Michigan Conservative Dossier Blogger Discusses his Sexuality and Politics
By Todd A. Heywood
(Issue 1624 - Between The Lines News)
In Sylvester's blog, he rails against Michigan Federation of College Republicans state chair Justin Zatkoff as "immoral" for having pictures of himself shirtless in a hotel room with various fully clothed women. He writes about ending abortion, and rails against liberals. He is completely against John McCain and Barack Obama, and is supporting Bob Barr in his long-shot bid for the presidency. His blog is one blog that most conservatives in Michigan turn to when they want to know what the paleoconservatives in the state are thinking. He even played a role in the outing of conservative activist and then Web site manager for the Tom Tancredo for President campaign, Tyler Whitney.
But, until now, Sylvester has played his personal life close to his vest. His friends and his family know he is gay, but in an exclusive interview with Between The Lines, Sylvester for the first time confirms that he is gay and talks about his political views, his sexuality and his deeply held Catholic faith. The interview was a combination between written answers as well as a phone interview.
"I believe that everybody knows," said Sylvester talking about his sexuality and the political allies he has. "I have not directly talked with everybody about it, but I believe everybody knows."
Sylvester said he made the move to grant the interview because blogger Mike Rogers had contacted him. Rogers, from D.C., runs the BlogActive Web site. The site has garnered much attention over the years as Rogers, himself gay, for outing politicians who are actively pursuing an anti-gay agenda, but are secretly gay.
But Sylvester said his sexuality really has less to do with his politics than one might imagine.
"The whole debate â€“ gay this and gay that, it's so skewed and often illogical," he said. "If more people read what John Corvino (a professor at Wayne State University who has been touring his lecture series 'What is Morally Wrong with Homosexuality?' and is a contributing columnist for Between The Lines) writes, we would all be better off."
Instead, Sylvester said he supports candidates and issues for the greater good of the country.
"'How can one be gay and Republican?' It's a fairly easy one to answer," Sylvester said. "I vote what is best for the nation. If people in politics don't want to recognize me â€“ fine, I can do without recognition from a large, bloated bureaucracy which is generally corrupt and dysfunctional. It's not about me, it's about the common good. If there is a candidate that is opposed to killing babies in the womb, restricting gun rights and raising taxes and opposed to gay marriage, I will support that candidate because it is what's best for everyone."
Sylvester is a strong Catholic and that, he said, plays into his political perspective.
And Sylvester has no issue with the church denying Holy Communion to politicians who support abortion, or, if it were to happen, to him for being gay. He said the church is there to make moral decisions. But the issue would trouble him personally if gays were denied communion. He also said early on in the process of coming out, he struggled with his sexuality and church teachings.
As for the presidential race, Sylvester was clear on his support for Barr and lambasted McCain and Obama.
Asked if the Barr candidacy might splinter the Republican vote, and result in Obama claiming the presidency, Sylvester said,
Sylvester was also clear that part of the issue was that the American democracy was stuck in a two party system and Bob Barr, not being in either of the two mainstream party camps, was unlikely to get the money to get his message out. Asked if the media should cover Barr like all the other candidates, Sylvester laughed.
As for his connections with well known anti-gay leaders in the state like Rep. Jack Hoogendyke from Kalamazoo and Gary Glenn of the American Family Association of Michigan, Sylvester said he supported them.
"I've met Mr. Glenn working on the failed "Stop Overspending Initiative." He seems to be genuine. Maybe I'll be in his cross hairs, who knows? I don't question his motives, only some of his logic," Sylvester said. "Jack Hoogendyk is a good man. I support him 100 percent because I believe it for the greater good that Carl Levin be forced into retirement and Jack take his spot."