Leaders of the Log Cabin Republicans are inching closer to a decision on endorsing Mitt Romney for president and a final announcement could come this week pending the outcome of a meeting Log Cabin is seeking to have with the Romney campaign, according to a source familiar with the process.
The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Log Cabin wants to talk to the campaign about Romney’s views on LGBT issues and to seek his support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in particular.
The source said the Romney campaign “has expressed a lot of interest” in sitting down with Log Cabin to address these issues, although the meeting remains unscheduled. According to the source, the endorsement decision process should be “all wrapped up in the next week or so.”
“We do think that once there’s that conversation that we will be able to move forward with the endorsement and actually feel good about it,” the source said, adding that if the board were to vote today, its members would likely support Romney for president.
R. Clarke Cooper, the group’s executive director, acknowledged in an email to the Washington Blade on Monday that his organization seeks “clarity on workplace non-discrimination” from the Romney campaign.
It’s not a secret Log Cabin has been asking Romney to come out in favor of ENDA. In an Aug. 13 op-ed for the Daily Caller, Cooper called on Romney to voice support for ENDA as well as commit to signing an executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT people.
“Romney has said that he opposes workplace discrimination,” Cooper wrote. “By vowing to sign an executive order preventing federal contractors from firing people for being LGBT, and joining Paul Ryan in support for ENDA, Romney can draw a favorable contrast between himself and the president.”
While running as a U.S. Senate candidate against the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, Romney pledged in a letter to the Massachusetts chapter of the organization to co-sponsor ENDA “and if possible broaden to include housing and credit.” But in later years, Romney abandoned that position. He’s said he no longer supports ENDA, but hasn’t yet addressed the legislation during the 2012 campaign — largely because mainstream media reporters haven’t questioned him about the legislation.
The Romney campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from the Washington Blade on the candidate’s position on ENDA.
The “Mitt Gets Worse” campaign against Romney — co-founded by Rick Jacobs, chair of the Courage Campaign, and David Brock, founder of American Bridge 21st Century — have called on Log Cabin to withhold the endorsement. However, some gay Republicans — including D.C. Chair of the Republican Party Bob Kabel and former U.S. Rep. Jim Kolbe, have said they’d like to see the organization back Romney.
In 2004, Log Cabin withheld its endorsement from then-President George W. Bush because of his support for the Federal Marriage Amendment — a position that’s shared by Romney. But the organization in 2008 backed Republican presidential nominee John McCain, who voted against the amendment in the U.S. Senate.