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Ken Williams

Views & Voices

2012 election is crucial to LGBT Americans, women and minorities

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The 2012 presidential election is quickly shaping up to be a fairly clear choice for many LGBT Americans, women and minority groups.

The Democrats, whose national convention will be Sept. 3-6 in Charlotte, N.C., are poised to endorse marriage equality and other progressive issues near and dear to the heart of the LGBT community, women and minorities.

The Republicans, whose national convention will be Aug. 27-30, are on the verge of approving an extremely conservative platform that rejects marriage equality, supports a constitutional amendment to prevent gay and lesbian couples from marrying, defends the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), restricts rights of women and minorities, and more.

For many LGBT voters, the re-election of Barack Obama will mean that the slow progress toward full equality will continue and the direction of the country will continue to trend toward progressive goals.

However, the prospect of the election of a Republican president sends chills up many spines, especially to those voters — LGBT, women, minorities, progressives, liberals and moderates — who have read about at the proposed Republican platform and are aware that the next president will likely shape the U.S. Supreme Court for decades to come.

The proposed Republican platform is expected to be ratified by the national convention at month’s end.

The plank ignores national polls showing that marriage equality is now approved by a majority of Americans.

“The GOP’s proposed platform is blatantly out-of-step with not only the majority of our nation, but even with the rank and file of the Republican Party itself,” said Chad Griffin, HRC president. “The party is poised to send a devastating message to LGBT youth – that they and the families they aspire to one day build are not worthy of the same protections as everyone else.”

Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry, also expressed disappointment in the draft of the platform.

“With a growing majority of Americans, a substantial majority of independents, and a super-majority of young people across the spectrum supporting the freedom to marry for all committed couples, it’s sad to see the Republican Party so out of touch,” Wolfson said.

“A party that proclaims its belief in freedom, limited government, and personal responsibility should not be doubling down against couples seeking to share in the commitment of marriage and the birthright of liberty and justice for all,” he said.

Wolfson’s organization also sponsors Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry, which recently sent a letter to the Republican platform committee urging its members to resist efforts to oppose marriage equality.

HRC stresses that the proposed Republican platform resembles the so-called “marriage vow” edict from the anti-gay hate group, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). Signers of the vow, which include presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, pledge to defend DOMA, pursue a federal amendment against marriage equality, appoint only anti-gay judges and establish a Joe McCarthy-style congressional commission to investigate supporters of equality.

The proposed Republican platform shuts out moderates in the GOP who are for equality, including Log Cabin Republicans. LCR had hoped to persuade the GOP to tone down its platform and at least affirm the “dignity and respect” of LGBT Americans, but even that was rejected. R. Clarke Cooper, executive director of LCR, told BuzzFeed that the platform was harsh. ”It’s bad with a capital B,” he said.

Tony Perkins, head of the rabidly anti-gay hate group the Family Research Council (FRC), gloated that he practically wrote the GOP platform. This suggests that the national party has been totally hijacked by known anti-gay hate groups like FRC and NOM that promote lies and discrimination against LGBT Americans under the guise of “protecting traditional marriage.”

“This platform language certainly doesn’t represent the whole of the GOP, which is continuing to add equality supporters to its ranks,” Griffin said. “As Americans and young Republicans increasingly embrace equality, politicians seeking to harm our community will not even be considered serious contenders at the national level.”

After the Justice Department declared DOMA was indefensible in court and the Obama Administration ordered the government to stop defending the law in federal lawsuits, the Republican House leadership is now spending a fortune in taxpayer dollars to unsuccessfully defend DOMA in federal court. To date, more than eight federal judges have declared parts of DOMA to be unconstitutional, yet the GOP continues to ignore the course of history and the wisdom of the judiciary.

Do we want to be a progressive nation? Or do we want to turn back the clock on the rights of LGBT Americans, women, minorities and others who do not subscribe to right-wing politics?

Opinions and advice expressed in our Views & Voices columns represent the author's own views and not necessarily those of LGBTQ Nation. We welcome opposing views and diverse perspectives. To submit a article, column or video, contact us here. Due to the volume of submissions received, we cannot guarantee publication.

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12 more reader comments:

  1. Yeah considering Romney is trying to take away any rights, and protections from all of them.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at 8:31am
  2. Um, when has an election not been crucial?

    Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at 8:32am
  3. I have to wonder how many people realize Obama will not hold up his promises on gay rights. He was anti-gay from 2008 all the way up until his endorsement of it only within the few recent months. It’s a political ploy to get votes because he has no positive record to run on. My solution is first we oust Obama and get this country back on track with the economy. Once that problem is fixed, we can focus on finding a new candidate for 2016 that will support gay rights and have an economically sound mind.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at 8:34am
  4. he may not be 100% pro gay rights, but he is 1,000,000% better than the alternative.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at 8:36am
  5. RON PAUL 2012!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at 8:37am
  6. He was never anti-gay. In 2008, he said that he supported civil unions, and other rights, but did not fully support same sex marriage. Yes, he did change his position- but that doesn’t mean he is trying to kiss ass for support. And it is not about a president giving us “gay rights”, it is about someone who is willing to stand up for everyone who is denied the same rights as others. Romney is worse- considering he does not support same sex marriage, civil unions, adoption, work protection rights, and laws- the only thing he supports, is domestic partnerships, and hospital visitation rights. He even wants to revive don’t ask, don’t tell. So I would not be so quick to judge Obama, because we could have it A LOT worse. Think about that.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at 8:38am
  7. Obama is the only Preisdent or Presidenatal candidate that has come out for marriage equality. He repealed DADT. He’s not perfect, but has done a hell of lot more than the others. The GOP doesn’t even recognize LGBT people as human, let alone equal rights! The choice is clear – Obama 2012!

    Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at 8:38am
  8. Four more years!!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at 8:43am
  9. Point is no matter how you vote, the goal should be NOT voting for the Repubs hate team.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at 8:44am
  10. 4 MORE YEARS!

    Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at 8:47am
  11. It’s NOT just the Presidential race either folks. Look at the House and Senate candidates in your area. I personally live in MO, you know where that asshat Todd Akin is running. He want to strip women’s rights, LGBT right, take away the Voting Rights act of 1965, and cut all school lunch funding. Uh, you bet your ass I will be voting against him and for Claire McCaskill, and Obama this November!

    Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at 9:17am
  12. Good for you and good for the country

    Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at 1:11pm