Connect with us

Politics

Was gay member lone ‘no’ vote against RNC marriage resolution?

Kabel says he received praise for speaking out against measure

Published

on

Bob Kabel, gay news, Washington Blade, Republican Party, Log Cabin Republicans
Bob Kabel, gay news, Washington Blade, Republican Party, Log Cabin Republicans

Gay D.C. activist Bob Kabel says he voted against the anti-gay RNC marriage resolution. (Washington Blade photo by Henry Linser)

A gay member of the Republican National Committee may have been the lone person to oppose a resolution on Friday that included opposition to same-sex marriage.

Bob Kabel, a gay D.C. Republican activist, said he shouted “no” when the time came to vote on the group of resolutions that included the anti-gay measure — despite media reports saying they were passed unanimously. Kabel said he was unaware of any others among the 168 RNC members shouting “no” when the time came to approve the resolutions.

Kabel said the vote on the resolutions came up during the RNC meeting in Hollywood, Calif., after a motion was made to break them up so they could be voted on individually.

“That was done on a voice vote,” Kabel said. “I voted in favor of that, so that I could have voted specifically against this resolution. And then, as soon as his motion to do separate votes on each of the resolutions failed, we went immediately to voice vote. I voice voted ‘no.’ Apparently no one heard me.”

Kabel, a former special assistant on legislative affairs for President Reagan, has been active in the Republican Party for decades. Until recently, he served as chair of the D.C. Republican Party. Kabel is now a board member of Log Cabin Republicans and was among the 131 Republicans who signed an amicus brief against the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8.

On the first day of the RNC meeting, Kabel said he spoke out against the proposed resolution — which he knew in advance was going to be submitted — during a members-only breakfast and let RNC members know he opposed it because he’s a gay man.

“As I told them during the members-only meeting, this is a mistake,” Kabel said. “At a minimum, the messaging has to change, and eventually the policy has to change.”

Kabel said he also opposed the resolution because opposition to same-sex marriage is already in the 2012 Republican Party platform and because it detracts from the RNC “autopsy” report that called for outreach into the gay community.

“The platform can’t be changed until 2016 when there’s a new platform committee constituted,” Kabel said. “But I also said in following up on what I thought was an excellent part of the ‘Growth & Opportunity Project’ report on messaging that it said that this hard and fast stand against gay marriage has done a lot of damage to the party with young people. And so, I said I didn’t see the point at all in simply restating what’s already in the platform, which we only adopted six months ago.”

Following his remarks, Kabel said a number of RNC members — which he said about 30 percent of them are new — came up to him and said they appreciated his remarks and that he had the courage to come out the entire Republican National Committee. Kabel said no one objected to his remarks.

“I had a number of members come up to me and say, ‘Not everybody knew you were gay, Bob,'” Kabel said. “It’s good for people to know that there’s any openly gay person as a member of RNC. And two, you made a very good point. We should just tamper down on all this stuff.”

Kabel said no one joined him in voting “no” against the resolutions — even though his remarks were well-received — likely because there were some good resolutions in the package, including one honoring a deceased RNC member.

The gay RNC member said the media attention that the resolution has received is “unfortunate” and he wouldn’t focus “too much on just one vote” in comparison to the Growth & Opportunity Project, which took the RNC months to put together.

“That report is the first time that I’ve ever seen an RNC document with term ‘gay’ used,” Kabel said. “It was used repeatedly in that messaging piece. I know it’s part of the process. The five members of the group that actually put it together traveled around the country and spoke to thousands and thousands of people. Log Cabin is always invited at the table of the RNC, but I know that they specifically talked to some of the Lob Cabin people about what to do.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement
8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Chris Vogel

    April 12, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    This is wonderful! There was always the danger that the Republicans might get elected more and, being the party of stupid, might do even more damage than they have already. Now, no one but Tea Party zealots (and the occasional dingbat gay Republican) will take them seriously. This has not been the part of Lincoln for over 100 years.

  2. Robben Wainer

    April 13, 2013 at 7:22 am

    I wish we were all as strong as Kabel as at shout "NO" and put down this clear example of discrimination against Gay people.

  3. Gregory Gandrud

    April 13, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    Thank you, Bob, for your courage and your leadership!

  4. John R Costello

    April 15, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    dude- you are WASTING your time in the GOP hate party…..

  5. John Jay Foster

    April 16, 2013 at 4:15 am

    A bunch of two-faced backstabbers, what kind of nerve they must have to breathe one word to Bob after what they did to him.

  6. Jon Bond

    April 16, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    Incredible courage, leadership, self-awareness, self-acceptance and spiritual power. It's not a question of IF, but rather, WHEN Marriage Equality happens. The haters cannot stop it; delay it, perhaps; but they have already lost the battle and ultiately, the war, and therefore, this thing is over! To the victors go the spoils; and to the losers? Well, they have to finally honor and respect their fellow human beings for once, regarless of their personal views, prejudices, and hatreds; contrary and belligerent all-the-way, to be sure!

    Oh, gosh! The poor Repuklican Party as a whole. How sad. I'm sure this is going to really hurt them because they feed on a daily ration of pure hate spew, envy, prejudice, bigotry, self-destruction, neverending nerve-racking backbitting and arrogance! Good luck with all that hate, guys, and let us know how it works out for ya', too after you've all lost the war, haters! Later!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Politics

Pete Buttigieg calls out Tucker Carlson over attack

Fox News host mocked transportation secretary over paternity leave

Published

on

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg (Washington Blade file photo)

Appearing remotely on MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace’s politics program Friday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg called out Fox News host Tucker Carlson for the attack on his parental leave.

“This attack is coming from a guy who has yet to explain his apparent approval for the assassination of Harvey Milk, ” Buttigieg said.

During his Thursday evening program Carlson said, “Pete Buttigieg has been on leave from his job since August after adopting a child—paternity leave, they call it—trying to figure out how to breastfeed. No word on how that went. But now he’s back in office as the transportation secretary and he’s deeply amused, he says, to see that dozens of container ships can’t get into this country.”

Continue Reading

National

Biden recognizes National Coming Out Day as time to honor LGBTQ people

White House statement denounces ‘bullying and harassment’

Published

on

President Biden recognized Oct. 11 as National Coming Out Day in a statement on Monday calling the occasion a time to celebrate the “courage of LGBTQ+ people who live their lives with pride, create community with open arms and hearts, and showcase the strength of being your authentic self.”

Biden ticked off in the statement the achievements on LGBTQ policy, including signing an executive order on his first day in his office ordering federal agencies to implement the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last year against anti-LGBTQ discrimination to the furthest extent possible.

“Despite the extraordinary progress our nation has made, our work to ensure the full promise of equality is not yet done. Anti-LGBTQ+ bills still proliferate in state legislatures,” Biden said. “Bullying and harassment — particularly of young transgender Americans and LGBTQ+ people of color — still abounds, diminishing our national character. We must continue to stand together against these acts of hate, and stand up to protect the rights, opportunities, physical safety, and mental health of LGBTQ+ people everywhere.”

Read Biden’s full statement below:

Statement by President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. on National Coming Out Day

Today, we celebrate National Coming Out Day and the courage of LGBTQ+ people who live their lives with pride, create community with open arms and hearts, and showcase the strength of being your authentic self. Today and every day, I want every member of the LGBTQ+ community to know that you are loved and accepted just the way you are – regardless of whether or not you’ve come out.

My Administration is committed to ensuring that LGBTQ+ people can live openly, proudly, and freely in every corner of our nation. I am proud to lead an Administration with LGBTQ+ officials serving openly at the highest levels of government — and prouder that together we have made historic progress advancing protections and equal opportunities for the LGBTQ+ community. From acting on Day One to prevent and combat discrimination, to enabling all qualified Americans – including transgender Americans – to serve their country in uniform, to defending the human rights of LGBTQ+ people around the world, my Administration has been clear that we will continue to champion the dignity, equality, and wellbeing of the LGBTQ+ community. 

Despite the extraordinary progress our nation has made, our work to ensure the full promise of equality is not yet done. Anti-LGBTQ+ bills still proliferate in state legislatures. Bullying and harassment — particularly of young transgender Americans and LGBTQ+ people of color — still abounds, diminishing our national character. We must continue to stand together against these acts of hate, and stand up to protect the rights, opportunities, physical safety, and mental health of LGBTQ+ people everywhere. From defeating discriminatory bills to passing the Equality Act, we have more work to do to ensure that every American can live free of fear, harassment, and discrimination because of who they are or whom they love.

To LGBTQ+ people across the country, and especially those who are contemplating coming out: know that you are loved for who you are, you are admired for your courage, and you will have a community — and a nation — to welcome you. My Administration will always have your back, and we will continue fighting for the full measure of equality, dignity, and respect you deserve.

Continue Reading

News

Senators to Rachel Levine: Issue guidance on mental health for trans youth

New instructions sought as more than half of trans youth contemplate suicide

Published

on

Sen. Chris Murphy (left) is leading the call on Assistant Secretary of Health Rachel Levine to offer guidance on trans health care.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) is leading a group of senators who are urging Assistant Health Secretary Rachel Levine, the first openly transgender person to win Senate confirmation as a presidential appointee, to issue new guidance on mental health care needs for trans youth.

In a letter dated Sept. 30 and obtained Tuesday by the Washington Blade, the senators make the case current standards are insufficient for trans and gender expansive, or TGE, adolescents, including exploring, non-binary, agender, genderfluid and queer youth.

“Our goal is to help mental health providers offer the best care they can to the nation’s TGE youth without a delay in treatment,” the letter says. “The focus of this request is for the pressing needs of hospital or residential care even as we recognize the need for guidance across all settings of mental health care.”

Specifically, the senators call on the Behavioral Health Coordinating Council, or BHCC, and experts in the field of adolescent trans care to offer guidance on best practices for inpatient mental health care among these youth.

The senators address the letter to Levine, who in addition to being trans has a background in care for adolescent youth, and Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, assistant secretary for mental health and substance use.

Cited in the letter are findings from the Trevor Project, an organization that supports LGBTQ youth, which determined more than half of trans and non-binary youth seriously contemplated killing themselves in 2020.

“While behavioral health and pediatric organizations have published resources regarding TGE health care, we have heard from hospital providers they are seeking guidance on best practices for serving gender diverse youth in community residential and inpatient mental health settings,” the letter says.

The seven senators who signed the letter along with Murphy are Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).

An HHS spokesperson for Levine’s office, in response to the letter, told the Blade: “We have received the letter and will be reviewing it.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us @washblade

Sign Up for Blade eBlasts

Popular