It’s Time To Retire The Rainbow Flag


Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Every two years, the Human Rights Campaign, an organization dedicated to gay rights, releases a congressional “scorecard,” rating members of Congress on their support for LGBTQ equality. One would assume these scores are based on voting records for concrete LGBTQ issues: same-sex marriage, anti-discrimination bills, or perhaps adoption rights. But that assumption is far from the truth. Instead, the HRC rates members of Congress based on a long list of unrelated components of the Democrats’ agenda. Voting for the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, for example, lowers your rating. The Democrats’ so-called ‘Voting Rights Bill’ and a bill to repeal Obamacare are on the list as well. Legislators who voted the wrong way on these bills—which aren’t even tangentially related to gay rights—are labeled anti-LGBTQ. For an organization supposedly dedicated to LGBTQ rights, the HRC doesn’t seem to care as much about LGBTQ people as they do about leftist policies.

Sadly, this is representative of a broader trend. For years, gay rights organizations have been increasingly focused on pushing a left-wing agenda, and less focused on the people they were founded to protect. As a conservative gay American, I have been left behind. If I were nominated for a cabinet position, the HRC would likely label senators anti-gay for voting for me. It doesn’t matter what my sexual orientation is if I have the wrong politics.

When the gay rights movement was building momentum in the latter part of the 20th century, gay people were suffering. Public opinion was against them. Very few people thought that gay people should be given equal rights and opportunities, and few supported same-sex marriage or adoption rights for gay couples. Through the incredible efforts of activists, public opinion and policies have changed dramatically in the decades since.

A Gallup poll from 2021 showed that 70% of Americans now support gay marriage, including 55% of Republicans. According to another Gallup poll from 2019, 93% of Americans think gay people should have equal employment opportunities. While other social issues like abortion have remained controversial for decades with little change in public opinion, gay rights issues have lost political relevance with startling speed. While Roe v. Wade has provoked a fifty-year conservative legal movement, Obergefell v. Hodges becomes less divisive every year.

As a result, gay rights groups have massive popularity, influence, and revenue, but are also left with little to still fight for. In order to survive, it seems the gay rights movement has abandoned its initial mission and been co-opted by the radical left. They have shifted their attention to broader left-wing policies, misusing the banner of the original movement.

The symbol for gay rights, the rainbow flag, which used to symbolize radical individuality and diversity, now symbolizes rigid conformity to the platform of the Democratic Party. The flag’s iconic six stripes have literally been painted over with new colors to create a “progress flag,” representing intersectionality. 

Those gay people who don’t agree with this new ideology are left behind, or worse, are told they aren’t really gay. When President Trump appointed Richard Grenell—the first openly gay member of any president’s Cabinet—a move that would have been unthinkable just a few decades ago, the HRC called him “Gaslight Grenell” and refused to celebrate the monumental decision. 

Just a year later, Pete Buttigieg was confirmed as the Transportation Secretary. Unlike Richard Grenell, this gay cabinet member was worthy of celebration. The HRC called the decision “historic” and the President of the HRC, Alphonso David, said it was an “important moment for our movement [to] serve as a reminder to every LGBTQ young person: you too can serve your country in any capacity you earn the qualifications to hold.” The drastically different way these two men were treated makes it clear it wasn’t their orientation that mattered; it was their ideology.

We must recognize the achievements of the gay rights movement—achievements that allow me to live freely and openly, get married, and have a family. But the remnants of a once-important campaign have nothing left to fight for, and they have turned on their own. The movement has come to a natural ending point. It is time to move forward, honoring the legacy of those who sacrificed for my freedom, and retire the rainbow flag.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.

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