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Delusions at the Log Cabinette Convention

You know, I don’t have a problem with the overall mission of the Log Cabin Republicans — gays should try to work to create change from within. However, the Log Cabinettes have so far failed miserably against the 800-lb. gorilla — the religious fundamentalists, who have the numbers and dollars to quash any effort of the GOP to reclaim itself from the fundies. The only things that have shaken the deathgrip of the theocrats from the party have been its own scandals and corruption, not any fundamental change in attitude that gays are deserving of any rights.

My major issue is delusional attitudes that fly in the face of the reality of the impact of forces working against LGBT citizens coming out of that party. From an attendee at this year’s LCR convention:

David Keeton, a small-business owner in Dallas, and his partner, Rob Schlein, said they supported Giuliani because of his record as New York mayor and his response to the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

“I’m an American first, then a Republican second, and gay falls in third or fourth,” said Keeton, who wore a Ronald Reagan pin on his lapel.

Well, while Keeton is ranking and voting his loyalties, he’s living in a state that prevents he and Schlein from the legal benefits of civil marriage; that may not be important to him (I suppose low taxes are his priority), but there are a hell of a lot of people without the means or circumstances in the Lone Star State to place being a Republican higher than whether or not they can be fired from their job or worry about being gay-bashed.

And let me play a tiny violin as Keeton found out his homosexuality was an issue for Mitt Romney, even as Keeton ponied up $1500 to buy a table to listen to him gay bash.

Both said they recently met former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at a fundraiser and had their picture taken with him. They were offended when Romney told the crowd that he opposed gay marriage and civil unions.

“We’re part of the Republican Party, but he just alienated people who had paid $1,500 for a table,” Keeton said.

This is the problem with too many gay Republicans — too many have their heads in the sand and their eye only on their wallets. George Bush and the GOP Congress went out of their way to demonize and attempt to legislate against LGBT taxpaying citizens. While the Democrats have been passive to the point of not deserving our vote time and again, even the LCRs have to acknowledge that we will see gains only under Democratic leadership until the GOP is reclaimed from the right wing crazies. We need two parties vying for our votes.

That said, I see no evidence of change in the GOP from within, given how hard right the presidential candidates are leaning for the primaries. They have zero interest in taking on the outlandish bigotry of the Dobsons, Falwells, Sheldons and the rest even at the most basic level.

More after the jump.Look at how caught off guard Tommy Thompson was during the presidential debate on Thursday when asked whether “If a private employer finds homosexuality immoral, should he be allowed to fire a gay worker?”. His response indicated he thought about it:

“I think that is left up to the individual business. I really sincerely believe that that is an issue that business people have got to make their own determination as to whether or not they should be.”

He then clarified his answer by saying “Yes” (that they can discriminate.

Somehow, once out of the glare of the spotlight on stage at the Reagan Library, he changed his tune. saying he didn’t hear the question properly. Huh? Was he that wigged out by the question that he had a cognitive meltdown, or did he not want an arguably pro-gay soundbite from the debate circulating around YouTube (or perhaps more appropriately, GodTube)?

Even the Log Cabinettes have no illusion that their party will do anything for gay rights this time around.

Log Cabin president Patrick Sammon said the group won’t endorse a candidate before the primaries and doesn’t expect anyone to run on a platform that includes gay rights. A unifying conservative agenda will support free trade, an aggressive war on terrorism, fiscal responsibility and limited government, he said.

Argh. Is that enough to pull the lever for a Republican — this party isn’t neutral on gay rights, it’s hostile to them. The delusional thinking continues as they search for a palatable candidate — the best they can come up with is Rudy Giuliani, who just decided to do a 180 on civil unions in order to court the fundie vote.

LCRs, they don’t like you — while the wishwashy Dems take our money and make us sit at the back of the bus, these creeps in the GOP will take your money and then run over you with the bus.

One Log Cabinette convention attendee mulls his options.

Justin Meyer admits it’s difficult to be a gay Republican these days. The 24-year-old financial manager was excited to see Rudy Giuliani jump into the 2008 presidential race both because of how he led New York City and his support for gay rights. But he’s angry at Giuliani for recently coming out against civil unions and doesn’t understand why other members of the Log Cabin Republicans, the nation’s largest gay GOP group, were still touting him as the group gathered for its annual convention Friday.

Rudy doesn’t love us in the press and his public statements, so what’s going on?” said Meyer, who said he would stay home if the election was held today.

What the LCR hopes for is a candidate who will remain silent on gay issues, since advocacy is apparently too much to expect or ask for. Does that make any sense?

If the Log Cabin Republicans are working for a Republican president and Republican-run Congress in 2008, we’ve been there and done that — there will be no silence, it will be more of what we experienced for the last 12 years, a constant onslaught of homo-hatred, and an opportunity for a Republican president to, with a likely Supreme Court vacancy in the next term, slam the door on gay rights matters heading to the court.

For a more incendiary take on LCR matters, read SarahS’s diary, Log Cabin Republicans spout a bunch of bullshit on Advocate.com.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding

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