August 10, 2011

Gay Republican Running For President...Seriously

So it sounds like a setup for a joke; a gay, Jewish, Republican running for President enters a bar and starts canvassing for votes.  But for Fred Karger, a 62-year old California political consultant, he is serious. Sort of.  He's knows he has basically no chance of winning the Presidency or even a GOP primary for that matter. But he's going for it anyway (with his own money too!) in an attempt to get the message out that you can be gay and run for the highest office in the land.

The LA Times ran a feature on Karger yesterday which is sorta fascinating.  He was closeted and made disparaging gay jokes freely until coming out just five years ago at age 56. In the 80's, he worked on George HW Bush's presidential campaign, specifically the heinous Willi Horton angle, and also shilled for major tobacco companies.  But what really got him personally involved in politics was spearheading the efforts against Prop 8 and the Mormon Church's campaign against marriage equality.

Despite this, he's found no love from the gay community for the simple fact that he is a Republican.  But he's not giving up and is determined to get onstage for at least one GOP Presidential debate.  It would certainly be interesting to see him challenge Romney and his party on the issue of marriage equality. But, registering less than 1% support in the latest polls, it seems unlikely that Karger's efforts will be more than a queer footnote on the 2012 campaign.

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