The recent uproar about Indiana's "religious freedom law" has reminded me of a scene from The Sound of Music. Let me explain.
Since coming out, I have had occasions when I am reminded of some dialogue in The Sound of Music. Kurt comes to deliver a telegram, hoping to see Liesl. Instead, he is confronted by Captain von Trapp. Nervous and taken off guard, Kurt salutes von Trapp with the Nazi salute, "Heil Hitler." Nazi Germany has not yet taken over Austria via a referendum, but it is looming on the horizon.
Max Detweiler and Baroness von Schrader (Elsa) are with von Trapp. It is strongly hinted in the movie that Max is both Jewish and gay (with regard to the latter, his flamboyance and acerbic wit are dead give aways). The Captain is incensed and tells Kurt to get out. The following dialogue then ensues:
(Elsa) "Oh Georg, he's just a boy." (Captain)" Yes, and I'm just an Austrian. (Max) "What's going to happen's going to happen. Just make sure it doesn't happen to you." (Captain, incensed) "Max, don't you ever say that again!" (Max) "You know I have no political convictions. Can I help it if other people do?" (Captain) "Oh yes you can help it. You must help it."
Max was naive. If he had been a real person instead of a fictional character, he likely would have been gassed during the war, either for being a Jew or a homosexual or both. If he was lucky, he would have survived a horrific concentration camp ordeal. (If you're interested, read The Pink Triangle. The Nazi War Against Homosexuals, or I, Pierre Seel, Deported Homosexual: A Memoir of Nazi Terror). It was in Max's best interest to have political convictions and not support a regime that meant death for him.
I have been puzzled over the last few years at how LGBT individuals could continue to support the Republican party. Granted, the GOP does not want to actually kill gays, though there are plenty of people on the Christian and Tea Party right who have publicly espoused this "final solution" to the gay problem. Google it.
Which brings me back to Indiana. Here's what a United States Senator and presidential hopeful (Ted Cruz) had to say about the controversy:
"Governor Pence is holding the line to protect religious liberty in the Hoosier State. Indiana is giving voice to millions of courageous conservatives across this country who are deeply concerned about the ongoing attacks upon our personal liberties. I’m proud to stand with Mike, and I urge Americans to do the same."
Apparently, when the personal liberties of an LGBT individual are attacked, it's ok.
Here's what the "moderate" "establishment" GOP presidential candidate (Jeb Bush) had to say:
"I think Gov. [Mike] Pence has done the right thing. I think once the facts are established, people aren’t going to see this as discriminatory at all.”
Senator Rand Paul, who is expected to announce his candidacy shortly, recently had this to say at a prayer breakfast:
“The First Amendment says keep government out of religion. It doesn’t say keep religion out of government.”
So again, I wonder: how can any LGBT person support the Republican Party or even passively ignore the party's stance toward our community?
"... I have no political convictions. Can I help it if other people do?"
"Oh yes you can help it. You must help it."