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Gay former lawmaker Jim Kolbe gives ‘qualified endorsement’ to Romney

CHRIS JOHNSON | Washington Blade
Monday, August 27, 2012

TAMPA, Fla. — Former Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.), who’s gay, offered his “qualified endorsement” of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Tuesday, saying the candidate’s business background makes him a good choice for president. Kolbe noted that Romney needs to come along further on LGBT issues.

“I think based on the economic issues, yeah, I think my endorsement would be a qualified endorsement,” Kolbe said in an interview with the Washington Blade. “I think he’s clearly the better of the two candidates, but we have a long ways to go to bring him around on this [LGBT rights] issue.”

Jim Kolbe. (Washington Blade photo by Michael key.)

Kolbe, 70, spoke with the Blade following remarks he delivered at the ”Republicans Out to Win” event co-hosted by the Log Cabin Republicans and the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund at the Oystercatchers bar at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay. Other speakers included R. Clarke Cooper, Log Cabin’s national director, and Jeff Spitko, senior vice president for external affairs at the Victory Fund.

The former lawmaker, who served in the U.S. House from 1985 to 2007, said he wishes Romney were “further along in the development of his thinking” on LGBT rights, but added it’s one of many issues and said Romney ”has a much better background in business and economics” than President Obama.

“I think he’s much more likely to turn the country in the right direction on fiscal matters,” Kolbe said. “To me, that is the existential issue that we face today, and for that reason, I support Mitt Romney.”

Romney has built up a significant anti-LGBT record over the course of his campaign. The candidate has signed an agreement with the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage pledging to back a Federal Marriage Amendment and defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court. Romney’s last stated position on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act is that he opposes the legislation, although he once said he’d co-sponsor the bill as a U.S. Senate candidate in 1994.

Kolbe emphasized that a bi-partisan approach to LGBT rights is necessary and he expects the Republican Party to change on the issue over time because “it’s clearly, clearly a generational issue” and younger members of the GOP are more progressive.

Continue reading at the Washington Blade

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32 more reader comments:

  1. this man to has to be insane

    Posted on Monday, August 27, 2012 at 8:03pm
  2. He used to have some sense.. Is gaming for an appointment in the administration that should never be ??

    Posted on Monday, August 27, 2012 at 8:05pm
  3. Apparently he doesn’t care much about his own rights…

    Posted on Monday, August 27, 2012 at 8:07pm
  4. Another self hating gay! At his age, that is just sad!

    Posted on Monday, August 27, 2012 at 8:08pm
  5. Earth to Kolbe…

    Lights are on but nobody’s home

    One straw short of a hay stack…

    Basically: dumbass.

    Posted on Monday, August 27, 2012 at 8:11pm
  6. He doesn’t have to care about his health care because he is covered for the rest of his life by tax dollars

    Posted on Monday, August 27, 2012 at 8:13pm
  7. what a bunch of ignorant comments. you have a president that will say anything to get elected. he isn’t for gay rights until election time just like most of your liberals to get the vote. at least with the conservatives you know where they stand and you can fight to change their minds. a liberal will tell you what you want to hear, don’t forget Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Obama had to be pushed into changing this and he was forced to go against what he believed in that marriage was between a man and a woman. Look at his track record on this issue. He only came around because he wants the gay vote but he certainly isn’t getting mine.

    Posted on Monday, August 27, 2012 at 8:30pm
  8. fuck you scott

    Posted on Monday, August 27, 2012 at 8:33pm
  9. Scott: GET OFF A “PRO-GAY RIGHTS” PAGE…..your HATARD IS NOT NEEDED OR WANTED.

    Posted on Monday, August 27, 2012 at 8:37pm
  10. Well said Alisa!

    Posted on Monday, August 27, 2012 at 8:37pm
  11. lol…. Joe and Scott….. why are you checking out a LGBTQ site????? Guess some people just have to check out things they have no business checking out. Well, I hope that when you have come to your senses you will not be making comments that you know nothing about. As for us true LGBTQ people I guess they will never learn will they.

    Posted on Monday, August 27, 2012 at 8:39pm
  12. I forgot to add the they I meant are closed minded people who don’t know having better to do then to make bad comments.

    Posted on Monday, August 27, 2012 at 8:40pm
  13. Smart move Scott, if anyone from LGBT community is harmed in your area I hope the cops take a long look at your threats. Hell, they should be investigating you right now!

    Posted on Monday, August 27, 2012 at 8:43pm
  14. You know what’s really funny, Scott joined facebook only 3 hours ago! I’m wondering if it’s a profile “someone” made just to spread hatred and lies about the LGBTQ community. GAY POWER!

    Posted on Monday, August 27, 2012 at 8:44pm
  15. This guy is probably filthy rich, which is probably the main reason why he’s endorsing Romney. It doesn’t sound like he’s concerned for much else. I’ll never understand, though, why he, or anyone for that matter, that would endorse someone who wants to keep them on a lower rung than themselves.

    Posted on Monday, August 27, 2012 at 8:48pm
  16. Reporting Scott for hate speech.

    Posted on Monday, August 27, 2012 at 8:49pm
  17. its not a gay thing, straight thing, its a money thing. People from a certain income level like Romney because its in their best interest. lets not pretend that every gay person thinks liberally, just like every straight person wouldnt. To say a person is gay, so they must think in such a way is just saying they somehow dont fall under the same bias and prejudice that other people do. everyone has an opinion and for rich lawmakers, gay or not, Romney will work in their personal best interest.

    Posted on Monday, August 27, 2012 at 8:49pm
  18. That’s really nice…really intelligent and thought provoking, Scott. I appreciate that you took the time to look up the correct spelling of “dyke”, at least.

    Posted on Monday, August 27, 2012 at 8:51pm
  19. Romney would never work in any LGBT person’s best interest. He is anti-gay rights!

    Posted on Monday, August 27, 2012 at 8:52pm
  20. Republicon. Arizona. This guy drank a double shot of crazy kool-aid. The party of bigotry and the state of right-wing crazy bigotry. Boo hiss.

    Posted on Monday, August 27, 2012 at 8:54pm
  21. ….Was he drunk?

    Posted on Monday, August 27, 2012 at 9:06pm
  22. What good is it to be gay married if you can’t get a job? What good is it to be gay married when the economy collapses? I haven’t had a steady job since this clown showed up.

    Obama offers us politically expedient scraps while his billionaire buddies are feasting. His economy is an absolute disaster. A vote for him is a nail in the coffin of the country.

    Posted on Monday, August 27, 2012 at 9:19pm
  23. ‘Gay married?’ Pretty sure it’s just ‘married’ thank you very much.

    Posted on Monday, August 27, 2012 at 9:40pm
  24. Also, James, it isn’t his economy, it’s THE economy. The President, whoever it may be doesn’t have the power to create, pass and implement job creating legislation by himself. How many Jobs Bills has this failed obstructionist congress passed? How many times have they put their party before their country? How many more years are we going to have to deal with the American Taliban controlled House before America defaults and all the while they blame it on the President when they failed to actually do the job they were hired by their constituents to do? It isn’t Obama that’s ruining the economy. It’s the religious extremists that put their so called morality over actual governing.

    Posted on Monday, August 27, 2012 at 9:45pm
  25. - Intelligent and humanistic wealthy people can understand that a fairer society /is/ ultimately in their best interests – plus, it makes it less likely that they will be reviled or attacked or potentially (to use the closest example) guillotined for simply being wealthy. Those who vote purely as wealthy supporting the wealthy are shallowly self-serving – and in the case of gay Republicans, assuming that their wealth will buy them acceptance and exemption from the social repressions that they’ll let everyone else suffer. Remember how Hitler let the Jews believe that only /some/ of them were the problem he wanted to get rid of, and that the good law-abiding socially-conforming Jews had nothing to worry about? Even if the other shoe never fell on that ploy, what are we to think of the ethical character of those who accept such terms as reasonable, let alone those who actively break solidarity with their persecuted & demonized class for the sake of personal immunity or gain?

    Posted on Monday, August 27, 2012 at 10:22pm
  26. GOD, I HATE LOG-CABIN REPUBLICANS! Do, they realize what they are doing……..? THE REPUBLICANS HATE YOU AND WANT YOU TO GO AWAY AND DIE! Why, can’t you understand that by support these evil people, you’re hurting YOURSELVES and the rest of us; in the community, out here!!!!!!!!!!! WAKE UP, BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, August 28, 2012 at 12:16am
  27. @Joe Helwig……. YOU’RE AN IDIOT!

    Posted on Tuesday, August 28, 2012 at 12:18am
  28. @ James Savik……..Have, you been living in a freakin’ cave the for the last 12, or so years???? I hate to tell you, but GEORGE W. among many others are/were the CAUSE of the economic mess that we’ve been in, since 2007! —————- First, there were the 40 yrs. of bad home loans that were made, then insured, then sold, then re-sold, then fradulently insured by the likes of Bear-Stearnes, etc. Second, we had to deal with the “fallout” from Bernie Madoff, who bilked MILLIONS, upon MILLIONS OF DOLLARS out of the wealthiest investors in our country… which in turn, cause a major ripple effect at Wall Street and with the stock market! Third, we have been fighting in wars; overseas, for the past HOW MANY years????? We have been spending BILLIONS of dollars on wars, continually without fail, basically since Desert Storm. Fourth, as a country, we had to deal with the MAJOR financial and logistical nightmare that followed Hurricane Katrina. Fifth, wesuffered the MASSIVE DISASTER of 9/11. That; in itself, could have brought our country “to it’s knees.” Finally, for 8 long years……. we had AN IDIOT for a president; Mr. George W. Bush, who spent money “like, it was going out of style” and who decided to completely “screw” the country up; financially, as an added bonus, before he left office!!

    Posted on Tuesday, August 28, 2012 at 12:50am
  29. So, before you go “shooting, your mouth off” about President Obama…… you MIGHT want to CHECK YOUR FACTS! President Obama DID NOT take office until 2008, which was AFTER the economy was going down!! The economy took it’s first “nose-dive” in 2007!!

    Posted on Tuesday, August 28, 2012 at 12:53am
  30. Hopefully, I have cleared a few things up for you, seeing as how misguided and truly ignorant, you were…………!!.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 28, 2012 at 12:55am
  31. …and then Kolbe rounded up his stable of younger men that he surrounds himself with and they all headed to one of his homes for an evening of fun and frolic. Another Gay Republican oxymoron!

    Posted on Tuesday, August 28, 2012 at 5:14am
  32. Being gay has nothing to do with the way a person votes.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 28, 2012 at 9:43am