Conservatives Oppose Bush's Inclusive Approach on Homosexuals

July 7, 2008 - 7:03 PM

( - By reaching out to homosexual Republicans, President George W. Bush is upsetting some conservatives, encouraging some Republican homosexuals, and doing nowhere near enough to satisfy some liberals.

"A big rift is starting to open in the so-far-excellent relationship between the Bush administration and religious conservatives over the administration's embrace of a pro-homosexual stance," said the conservative group Concerned Women for America.

Beverly LaHaye, the head of CWA, said the first sign of strain was President Bush's appointment of Massachusetts Gov. Paul Cellucci as ambassador to Canada. Many conservatives condemn Cellucci, a Republican, for what they see as his aggressive promotion of homosexuality while serving as Massachusetts governor.

CWA also opposes President Bush's recent appointment of Scott Evertz, a leader of the Log Cabin Republicans, as head of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy. "The office itself was nothing but a political payoff by President Clinton to the homosexual lobby in 1994, and it should have been discontinued," said LaHaye in a statement released Monday.

'Warming Trend'

A report in the April 17 USA Today also sees Evertz' appointment as "the latest sign of a warming trend between gays and the GOP."

The newspaper notes that President Bush named four openly homosexual people to help him with his transition, and it said Bush aides are now interviewing more than a dozen homosexuals for key jobs.

"He has a vision of a different Republican Party," Rich Tafel of the Log Cabin Republicans told USA Today.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan called President Bush "an inclusive leader who believes in reaching out to people who share his commitment to a compassionate conservative agenda."

Some conservatives say support for any aspect of the homosexual agenda is anti-marriage and anti-family. But according to McClellan, Bush has a "proven record" of upholding family values.

Bush disagrees with homosexual activists on some key points - hate crime law and same-sex marriage and adoption among them. But in a meeting with homosexual Republicans during last year's presidential campaign, he reportedly promised to judge them as individuals. According to USA Today, many activists say he is living up to that promise.

While inclusiveness may offend some conservatives, it makes for good politics, the newspaper said, earning Bush points - and possibly future votes - from conservative homosexuals and from self-described "moderates," especially women, who say they value tolerance.