September 20, 2012 at 1:10 pm EST | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
D.C. Log Cabin calls for Romney endorsement with ‘qualifier’
Robert Turner II, Log Cabin Republicans

The letter signed by D.C. Log Cabin Republicans President Robert Turner II came to light one day before the national Log Cabin group was expected to announce its decision on whether or not it would endorse Romney following a lengthy period of internal deliberations. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

In an Aug. 27 letter to Log Cabin Republicans’ national board of directors, the D.C. Log Cabin Republicans chapter called on the national gay GOP group to endorse Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney with a “qualifier” that points out the differences the group has with Romney’s “anti-gay” positions.

The letter, signed by D.C. Log Cabin Republicans President Robert Turner II, was posted on the D.C. group’s website but was not publicly announced through a press release and wasn’t widely seen by activists and the media, Turner told the Washington Blade on Wednesday.

Turner’s discussion of the letter with the Blade on Wednesday came one day before the national Log Cabin group was expected to announce its decision on whether or not it would endorse Romney following a lengthy period of internal deliberations that sources have described as painful and contentious.

Turner sent his letter to Log Cabin Republicans’ national board on the opening day of the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

“After a lengthy, wide-ranging, and honest discussion, our members voted overwhelmingly to encourage you to endorse the Romney-Ryan ticket,” Turner states in the letter. “However, the remaining few, as well as some members of the majority, expressed legitimate concerns as to the anti-gay positions the candidates have assumed on certain issues of significance to our community generally, and gay Republicans specifically,” Turner says in the letter.

“We realize that you are aware of these issues and assume that these will be part of your discussion as you decide the endorsement question,” Turner wrote.

“If you favor our recommendation, we ask that you accompany an endorsement with a qualifier noting the significant differences we have with the ticket on some social and civil liberties issues and an expression of Log Cabin’s intention of continuing to vigorously encourage the ticket and the party to revise their positions to more directly reflect the true values of our Grand Old Party,” Turner says in the letter.

“We also feel that our national Executive Director, who we firmly stand behind, as well as other ambassadors of the organization, should seek a private meeting with the Governor, much in the way the Austin-12 did with George W. Bush in 2000 in order to create a dialogue about our issues outside of the spotlight of the media,” Turner states in the letter.

Turner was referring to national Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director R. Clarke Cooper, who reportedly has been facilitating discussion between board members and leaders of the group’s chapter across the country over whether a Romney endorsement should be made.

Some of the group’s members have called for withholding an endorsement of Romney due to his anti-gay positions similar to the course the organization took in 2004. At that time, under the direction of its then president Patrick Guerrero, Log Cabin chose not to endorse the re-election of President George W. Bush in response to Bush’s support for a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Cooper didn’t immediately respond to an email from the Blade seeking comment on the D.C. Log Cabin group’s letter and whether the national group plans to announce its decision on an endorsement Thursday night, when it holds a national dinner in Washington.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

  • With due respect to the leadership of the LCR, some of whom are friends, I would hope that to keep their credibility within the LGBT community that Log Cabin would do what they did in 2004 and withhold an endorsement from their national ticket. It would appear that it would be better to allow any LGBT Republicans to endorse Romney/Ryan as individuals if they feel that the party represents their views rather than have an organization specifically meant to promote the rights of the LGBT community endorse a tcket that explicitly says they are committed to denying the community their civil and human rights.

  • An endorsement has a singular function: It is a recommendation as to how people should vote. It is not a platform of ideas; it is a Yes or No proposition. When one walks into the voting booth on Election Day, one cannot simultaneously vote for Mitt Romney and also write in binding reservations that restrict what he may do as president. Voting is a binary choice. It is all or nothing.

    I had hoped that Mitt Romney would follow the 2008 example of John McCain, Elizabeth Doth, and Lamar Alexander by refusing to sign bigotry pledges circulated by hate groups. I had hoped that Mitt Romney would not endorse the federal marriage amendment. Sadly, he capitulated to the bigoted demands of the hate groups.

    This progressive Democrat vocally defended the choice of the Log Cabin Republicans to endorse John McCain in 2008. He was not at all good on gay rights, but he did not endorse the bigotry embodied in the federal marriage amendment. Mitt Romney has. As a result, endorsing him is indefensible. It is a betrayal of what is perhaps the most fundamental political principle of our movement today: You do not amend the U.S. Constitution to relegate gays and lesbians to second-class citizenship permanently.

    Endorsing a presidential nominee who calls for the adoption of such an amendment is anathema, and it would be a betrayal of our movement. Any group issuing such an endorsement forfeits its entitlement to any respect going forward. The federal marriage amendment is the gay community’s red line.

  • Why would a gay black male even be associated with the RNC, when they have made is blatantly clear that they want NOTHING to do with you? You should be ashamed to have your face in this article!!

  • Do you think a vote for Obama or Romney is a vote for peace on Earth? They are both for more war, more killing, and more brutal murder of innocent children around the world in the name of protecting our freedom. The real war is an information war. The enemy is here at home and we are losing the Global War on Terror. Proof is at the airports where TSA Terrorists of Sexual Abuse commit heinous crimes upon innocent children and innocent citizens. Do not keep going along with it. Global Thermonuclear War is unsurvivable. Vote for Gary Johnson. Bring the troops home and stop the wars.

  • it is so sad when it comes to this.the one in office now does not support gays.that was a ploy.a change in mid stream to get votes,just like all his other votes,Obama has changed his mind so many times,it proves to me he has no mind.go back and check out all Obamas lies&how many times he changed to get a vote,so if your laying this out there just for gays & lay it so if Mitt doesn’t fall in line with you,then Obama gets it.well to me all should be focused on what Obama is doing with our money & the up rising in all these countries because of his lies & hiding everything.I would ask Obama to unlock all his papers that he has locked down which cost us tax payers for him to keep them most see that people don’t care who is in the white house as long as they speak out for gays.that is so really is.I stand with Mitt.I don’t hate gays but i don’t believe in the union.But i have lots of gay friends.Mitt loves all but may not be for gay unions,but he doesn’t hate you gays that are mad at other gays for being for the RNC should be ashamed of yourself.God help you all that you are trading votes for being gay.The one in office isn’t for the gays make it harder for Mitt.Well if Obama gets back in the big house,he is going to flip flop on you again.

  • Hey Carol. I am going to go with your premise for a moment that Barack Obama doesn’t really support gays and that all the actions he is taking to advance gay equality is just a ploy to get votes. I will also accept for the moment, your premise that Mitt Romney doesn’t hate gays, but is just proposing equality thumping anti-gay legislation to get votes. However, not sure how this translates into any gay person with a modicum of self-esteem voting for Romney?

    Based on your logic both guys are pandering to get votes. What is illogical, is that you are suggesting that gays vote for the guy who is pandering to hurt them and not the guy who is pandering to help them because the odds are that they will both flip-flop. However, chances are the guy working for us will be far less likely to backpedal, than the guy who is working against us will be to make a 180 degree change in his anti-gay rhetoric and promises.

    The problem with your logic is that Romney, should he be successful in winning the Presidency, is going to want to get re-elected and you can bet Ms. Dusi that he is going to try to do that by catering to the one’s who got him into the job in the first place. If you are going to vote for Mitt Romney, then you are endorsing his stated perspectives. Squinting and holding your nose as you vote doesn’t absolve you Carol.

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