Now is the time for the Log Cabin Republicans to show us how much influence they have in the Republican Party. Stand-alone bills on repeal of DADT have been introduced in both houses of Congress and the House vote is tentatively scheduled for later today.
I have laid blame squarely on Sen. Reid, and some on the president for waiting so long to move on this issue. But the president has now worked to move this forward.
But thanks to the Democratic leadership and Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.) in the House, and Senators Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), we now have an opportunity to pass repeal as a stand-alone bill. There can be none of the excuses on amendments or procedural issues that Republicans have used on this issue for not voting for it. In the next few days it is really a simple question, are you for repeal or against it? Will you stand up for equality in America or not?
I have a long-standing friendship with Clarke Cooper of Log Cabin. I respect him and the work he is trying to do, and for his service to our country. But today and in the next couple of days when the stand-alone bill comes up for a vote in the Senate, we will learn whether the work that Log Cabin has done has paid off.
If it does, I think we may have some hope for the next two years that not only won’t we find ourselves regressing on LGBT rights but potentially, with some hard work and bipartisanship, moving forward. If however Republicans can’t muster the votes they claim they have for repeal of DADT to move forward on the stand-alone bill then we can give up on any movement in the next two years and will have to fight with everything we have to just keep the status quo.
I am a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat. I have, and continue to support President Barack Obama and the progressive steps the Democrats have taken in the past two years. But it is my hope that with this stand-alone bill repealing DADT, Congress will truly behave in a bipartisan fashion.
It has always been my hope that the moderate wing and the true conservatives of the Republican Party will move to the kinds of positions on social issues that will promote equality and that the Republican Party returns to being the party of Abraham Lincoln.