Over the past two weeks, Herman Cain has surged in the polls to become a new rock star in the Republican Party. Cain won the Florida straw poll in September and a recent CNN poll puts him a few points ahead of Mitt Romney, the presumed front-runner. Cain is the former CEO of the Godfather’s pizza chain. He boasts about his business experience and his time at Godfather’s. Cain credits Godfather’s success to his leadership.
His sudden popularity is in part due to his blunt outspokenness on the issues. He has never held an elected position and Cain believes this is an asset. Many Republican voters like Herman Cain because he is fresh and has new ideas. Cain’s ideas are usually a bit simple such as his famous 9-9-9 tax plan.
Cain is an African-American and faced many odds and difficulties as a minority, but yet he rose above the fray to become a successful businessman. Many Republicans such as myself who are fiscally conservative and support gay marriage had a glimmer of hope that Cain would be our “white knight” (no pun intended). I believe that true change in our country won’t take place until a few Republicans step up to the plate and take leadership on gay issues.
The recent landmark legislation in New York allowing gay marriage would not have passed without the votes of four Republican senators in the state senate. These four Republicans voted for the minority group instead of falling hostage to the religious right. Out of all the Republican candidates, Cain should be the most likely to understand that gay marriage is not a religious issue but a civil rights issue.
Cain received a few brownie points when he announced that he does not support a constitutional marriage amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. But then on Barbara Walters’ The View, Cain said that he believes being gay is a choice and that Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) should be reinstated in the military.
Really, Mr. Cain? Did you choose to be black?
The synonym for the word “choice” used in this context is equivalent (to me) as saying that being gay is a bad habit. Smoking is a bad habit. Eating junk food is a bad habit. Wearing black shoes with a brown belt is a bad habit. Being gay is neither a choice nor a bad habit!
After further investigation, I found this statement on Cain’s beloved Godfather’s Pizza website:
“We are committed to providing equal employment opportunity for all persons, regardless of race, color, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship status, or disability.”
Mr. Cain’s former company protects gay and lesbian employees from discrimination within the workplace. Basically, Herman Cain believes that gays deserve equal rights in his pizza store, but outside of Godfather’s we deserve to be second-class citizens. We can make his pizza, but gays are unfit to serve in the military and fight for our country. This is pure hypocrisy, Mr. Cain.
Cain had the momentous opportunity to take bold stand and revolutionize the thinking within the Republican Party. As a minority, Cain could have provided a change of perspective on gay and lesbian issues. He could have been our champion and usher in the return of the Party of Lincoln.
History shows that minorities in our country always eventually receive equal rights. The fight is never easy or quick, but it is inevitable. Mr. Cain chooses to stand on the wrong side of history.
Taylor Garrett is a proud gay, Christian republican. Taylor is a cast member of Logo’s A-List Dallas.