I'm Gay...Conservative...So What?

2.8M Views
Jan 22, 2018

Guy Benson is a free market advocate and a small government conservative. Oh, and he's gay. Surprised? You shouldn't be. Watch the video to see why.

*It is not the intent of PragerU to make a religious statement or take a religious position with this video. The intent is solely to argue that one's sexual orientation does not have to define one's political values. 

Identity politics isn’t really about protecting minorities and “victims groups”—it’s about controlling their votes and voices. 

  • The Left believes they’re entitled to control the thoughts and votes of certain groups of people – namely minorities and other “victims groups,” like the LGBT community.View Source
  • The Left is obsessed with pointing out and focusing on identity, rather than valuing people as individuals. When members of the Left’s “protected” groups offer any dissent to the Left’s agenda, they are punished and purged.View Source
  • It often comes down to a cynical calculation: leaders on the Left aim to unduly influence the election process.View Source
  • WATCH: Gay, Millennial, and Conservative: Guy Benson (Full Interview)View Source
  • Related reading: “End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun)” – Mary Katharine Ham & Guy BensonView Source

The Left uses identity politics along the lines of race, gender and sexuality as a tool to polarize, divide and bait the opposition.

  • The Left often uses identity politics along the lines of race, gender, and sexuality as a tool to polarize, divide, and bait the opposition, rather than honestly engage political and societal issues.View Source
  • One left-wing tactic is to label as “self-hating” the members of victim groups who don't support the Left’s political agenda. For example, Hillary Clinton alleged that her loss in the 2016 election was largely due to self-hating Republican women.View Source
  • Related reading: “End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun)” – Mary Katharine Ham & Guy BensonView Source

If the Left is so tolerant, why does it lash out at anyone who wanders off its tightly controlled political & ideological reservation?

  • According to the Left, members of victims groups — including minorities, women and LGBT people — are “self-hating” if they do not embrace the Left’s political and ideological stances. Hillary Clinton alleged that her loss in the 2016 election was due to self-hating women Republicans.View Source
  • As openly gay conservative Guy Benson points out, this is particularly true of the gay community.View Source
  • WATCH: Gay, Millennial, and Conservative: Guy Benson (Full Interview)View Source
  • Related reading: “End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun)” – Mary Katharine Ham & Guy BensonView Source

Rather than accepting that some members of "victims groups" do not embrace leftist politics, the Left punishes & purges them.

  • As it has done with the LGBT community, the Left begins by promoting the rights of certain victims groups, but quickly resorts to punishing and purging members of those groups if they offer any dissent to the leftist agenda.View Source
  • The Left often uses the allegation of “self-hating” to describe why a certain victim group doesn't vote for them.View Source
  • WATCH: Gay, Millennial, and Conservative: Guy Benson (Full Interview)View Source
  • Related reading: “End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun)” – Mary Katharine Ham & Guy BensonView Source

Conservatives are often more tolerant of dissenting views than those who claim to support open-mindedness.

  • While the Left is concerned with diversity in race, gender and sexuality, they are not concerned with intellectual diversity.View Source
  • This rejection of diversity of thought from the Left is increasingly prevalent in academia.View Source
  • The Left often seeks to control thoughts based on identity, while conservatives focus more on issues and ideas.View Source
  • Townhall’s Guy Benson agrees with fellow conservatives on many issues, but disagrees with others, like gay marriage. Benson points to himself as an example of how conservatives allow dissenting opinion without needing to “purge” or “cleanse” dissenters.View Source

The Left claims it’s pro-diversity, but it consistently squashes the most important type of diversity: diversity of thought.

  • The Left claims to be pro-diversity; however, while it promotes diversity in race, gender and sexuality, it consistently squashes the most fundamental and crucial form of diversity: diversity of thought. This is increasingly true in academia.View Source
  • WATCH: Gay, Millennial, and Conservative: Guy Benson (Full Interview)View Source
  • Related reading: “End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun)” – Mary Katharine Ham & Guy BensonView Source

I’m a Christian, a patriotic American, and a free-market, shrink-the-government conservative—who also happens to be gay.

What I mean by that is my values define me, while my sexual orientation sometimes feels more like—well, a footnote. Literally, in fact. I “came out” as gay in a footnote in my book, End of Discussion.

When it comes to my political beliefs, my orientation is only one part of the story. It’s not the totality of who I am.

Some unimaginative leftists like to claim that this qualifies me as a "self-hating" gay person.  This is so boring.  That intellectual laziness only underscores my point. Far too often, people are sorted by their gender, or their skin color, or their sexual orientation, or any other immutable characteristic that has nothing to do with ideas or values.

To be candid, in my day-to-day life and work, I spend a lot more time thinking and writing about the failures of Obamacare, for example, than I do about “LGBT issues,” whatever that term might mean on any given day.  

Just like any conservative, I want taxes low, the military strong, and don’t even get me started on single payer health care or late-term abortion. I'm a conservative because when I think about these issues critically, I usually end up on the right end of the spectrum.  It's that simple.

Here's the thing: I fully recognize how fortunate I am to live in a time and a country where I can be openly gay and live a normal life. And that’s in large part thanks to the hard work of gay rights activists who’ve paved the way for people like me—people who had it much harder than I do, and people who likely wouldn’t share my politics. I am genuinely grateful to them.

But it’s a new era now. Why ostracize members of our community who don’t toe the left-wing political line?  Exit polling shows that in the last four general elections, between 14 and 29 percent of LGBT voters pulled the lever for the GOP. That's a lot of us.  Now, does that mean that we all support every element of the party’s platform? Absolutely not.

In fact, I know that many conservatives, including some here at PragerU, don’t see eye-to-eye with me on all of these questions.  And yet, here I am—making a PragerU video. Which perfectly illustrates another really important point: Conservatives are often much more tolerant of dissenting views than those who fancy themselves the torch-carriers of open-mindedness.

Nope. Cross the left on a hot-button social issue, and you’re out.

You see, some on the left believe that they’re entitled to control the thoughts or votes of certain groups of people—namely minorities and so-called “victim groups.”  For some, it comes down to a cynical calculation: Without the overwhelming support of those groups, the Democrats would win very few elections.

That’s why the left lashes out so viciously at anyone who wanders off their assigned reservation. I suspect conservative women and Hispanics and African Americans know exactly what I’m talking about.

The truth is, the left isn’t entitled to a damn thing.

To paraphrase my coauthor and friend, Mary Katharine Ham: “We didn’t get liberated in order to be told by liberal activists precisely what we’re allowed to think, or how we must vote.”

A free-thinking, free citizen of a free country is not obliged to believe anything because someone else believes he or she “ought” to think or “ought” to vote or “ought” to rank his (or her) priorities a certain way.  Look, I get it: Many other gay people approach these issues and their voting criteria differently—and I respect that. That’s their call, even if it’s not how I choose to operate. What’s the phrase again? “Live and let live?” Why has that been turned on its head, into “agree—or else”?

Let’s debate issues and stop trying to punish “wrong” thinking.

Like I said, I’m a Christian, a patriotic American, and a free-market, shrink-the-government conservative—who happens to be gay.

That's how I choose to rank my priorities. You know what that's called?  

It's called progress.

I’m Guy Benson for Prager University.

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