Rob Schlein: “I will STILL vote for (Perry)”

Schlein’s former group, the Log Cabin Republicans, disagrees.

—  John Wright

AUDIO: Rob Schlein on The Signorile Show

Log Cabin Dallas President Rob Schlein
Rob Schlein

Last week Rob Schlein, president of the Dallas chapter of Log Cabin Republicans, went on The Michelangelo Signorile Show to discuss his recent op-ed for Dallas Voice in which he said he’d support Texas Gov. Rick Perry if Perry is the Republican nominee for president. Schlein also appeared Friday on Pink Noise: The Dallas Voice Radio Show to discuss the piece.

On Monday, Signorile posted audio of his interview with Schlein on his blog, The Gist. Listen by going here.



—  John Wright

Rob Schlein accuses Rick Perry of using wildfires as excuse to dodge presidential debates

Log Cabin Dallas President Rob Schlein
Rob Schlein

Rob Schlein, president of Log Cabin Republicans Dallas, clearly doesn’t put a lot of stock in natural disasters.

In an op-ed for Dallas Voice last week, Schlein downplayed the threat of a federal marriage amendment, saying it is “as exaggerated as the the reported threat of Hurricane Irene.”

Then on Monday, after Texas Gov. Rick Perry skipped a presidential forum in South Carolina so he could return to Texas to deal with the wildfires, Schlein took to Facebook to question the governor’s motives.

“So is Rick Perry afraid of debating?” Schlein wrote. “Seems he’s discovered that the fires need his attention. Why is this a sudden priority just a few days before your debut on TV?”

In addition to Monday’s forum, Schlein was referring to Wednesday’s GOP presidential debate in California, for which Perry now says he’s undecided.

—  John Wright

Dallas Log Cabin President Rob Schlein explains why he’d support Gov. Rick Perry for president

Log Cabin Dallas President Rob Schlein
Rob Schlein

A few weeks back we reported that Rob Schlein, president of the Dallas chapter of Log Cabin Republicans, plans to support Texas Gov. Rick Perry for president if he’s the Republican nominee — despite Perry’s anti-gay record.

Schlein says he used his regular remarks at the start of Log Cabin’s monthly meeting Monday night to explain why. Below is a transcript:

—  John Wright

Gay Dems fear Perry would be ‘major step back’

ENTERING THE FRAY | Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks during the Red State Gathering, where he announced his run for president, on Saturday, Aug. 13 in Charleston, S.C. (Associated Press)

But Dallas Log Cabin president says group would back governor

JAMES BRIGHT | Contributing Writer

Gay Democratic leaders in Texas fear that if Rick Perry becomes president, it would be a “major step back” for LGBT equality.

But the president of the Dallas chapter of Log Cabin Republicans indicated that the gay GOP group would support Perry if he wins the party’s nomination.

Perry, who hasn’t been supportive of the LGBT community during his time as governor, ended weeks of speculation when he formally announced that he’s running for president on Aug. 13.

And for the most part, LGBT leaders in Perry’s home state weren’t receptive to the news.

“He will regress everything we have accomplished and take us many steps backwards instead of the many steps forward we’ve taken under [President Barack] Obama,” said Omar Narvaez, president of Stonewall Democrats of Dallas.

“He is a top-tier candidate in that party with its radical right evangelical emphasis,” said Dan Graney, president of the Texas Stonewall Democratic Caucus. “He loves little government and low taxes, so he plays right into their hands. God forbid if he were ever elected president. We would take a major step back for equal rights.”

Rob Schlein, president of Log Cabin Republicans Dallas, said the group likely will back the GOP nominee whoever it is.

“Rick Perry has been less of a friend to the LGBT community than we’d like, but on the issues that affect us all I think he is better than what we have in the White House,” he said. “We are all looking for a robust economy and he is going to make our national economic policies a lot more conducive to hiring, and that’s where I am concerned.”

Dennis Coleman, executive director of the nonpartisan Equality Texas, said the group will look at all candidates from both parties, but is unlikely to back Perry.

“As an organization we would to be more supportive of the governor putting a bid in for president, but we know where he stands on marriage for same-sex couples,” Coleman said.

“I’m a little concerned that based on his record he may follow the same rhetoric as [candidate Michele] Bachmann that may lead him to want to repeal the repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’

“People get frustrated because things don’t happen as quickly as they’d like, but more mature members of the community remember a time when they could be arrested for going to a club,” Coleman said. “The White House has to continue a dialogue with LGBT leaders and people like myself in the movement and publications like the Dallas Voice to hammer down what he has done, and what needs to be done for the LGBT movement.”

—  John Wright

What’s Brewing: Lawmakers refuse funding for HIV/AIDS drugs; 2nd El Paso suspect arrested

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

1. Up to 1,800 low-income Texans with HIV/AIDS could be denied life-sustaining drugs over the next two years, after lawmakers chose not to fund a $19.2 million request from the the state health department for the Texas HIV Medication Program, according to The Dallas Morning News (paid subscription required). Lawmakers claim people won’t be denied access to drugs because the state can siphon off money for the HIV Medication Program from Medicaid, and repay it using a supplemental measure during the 2013 legislative session. But that would require approval from Gov. Rick Perry and the 10-member Legislative Budget Board, and it would make the looming Medicaid shortfall even worse. For political reasons, lawmakers don’t want to raise taxes or use any more of the state’s rainy day fund, so they’re left to make decisions like this. If people are turned away from the HIV Medication Program, it will only result in more new HIV infections and more emergency room visits, which are far more expensive for the state. This is where the tea party gets you, folks, and it’s why these folks should be thrown out on their asses in 2012. But let’s face it, this is not just a fiscal decision. The fact is, some of these lawmakers still view HIV/AIDS as a gay disease, and they believe homosexuality is immoral. The LGBT community should be outraged. Watch video of one client talking about the potential impact of the cuts below.

Ramon Olvera

2. A second suspect has been arrested in connection with a brutal beating and possible hate crime outside a gay nightclub in El Paso on May 7.  Roman Olvera, 19, is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Olvera and a 16-year-old arrested last week allegedly were among six gang members who punched, kicked and hit 22-year-old Lionel Martinez with a baseball bat outside the Old Plantation, while yelling anti-gay slurs. Martinez, who is straight, remains in critical condition. The FBI is investigating Martinez’s beating and other recent hate crimes near the nightclub. LGBT advocates, who say police have failed to address the problem of anti-gay violence, plan a meeting tonight at the local Metropolitan Community Church. CORRECTION: The LGBT group actually met Tuesday night and plans a rally in front of the courthouse next week, according to the El Paso Times.

3. Wade Emmert was elected Dallas County’s new Republican Party chairman Tuesday night. Emmert was endorsed by Log Cabin Republicans President Rob Schlein, who accused Emmert’s tea party opponent of anti-gay tactics during the campaign. Emmert is scheduled to speak to the gay GOP group on Monday. “Congratulations to Wade Emmert for his very decisive victory, 140 vs 95,” Schlein writes on Facebook. “We look forward to being one of the first clubs visited by the new party chairman!”

—  John Wright

The gay Facebook drama behind Rob Schlein’s endorsement of Wade Emmert for GOP chair

Log Cabin Dallas President Rob Schlein
Rob Schlein

Dallas County Republican precinct chairs will meet tonight to choose a successor to Jonathan Neerman, who’s arguably been the most LGBT-inclusive leader in the local GOP’s history. The two candidates to replace Neerman are civil attorney and former county judge candidate Wade Emmert, and the tea party-affiliated former president of the Park Cities Republican Women, Debbie Georgatos.

As chair, Neerman publicly advocated for including groups like Log Cabin Republicans in the local party, in an effort to grow the base and try to stem the Democratic tide of the last five years. Naturally, this led to criticism of Neerman by social conservatives, and now the race to replace him has become the subject of some major gay Facebook drama. LCR President Rob Schlein is accusing Georgatos’ supporters gay-baiting in the campaign against Emmert, whom Schlein is now publicly endorsing.

It all started when Dallas County Commissioner Maurine Dickey canceled her scheduled appearance at next week’s monthly meeting of the gay GOP group. To replace Dickey, Schlein invited both Emmert and Georgatos to speak at the meeting — win or lose tonight’s election. “Both spoke about broadening the party so another ‘test’ was to see which candidate would have the courage to commit to openly speak to Log Cabin before a vote. I wanted to see whose actions would meet their words,” Schlein writes.

Schlein said he was impressed that Emmert immediately accepted the invitation. As for Georgatos, she replied to Schlein as follows: “I am sorry–that date is not possible on my caliber [sic]–and my life is crazy–let’s talk after the 17th (after i get a good night’s sleep). I am telling all the different clubs asking that i need to sort out my calendar after the 17th.”

—  John Wright

Historic Prop 8 ruling prompts ‘rare’ discussion about gay rights at Dallas Log Cabin meeting

Believe it or not, we really don’t go out of our way to pick on the Dallas chapter of Log Cabin Republicans or its president, Rob Schlein. But sometimes they make it too easy, and after all, we kid because we love, right?

So we couldn’t resist sharing this e-mail we received over the weekend inviting us to Log Cabin’s August meeting, which will feature a discussion about the recent Prop 8 decision.

As you can see, the e-mail states that, “Log Cabin rarely delves in gay rights issues at chapter meetings …”

Hey, at least they admit it!

—  John Wright

The Plank-Wanker: Your daily Texas political platform update

Dallas gay Repulican leader Rob Schlein is getting some major love in the national queerosphere for the statement he issued Tuesday slamming the anti-gay Texas GOP platform. We’ve seen write-ups in places including The Advocate and, so no doubt there are others. Still, though, our favorite Log Cabin story of the day is this item from Minnesota’s CityPages, which picked up the condom shown here at an LCR table during Twin Cities Pride. As you can see, the wrapper says, “Drill, baby, drill!! … just don’t spill.” What?

Anyhow, in other platform news, turns out the Texas Democrats actually approved six pro-LGBT resolutions — not four, as we reported yesterday — during their convention last weekend in Corpus Christi.

Dan Graney, president of the Texas Stonewall Democratic Caucus, explains in an e-mail:

In addition to the four Equality Texas resolutions on nondiscrimination, safe schools, accurate birth certificates and competitive insurance benefits, there are two additional resolutions that passed on the floor. One supports LGBT foster and adoptive parents and the other calls for the repeal of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The resolution calling for the repeal of the discriminatory Texas Constitutional Marriage Amendment is not among those that passed — don’t know if it did not pass enough senate district conventions or what.

Anyway, this is the first time ANY of our LGBT-related resolutions passed the floor of any State Convention and to have six of them pass in this convention is truly awesome! We have come a long ways, baby! Our Texas Stonewall members are to be credited for their hard work in turning this dream into a reality.

—  John Wright

Rob Schlein: Anti-gay GOP platform must be changed so Dems can't use it against us

We’ve been somewhat troubled by the online spread of a recent “news story” saying the Republican Party of Texas’ platform is, well, still anti-gay. But now that the story has appeared in both The Huffington Post and The New York Daily News, we’ve accepted the fact that we’re powerless to stop it. Which is not to say that we ever really wanted to stop it, but given that this language has been in the GOP platform for years, we don’t consider it any more of a story than saying that the national Democratic Party’s platform calls for passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. I mean, we know it may be hard to believe considering the inaction in Congress on ENDA, but that doesn’t make it news.

Anyhow, we just noticed that Rob Schlein, president of Log Cabin Republicans of Dallas, has posted a response to the story about the GOP platform on his Facebook page. Schlein’s group has fought, to no avail, to have the anti-gay language removed from the platform in recent years. Here’s what he said:

“This is an article that’s gaining a lot of traction on the internet. I have had a lot of requests asking about it. Although much is not really ‘new’ because it existed in prior platforms, it is being used again as a tool to damage Republican politicians. To my R friends: we need to reform this next time as Democrat activists are using it against us! To my D friends, these planks were put in place by a tiny minority of grassroots activists (among the religious right) and does NOT represent the overall views of the rank and file politician or voter who identifies themselves as Republican. Many politicians claim either to not having read the platform, or will bluntly say they disagree with these planks.”

—  John Wright