October 24, 2012 at 8:47 am EDT | by Peter Rosenstein
Log Cabin and Romney: A deal with the devil

It’s a sad week for the LGBT community because we lost another LGBT organization. The Log Cabin Republicans, by endorsing Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, has forfeited its credibility in the LGBT community and that is not a good thing for any of us.

I have known past leaders of Log Cabin and respected them and I respect executive director R. Clarke Cooper as an individual and a friend. But I believe he has led Log Cabin to betray their own mission and what they claim to be: “The only Republican organization dedicated to representing the interests of gay and lesbian Americans and their allies.”

If that statement is true then they have let down all the gays and lesbians and allies who believed they would stand up to those in their own party who would espouse policies that are designed to keep gay and lesbian members of the community second-class citizens.

In 2004, Log Cabin leaders had the guts to tell their party that they would not endorse a ticket that will keep us from gaining our civil and human rights. They spoke out against George W. Bush after his endorsement of the Federal Marriage Amendment. That courage is missing from Log Cabin today. There is absolutely no question on where the Romney/Ryan ticket stands on issues concerning the LGBT community. Mitt Romney has signed a pledge to support a federal constitutional amendment banning marriage equality. Paul Ryan, except for once in his entire career, has voted against all civil and human rights legislation for the LGBT community and has spoken out vociferously against marriage equality and for an FMA. He has promised to do everything he can to make sure that marriage equality doesn’t become legal.

In the endorsement press release, Cooper says, “… On issues of particular concern to the LGBT community, we believe Governor Romney will move the ball forward compared to past Republican presidents. No matter who is in the White House, it is crucial our community always has a credible voice speaking out on behalf of LGBT Americans. Log Cabin Republicans will be that voice to President Mitt Romney.” You have to wonder under what rock Cooper is living if he hasn’t heard Romney endorse the same amendment that Bush did, which kept more courageous Log Cabin leaders of the past from endorsing him. In fact today, when Republicans like Dick Cheney and Laura Bush, and a majority of all Americans according to polls support marriage equality it appears that the Romney/Ryan position is even more egregious and hateful.

I would hope whatever secret deals the leaders of Log Cabin made with the ticket to get their endorsement will somehow benefit more than the few in the organization who may want jobs in a potential administration. Because as we struggle for full civil and human rights, Log Cabin has made what looks like a deal with the devil, which will hurt the rest of the LGBT community whether they are Republicans, independents or Democrats for decades to come.

  • Tom

    I think we have to recognize the fact that about 30% of the LGBT vote is for the Republican candidate in national elections. We are not monolithic, and vote considering a broad range of issues. Marginalizing a third of our community with such dismissive condescension gets our community nowhere.

    • Sweetfunkystuff

      Neither will voting for the party that, in both word and deed, is your sworn enemy.

      • DulyNoted

        Unfortunately, David, the intellectual dishonesty is far more apparent now than it was in 1992 or even 1996. In both of those elections, neither the Democratic or GOP candidate was where they should have been on LGBT equality, so you were left to guess who might do the least damage or who had the best chance to “evolve.” Not excusing Clinton for DADT or DOMA but clearly either of the GOP alternatives would have pursued the same path or worse.

        2012 on the other hand offers total intellectual clarity. When it comes to Obama vs. Romney, there really is no confusion as to who the better choice is for LGBT voters who care about equality. Notice I didn’t say Obama was perfect on LGBT issues. However, you don’t have to be perfect when the alternative is Mitt Romney openly pledging to obliterate gay rights.

        So David, here is the intellectual honesty that you don’t want to accept: when you cast that vote for Romney, no matter how hard you hold your nose, squint your eyes and gird your loins, you’re voting for and personally owning all his positions. There are no caveats in voting and that sir, is the simple unvarnished truth.

  • DulyNoted

    Sorry Peter, but I simply don’t get the “I respect Clarke Cooper as an individual and a friend” platitude, since he clearly doesn’t respect you. Other than Barney Frank, everybody wants to play this game where we act like it’s professional, not personal Well Peter it’s very personal and its time to let not just Clarke Cooper know, but everybody else who tries to play this “qualified endorsement” game, that when you vote for Romney, we hold you responsible for not just the positions you like but all his positions including the heinous anti-gay pledges as well.

  • So sad that people can delude themselves so completely they will sell their own people down the river for the sake of ideology. As people move away from rigid party lines, I have a hard time understanding how anyone can cling so desperately to an antiquated ideology when it means supporting candidates who outspokenly oppose their interests. Is the need to belong and be accepted by the so-called “daddy party” really that strong? The Dems certainly have their faults, but they at least practice what they preach about being a “big tent.” The Republicans have become completely untethered from reality, and it’s too bad the Log Cabin Republicans are floating off into la-la land with them.

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