Not long ago, I wrote a post in which I asked why gays shouldn’t have the same right as any other American to support John McCain, and I quoted Richard Miniter:

Why do Gay rights advocates demand lock-step political obedience? Indeed they seem as vicious against Gay dissenters as they are toward evangelical Christians.

These are good questions, and they won’t go away.
It has long struck me that if gays don’t have the same right as anyone else to support or oppose whoever they want, then they are not free citizens. This is a principle objection to identity politics in general; it imprisons people. And by its nature, it is very condescending, and intolerant of dissent. Above all, identity politics vests self-appointed “leaders” with plenipotentiary powers to declare what is right for the group, and all who belong to the group must abide by the rules, or else be considered a “traitor.” Nothing could be less democratic. A gay man who sees state-regulated same-sex marriage as something other than a “right” is seen as an Uncle Tom, even though his goal might just be to be left alone and live his life without official entanglements of any kind. By its nature, marriage invites the state into a relationship, and once it is legally in place, people in relationships can file palimony suits even without a formal marriage. Far from being a right, marriage is a state-enforced obligation, with tentacles reaching into many aspects of life. But back in the 90s, unelected gay “leaders” decided in a bloc to start demanding it as a right. At this point in time, it’s the number one item on the agenda. If you are gay, you will support gay marriage. Or else. And you may not support anyone who does not!
Unless….
Unless, of course, that candidate’s name is Barack Obama. He opposes gay marriage, but if you are gay you must support him! Or else!
Don’t even think of supporting John McCain:

A successful real estate developer, [Jonathan Crutchley] founded Manhunt with his life partner, Larry Basile, in 2001. He ran into trouble when Out, a gay magazine, published an article about the website in its current issue. The article, in passing, referred to Crutchley — who until last week was chairman of the board at Manhunt — as a “liberal Republican.” That tidbit apparently shocked gay blogger Andy Towle, who within seconds found Crutchley’s donation to McCain on a contributor database and posted the news on his website.
The shaming and condemnation of Crutchley was swift and unforgiving.

Of course it was. He’s not allowed to support McCain. Otherwise, he’s a “traitor”:

The hue and cry over Crutchley’s politics is all too familiar. Why can’t gay activists countenance the idea of a “Massachusetts Republican”? Liberal intolerance. In the minds of too many on the left, gay people (like women and ethnic minorities) have to be liberal and support Democratic candidates. To do otherwise — that is, to have opinions on issues (even issues utterly unrelated to gay rights) that don’t follow the left-wing line — is to be a traitor to the gay “community.”
For too long, many gay-rights activists have acted as if throwing temper tantrums will magically bring about their political agenda. But labeling everyone with whom they don’t agree a “bigot” does not help the worthy cause of gay equality.

Linking the story yesterday, Glenn Reynolds asked,

Is it just me, or does it seem that the people who are the most demanding of tolerance tend to be those least likely to display it themselves?

I thought of that when I saw McCain being attacked as an “adulterer” — by a gay blogger who presumably believes in at least sexual tolerance if not the political kind:

Paul Colichman is trying to get John McCain elected. He thinks more years of Republican tyranny is good for Gay America. He is an idiot. We have canceled our subscription to The Advocate and urge others to do the same. John McCain, the adulterer may be the best thing for the conservatives of this country, but he sure is not good for the Gays.

I usually associate the anti-McCain smear of the “adulterer” variety with rabid fundamentalists of the sort who like to wage war on sex. But I guess gays have been known to wage war on sex too (well, as long as it’s heterosexual sex….)
There really is something to what Glenn says about tolerance. The interesting thing about Colichman is that he’s not even a gay McCain supporter. Far from it; he’s a gay publisher (and “die hard Democrat“) who refused to support Obama because Obama refused to support gay marriage:

Colichman, 46, who owns The Advocate and Out magazines, GayWired.com, and Here, the premium cable network for gays, said he finally dealt with his disappointment over Clinton’s defeat last week and came around to Obama.
“I thought, ‘Get over yourself!’ I had literally written out a check to the Obama campaign. And then I saw him in front of an evangelical group in Anaheim,” he said.
Before Rick Warren at the Saddleback Civil Forum, both Obama and McCain defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
“I thought, ‘Wow! He just threw the gay community under the bus,’ ” Colichman said. “My partner looked over at me, and we tore up the check.”

For that crime, he’s drawn angry gay scorn. And shame:

“By tearing up his check for Obama, he basically wrote one to McCain,” Genre editor Neal Boulton told us. “I openly – no, flamingly – endorse Obama, whether he says he’s for gay marriage or not. . . . I know under Obama, it will only be a matter of time until the country sees the legalization of gay marriage.” James Hipps, project manager for gay-marketing firm Vibe Media, wants gays to cancel their subscriptions to The Advocate. “I am appalled,” he said. “For our gay-lesbian- bisxexual-transgender rights to continue to grow and not further diminish, then we need to stand behind [Obama]. Good luck with your life, Mr. Colichman. I hope you get to sleep well at night after McCain becomes elected. Shame on you.”

I hope you get to sleep well at night?
Sheesh. What do they think McCain is going to do to them?
This identity politics stuff just gets crazier and crazier.
By the way, Bush got 25% of the gay vote, and I think McCain is better on gay issues generally than Bush was. In 1999, for example, he said that he would be “comfortable with a homosexual as president of the United States.”
I’m sure there are people who find such blatant tolerance very threatening.
And some of them are gay activists….