To some, Patrick Guerriero is the ultimate contradiction: a gay activist working within a political party that embraces many ardently anti-gay positions.To others, he's an enabler in an abusive relationship. To still others, a plain old damn fool.
"To abandon completely one party because they are not perfect on these issues right now would basically delay equality for decades," said Guerriero, 35.Whereas playing footsie with the likes of Rick Santorum will advance the cause so much more quickly?
At stake, he said, is nothing less than the future of the Republican Party, which he believes would be torn apart if anti-gay lawmakers are successful in passing a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.Civil war? More like the US vs. Freedonia. But maybe others in the GOP are more welcoming than I thought.
"A fight for a constitutional amendment would create a civil war within the Republican Party and I believe would ignite a cultural war around the country," Guerriero said.
Conservative Republicans question, however, why people who disagree with them on such a basic issue want to be part of the same party.Or maybe not. So how effective is Mr. Guerriero?
"It's like someone who lives in Iceland and doesn't like cold. You wonder why they do it," said Glenn Stanton, a senior analyst at Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs, Colo.
He's counseled the Bush administration to withhold its endorsement from the constitutional amendment and to avoid making this a huge issue in next year's presidential campaign.
Earlier this month, President Bush said he could support a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.
Thank you sir, may I have another?