DALLAS — In their official party platform last month, Texas Republicans called the 2020 election fraudulent and Joe Biden an illegitimate president. They called for a vote on whether Texas should secede from the U.S. And they called Marco Roberts’ sexual orientation an “abnormal lifestyle choice."
“I would say it's a very interesting time to be an openly gay Republican," said Roberts, who started a conservative organization called the Texas Conservative Liberty Forum, says,
Roberts said it’s not all what it seems, that Texas Republicans labeling homosexuality as an abnormal choice was an unusual, last-minute addition that caused confusion at the convention.
But he thinks his party did hurt itself by again refusing to let Log Cabin Republicans — who represent LGBTQ+ conservatives — to have their own booth at the state GOP convention.
“It is very hard for a gay Republican to talk to other gay people that might have similar conservative views on issues of defense, what's going on in schools, taxes and all those things … and say, you know, you really need to join the Republican Party because that's where your interests lie," Roberts said. "And then they say, ‘Well, why would I do that when they won't even allow you to have a booth at the state convention? That sounds hostile to me.'”
Despite the challenges he’s seen inside the Texas Republican Party, and despite the fact that prominent conservatives are newly questioning court rulings that allowed for gay marriage in the U.S. and same-sex intimacy in Texas, Roberts still feels welcome in the Republican Party.
“I think most gay Republicans will tell you this, that they get better treatment in Republican circles than they do in many gay circles," Roberts said. "I will tell you that when I attended events that are mostly gay people, and most of them are very far left leaning, we will be called names. This has not happened to me at a formal Republican event.”
In our latest episode of Y'all-itics, we get the perspective of this openly gay, longtime Texas Republican, a discussion even he says is rare.