyone who is openly gay. But that’s true of fewer and fewer people. As gays have become forthright about their sexual orientation, the rest of us have had to assess them not as gays, but as whole human beings.

“So I’ve had gay friends and gay co-workers. I’ve had lesbian neighbors. I’ve had gay and lesbian relatives. When one gay relative back in Texas had a wedding — in all but the legal sense — my wife and I attended and found it eerily similar to the straight version. All these experiences have impressed on me the obvious fact that homosexuals are not an alien species.

“That’s in keeping with our broad national experience. In 1985, only 22 percent of us said they had a friend who was gay. By 2008, 66 percent did. And attitudes have followed. In 1982, only 34 percent of Americans regarded “homosexuality as an acceptable alternative lifestyle.” Today, it’s 57 percent.

“Familiarity, in this case, doesn’t breed contempt. It breeds acceptance. Heterosexuals have always lived and worked with gays, but without knowing it. Once they find out, most learn they have more similarities than differences.

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