My friends at the Log Cabin Republicans and GOProud have now been placed in a very awkward position by the social conservatives in the Republican party. The GOP strategy has been to stay away from the social issues that haunt the GOP, but it’s terribly hard for these gay conservatives to explain away the comments and associations that are blooming in the 2010 primaries.
Take anti-masturbator and anti-gay winner of the GOP primary in Delaware, Christine O’Donnell. She has been endorsed by well-known homophobe Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX). It’s the same John Cornyn who will be mingling among the homosexuals at a fundraiser for the Log Cabin Republicans. He also offered up a check to O’Donnell for K. (Igor @ The Wonk Room):
“I reached out to Christine this morning, and as I have conveyed to all of our nominees, I offered her my personal congratulations and let her know that she has our support,” Cornyn wrote in an email. This support includes a check for ,000 — the maximum allowable donation that we have provided to all of our nominees.” Later in the day, he appeared on Sean Hannity’s radio show to clear up any confusion about his commitment:
CORNYN: Well, really I don’t know the source of the rumors that were attributed to the Republican National Senatorial Committee. I’m the Chairman as you know and certainly without my authorization I corrected the record, talking to Christine this morning. Told her we will support her, in fact we send her some money already…I’ve encouraged my other colleagues to send money from their leadership PAC funds. We’re going to do everything we can to help her get elected in November.
Igor went the extra mile and asked for comment from the LCR — no one has replied to his inquiry about Cornyn’s disconnect. The issue is that social conservative orgs have denounced Cornyn for attending the LCR fundraiser, but the pro-LGBT conservative orgs like GOProud have not commented on Cornyn’s remarks with any criticism at all. Jimmy LaSalvia of GOProud dodges the crux of the matter:
“if you look at it, O’Donnell wasn’t elected on social issues. She was elected nominated for the same reason that a lot of other candidates are bing nominated and that’s to call an end to the status quo in Washington.”
This does not answer the question of whether support will be withheld from candidates who are anti-gay, and this case quite openly. Where is the line drawn in the struggle for equality? We can’t reform the GOP if their promised bigotry when legislating is a factor. Just playing it down is not the problem — we have to know where a pol stands when it’s time to cast a vote regarding equality matters.
Dem voters in Purple and Red states are often left with poor choices — the active homophobe (R) and the less-active/homophobe or spine free (D). The point is you have to try to change the moveable candidate and start grooming more equality-positive candidates to unseat the spine free one down the line.
The problem for the LCR and GOProud is they are far away from cultivating actual prospective pols to run who are neutral or pro-equality. What isn’t acceptable is a PR campaign to present something that does not exist yet — a few more allies and actual gays coming out of the closet doesn’t outweigh the boatload of conservatives already in the electoral pipeline who are flat-out anti-LGBT. I wish them luck on effecting change, but until they can openly criticize when there are bigots on the ballot, it only delays accountability.
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