Disinformation Company // 2004 // 62 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Eric Profancik (Retired) // October 7th, 2005
Watch as politics gets personal.
As this film is nothing but politics, here's my bias: I am a liberal Democrat who believes all Americans deserve equal rights, and that the anti-gay legislation passed and proposed is pure nonsense meant to legalize hate and discrimination against the homosexual community.
With that in mind, my hope in reviewing Gay Republicans would be to find some measure of an answer to the greatest political oxymoron of all time: How can there be gay Republicans? For those of us on the left, we are truly baffled by the concept of a homosexual belonging to the Republican Party, especially in this day and age. With numerous states passing laws to ban gay marriage, and with President George W. Bush proposing a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, how does a homosexual reconcile the fact that their party, in no other easier term, hates them? How can you belong to a party in which you are not welcomed, shunned, and seen as less than an equal?
Much to my delight, Gay Republicans is all about trying to answer this perplexing question. In the light of President Bush's shift towards the religious right, what were the gay members of the Republican Party to do? These Log Cabin Republicans (LCR) found themselves mired in a huge internal controversy; a massive schism where two diametrically opposing viewpoints came into play. The situation boiled down to two concepts:
* Are the Log Cabin Republicans a gay group with Republicans? or
* Are the Log Cabin Republicans a Republican group with gay members?
In other words, whose priorities come first: homosexual or Republican?
Gay Republicans focuses on a few influential members of the LCR, those who hold local and national leadership in the ranks. These people represent both sides of the argument. As we follow them, we unravel the turmoil in the LCR as they vote on whether to endorse George Bush in 2004.
This mini-documentary -- which originally aired on Trio TV, but is expanded here on DVD -- is excellent in its examination of this crisis, but it is unfortunately too short. Since "gay is the new abortion," this is such a massive topic that it deserves further attention and investigation -- and that is my only quibble with this insightful piece. Also, while it does do its best to try and present a fair and balanced look at the dilemma, I do believe that it does show its hand and is a touch skewed towards the homosexuals in LRC who believe the party abandoned them. The feature is presented in full frame with a Dolby Digital 2.0 track. Both are crisp, clean, and clear without any flaws. On the disc are a few bonus items, including a quick snippet of the Q&A session after the premier in San Francisco (7 minutes), two deleted scenes (3.5 minutes), the trailer, and bonus footage of Mr. Bonamigo (2.5 minutes), an LRC in Palm Beach who vigorously supports President Bush.
In watching this documentary, I found that I could not understand the position of some of the LRC individuals who were solidly behind President Bush, like Mr. Bonamigo. To me, the LRC is a gay affiliation of Republicans (which is how the organization officially sees itself); yet a large faction of its members sees the agenda of the Republican Party as paramount. Thus, they turn a blind eye to the injustices forced upon homosexuals, and say things like this:
"They [George and Laura Bush] are very accepting of everyone."
"We stand behind the president's position on gays and marriage."
"Why do you feel like a second-class citizen? You can get married, just to someone of the opposite sex."
"How's your life different now? It isn't. Now you just have a worthless piece of paper [a marriage license between two women]."
"We won't march in a gay pride parade. Without sounding snobby, it's beneath us."
"If we [the LCR] don't endorse [President Bush], it'll be a big mistake and set the [gay rights] movement back 26 years."
Those quotes are all from gay members of the Log Cabin Republicans. I cannot fathom how a gay person can so easily abandon their fellow homosexual. Politicians come and go, but you will always be gay.
Were my questions answered? Do I now understand this political oxymoron? A little bit. The "poster boy" of the LRC, Steve May, said something extremely intelligent, which does help reconcile this apparent conundrum:
"Our party is supposed to be one of freedom and liberty, and that's what we were. Unfortunately, our party has been hijacked by people who don't really believe in freedom and democracy; they believe in control and theocracy. And that's why we're fighting to get back control of our party."
In the end, LRC withheld its endorsement of George Bush, and Steve May openly endorsed John Kerry. You should give this one a rental and learn more about the biggest hot button issue of our day.
Review content copyright © 2005 Eric Profancik; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Disinformation Company
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 62 Minutes
Release Year: 2004
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* San Francisco Q&A
* Deleted Scenes
* Bonus Bonamigo
* Log Cabin Republicans