The Log Cabin Republicans on Tuesday announced their endorsement of GOP nominee Mitt Romney for President, despite the candidate’s opposition to LGBT equality.
“The decision to endorse is the right one for our members, our community, and for the nation as a whole,” said Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director, R. Clarke Cooper.
If LGBT issues are a voter’s highest or only priority, then Governor Romney may not be that voter’s choice. However, Log Cabin Republicans is an organization representing multifaceted individuals with diverse priorities.
Having closely reviewed the candidate’s history and observed the campaign, we believe Governor Romney will make cutting spending and job creation his priorities, and, as his record as Governor of Massachusetts suggests, will not waste his precious time in office with legislative attacks on LGBT Americans.
We are confident that there will be no retreat from the significant gains we’ve made in recent years, most importantly on repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” With regard to the LGBT issue most likely to reach the president’s desk and most vital to many in our community today – workplace nondiscrimination – we are persuaded that we can work with a Romney administration to achieve a desirable outcome.
And for those people who point fearfully to potential vacancies on the United States Supreme Court, we offer a reminder: five of the eight federal court rulings against DOMA were written by Republican-appointed judges. Mitt Romney is not Rick Santorum, and Paul Ryan is not Michele Bachmann. Otherwise, our decision would have been different.
As a presidential candidate, Romeny has previously signed a pledge from the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) committing himself to backing a Federal Marriage Amendment, defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court, appoint Supreme Court Justices who would also stand against equal rights for gays and lesbians, and establish a commission on “religious liberty” to investigate the alleged harassment of same-sex marriage supporters. The NOM has also endorsed Romney.
Last week, Romney adviser Bay Buchanan told Buzzfeed that “Governor Romney also believes, consistent with the 10th Amendment, that it should be left to states to decide whether to grant same-sex couples certain benefits, such as hospital visitation rights and the ability to adopt children.”
During a recent interview with Focus on the Family president Jim Daly, his vice-presidential running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, reassured the anti-gay group that a Romney-Ryan administration will fiercely oppose gay rights.
Jerame Davis, Executive Director of National Stonewall Democrats, called the endorsement “a disgrace” and “reprehensible.”
“The Log Cabin Republicans have proven once and for all that they are not an organization aligned with the LGBT movement. They are a Republican front group bumbling their way into fooling LGBT voters that it’s OK to support a party that would legislate us back into the closet,” said Davis.
“Their endorsement of Mitt Romney isn’t just shameful – it’s insulting. Mitt Romney stands for nothing positive for LGBT people. He supports a federal marriage amendment (which was a reason for Log Cabin to refuse to endorse George W. Bush in 2004). He supports McCarthy-like investigations into our community for evidence of ‘harassment of Christians’. He opposes the repeal of DOMA. He opposes ENDA. He’s even said things as basic as the right to visit your sick or dying loved one in the hospital is a ‘privilege’ and not a right.
“It’s a disgrace. A once venerated and decent organization has become a shell of itself blithely pandering to the least common denominator. This is politics at its worst – when a community sells out its own people for the gain of a few individuals. There is little doubt that Clarke Coooper’s position on the RNC finance committee played a major role in this decision. Of course, so did their blinding fear of GOProud nipping at their heels.
“So there you have it – the Log Cabin Republicans, who screamed loudly and forcefully for months that liberal groups and LGBT movement posturing weren’t going to affect their endorsements have instead allowed the interests of money sucking GOP insiders and the fear of a conservative performance troupe to decide their endorsement for them.
“It’s reprehensible. Have they no decency?”
In a statement announcing the endorsement, former George W. Bush administration Solicitor General and Romney campaign adviser Theodore Olson said he supports the endorsement, saying, “Like the Log Cabin Republicans, I am proud to support Governor Romney for president, and I am proud to be an advocate for the freedom to marry.” Olson is leading the federal lawsuit against California’s Proposition 8, but helped the Romney campaign with debate prep.
Romney has also been endorsed by the national gay conservatives group, GOProud.