The Columbia University College Republicans supports equality, clearly and simply. CUCR, regardless of what our party representatives on the national level espouse, firmly believes in the equality for all American citizens, including those who identify as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community. With several openly and proud homosexuals—myself among them—as well as a strong cadre of heterosexual allies serving our club and playing important roles in its functioning, it is critical to remind and reinforce the fact that Columbia’s Republican and conservative community stands tall with the LGBTQ organizations and community. As a minority on this campus like any other group based on racial identity, religious affiliation, or sexual orientation, we understand the importance of being vocal and having events on campus specifically catered to minority communities.
Our party and political philosophy have a long history of supporting equal civil rights of oppressed minorities; many forget that the Republican Party was founded as a free-soil party. The GOP has been at the forefront of numerous civil rights issues, ranging from the emancipation of the slaves and the modern civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s to support for gay marriage and LBGTQ civil rights from many venerable conservative figures such as former vice president Dick Cheney and Barry Goldwater. Although the social agenda of the national party has changed drastically over the last century, the Columbia Republicans still firmly believe that all men are created equal regardless of sexual orientation, and should be treated as so by all—especially institutions like Columbia and the government.
On campus, I find it critical to show the student body that members of CUCR are not perceived as antiquated social tyrants who wish to bring the world back to an age of racism, sexism, and inequality, nor are we are not the religious fanatics try to bring “God’s law” into people’s bedrooms and personal lives.
We firmly believe in personal freedoms and the ability to think, act, and identify however one wants, granted it follows the rule of law and is non-threatening. We endeavor to uphold and reaffirm the noble traditions of our political ancestors by striving for justice and equality, and supporting such causes that lead to this end. Thus, we believe that Queer Awareness Month is a beneficial and important addition to life at Columbia, as it gives an outlet for LGBTQ students, faculty, and staff to safely express themselves and to participate and learn about their own identities, community histories, and culture. By emphasizing the role this important and vibrant community plays within our university, as well as reminding the heterosexual majority that gross incidences of oppression still exist in this country, QuAM strongly reflects one of the main missions of CUCR—equality before the law. As British Prime Minister David Cameron similarly stated concerning gay marriage: CUCR does not support the LGBTQ community in spite of being conservative; we support the community because we are conservatives.
The author is a Columbia College sophomore majoring in history and German cultural studies. He is the Director of Communications of the Columbia University College Republicans.