In spite of the efforts to find ways to be supportive of the Romney / Ryan ticket (and related to LGBT equality, Log Cabin Republicans seem more excited about Ryan than Romney, because one time Ryan voted for the Employment Nondiscrimination Act), LCR hasn’t endorsed that ticket. They still could, of course. But why wait until after the convention? Unless, maybe, the announcement is going to be that you aren’t going to endorse, and, maybe, you’re going to use the announcement as a way to make a political point. Or perhaps you just don’t plan to make a statement about endorsement at all. Waiting until after the convention could seem preferable in such cases. And I suppose the argument could be made that even if the decision is to endorse, you’ll get a moment of attention after the convention you might not get before or during. Maybe.
In addition to the convention and the LGBT-unfriendly platform it approved, here’s another tidbit for Log Cabin and other Republican LGBT folks to consider, via AlterNet:
GOP Leader: Gay Republican Welcome in House as Long as He Avoids “˜Personal Crusade’
Rep. Pete Sessions, Tex., heads the National Republican Congressional Committee a … role in which his top goal is electing Republicans. To that end, Sessions has worked with Log Cabin Republicans “” and was honored by the group with its Barry Goldwater Award in 2010 “” in spite of his own strongly anti-gay voting record … .
Sessions has voted, repeatedly, for a federal constitutional amendment banning “same-sex marriage,” against ENDA and against the repeal of DADT. At a Tampa press conference, Sessions was
… asked about Richard Tisei, an openly gay Republican congressional nominee in Massachusetts. The questioner specifically asked how Tisei, who is pro-choice and pro-marriage equality, would fit in with the Republican caucus.
Sessions responded by saying his “litmus test” for candidates is “to be able to get elected,” and he’s working with Tisei as a “strategic and tactical partner.”
Sessions did not talk about LGBT issues directly, but said it was his sense that Tisei is “˜not on any personal crusade’ but “˜wants to become a professional member of Congress.’
I’m guessing, of course, but my bet is that there are some specific “personal crusades” Sessions finds acceptable, and the kind of thing a “professional” Congressional member would do: opposition to “same-sex marriage” is certainly one in the newly approved platform, as is support of a “right to life” position. And clearly crusades are the order of the day when it comes to making sure there is little to no separation between “church and state.”
About Tisei, the AlterNet piece includes this:
Indeed, there’s no “˜personal crusade’ on behalf of LGBT equality evident on Tisei’s campaign Web site, whose issues page does not mention LGBT issues “” it focuses on right-wing talking points on the economy, Medicare, education, and Israel.
Yesterday LCR sent out a press release:
Young Conservatives and Log Cabin Republicans Host Brunch for Freedom to Marry at RNC
Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry co-hosted a brunch with Log Cabin Republicans today at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, FL. Conservative commentator and political strategist Margaret Hoover spoke at the event … .
“˜There are tectonic shifts happening just beneath the surface within the Republican Party on marriage that are starting to percolate up to the national dialogue,’ said Hoover, also a member of the Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry leadership committee. “˜That’s why we’re here at the Republican National Convention – to continue to drive this very important conversation forward. …
“˜The goal of Log Cabin Republicans has always been to work from within the party to expand and protect freedoms for all Americans …,’ said R. Clarke Cooper, Executive Director of the Log Cabin Republicans.
LCR and Young Conservatives also ran a full-page ad in the Tampa Tribune, asking the GOP to include “gay and lesbian families in its vision for the critical role of marriage and families in our society.” In spite of these, and earlier efforts, including active participation in the platform process, LCR acknowledged that “the GOP chose instead to take an extreme stance on marriage … , supporting a federal constitutional amendment banning the freedom to marry for same-sex couples.”
Progress toward support of LGBT equality in the Democratic Party has been a slow, mostly incremental process, over decades. There’s no question Democrats, as a whole, are much further ahead related to such equality, though it’s important, and just plain good sense, to remember the incredible amount of advocacy done to get to this point. And it’s important to recognize that there are Democratic Electeds who oppose “same-sex marriage” and ENDA, and opposed repeal of DADT. When Republicans, especially younger conservatives, show increasing support for LGBT equality, one of the things that does is push the reluctant Democrats toward greater support.
In general, I continue to think that efforts by those working from within the GOP to push for LGBT equality are important, and those people and their efforts deserve respect. At the same time, actually “pushing” requires consequences if the Electeds don’t make moves in the direction you want them to go. That’s just as true for those working within the Democratic Party, of course. A “we’ll vote for you no matter what because the other side is so much worse” isn’t a winning strategy. Some feet-holding-to-the-fire is required. And not just once or even just occasionally, but consistently.
I’m with Bayard Rustin: we need more “angelic troublemakers,” people who will personally take on a “crusader” for equality role. And I really don’t care if they’re political affiliations are blue or red or purple or chartreuse or whatever else.
(Bayard Rustin poster via Michael’s FB Wall Photos)