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Log Cabin met with Mitt about ENDA

A Commentary

Timothy Kincaid

October 24th, 2012

In the ping-pong story about Log Cabin Republicans’ endorsement of Mitt Romney, the Washington Blade is now reporting the following:

A meeting that took place at a Virginia farmhouse between officials from Log Cabin Republicans and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney included a discussion about workplace non-discrimination, but attendees who spoke to the Washington Blade wouldn’t enumerate any commitments made by Romney.

R. Clarke Cooper, Log Cabin’s executive director, said workplace non-discrimination protections were the focus of the meeting, which took place Oct. 17 at Greenwood Farm in Leesburg, Va., which was a precursor the organization’s endorsement of the candidate announced on Tuesday.

In addition to Clark Cooper and Mitt Romney, the meeting included gay former U.S. House Rep. Jim Kolbe and Log Cabin staffer Casey Pick and a Romney staffer. As to the specific of agreement on non-discrimination, the LCR head was close lipped.

“I can say with confidence that the Romney administration would work on desirable outcomes for workplace non-discrimination,” Cooper said. “I’m going to leave it broad like that because I think there’s room for administrative action as well as legislative. I also think it’s probably fair to say that legislation in a form of an ENDA or an ENDA-like legislation is certainly realistic.”

While that is quite vague, it does appear that on some issues certain commitments were made.

While shying away from making any firm commitments on workplace protections, Cooper said Romney was firm deciding not to overturn “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal or hospital visitation rights for same-sex couples, which the Obama administration already mandated for hospitals receiving Medicare and Medicaid funds.

So it would appear that, as has been their pattern, LCR brokered their endorsement for concessions and agreement on specific issues. I simply don’t know enough detail to determine whether I consider the results of the meeting to be adequate or that an endorsement was the appropriate response. But, I think that it is now clear that they did not blindly endorse out of pure partisan loyalty.

As this election is but a week away, and as there is no certainty that President Obama will be reelected, I am glad that Log Cabin has established and maintained a relationship with the Republican nominee. Should Romney win, we will need them.

Comments

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Rowan Bristol
October 24th, 2012 | LINK

We will need them to do what, exactly? What can you point to that they’ve done successfully in the past 10 years? How exactly do they fight for our rights? If we were to look at the Republican National Convention, it seems their presence seems only to galvanize the far right into taking more extreme action.

Yes, thank god for people that hold secret meetings that neither side can comment on for concessions that can be flipped by a potential president who not only has a demonstrated and active contempt for gays, but whose promises have consistently proven to be worthless.

But at least they wear ties during Pride parades. Thank God for that, right Tim? Otherwise it would just be freaks out there.

Lindoro Almaviva
October 24th, 2012 | LINK

Let me echo what has been said so far.need them for what exactly? Every time anything remotely resembling a gay person comes close to Romney the far right and their kingmakers resold and Romney cowers at speeds that would challenge light speed.

So what do you think will happen by this evening? Bryan Fischer and his ilk will have a conniption and Romney will backtrack and insist that no deals were made and that anything the LOR interpreted as a compromise will not happen.

The egg will be on LOR’s faces by the end of the evening or tomorrow morning.

Andrew
October 24th, 2012 | LINK

OMG. I think I’m becoming a liberal. In this case, Romney’s stances on gay rights are only a part of my staunch opposition to this guy. His inconsistency, his stance on a plethora of other issues – starting with monetary policy, women’s rights, and foreign policy (and let’s be honest – the only thing he has any interest in whatsoever is monetary policy), are all serious disqualifiers.

Moreover, I’m troubled by his sense of his place in the world. The consistent drumbeat of his behind-closed-doors comments, his historical behavior (whether it be long-ago bullying, how he treats his dog, or how he answers questions about paying for college), and even his comments to gay parents while Gov. of MA, display both an ignorance of, and insensitivity to, anyone who, basically, isn’t him. And that’s disqualifying on its face.

The fact that he drags in the scumbags that think things like godly-ordained rape trumps a woman’s right to control her own body along with him (and yes, that is a Romney ad running on Mourdock’s site today, with the express permission of the Romney camp, so clearly Romney doesn’t believe those views to be inconsistent with this view of the role of government)… that’s something that anyone who supports both the GOP and Romney in particular have to be held to account for.

In this case, the LCR has to be viewed as a group so eager to kowtow, so eager to be seen as acceptable and presentable, that they are willing to sacrifice whatever shred of dignity they have left. They are obviously not alone in this, but it makes me want to vomit.

I have in the past flirted with being supportive of the LCR, but these days, the ability to see daylight between them and GOProud is difficult.

The gay community should engage aggressively with these turncoats, disrupt their meetings, socially shun them. If know someone who is a member of the LCR… don’t socialize with them, don’t invite them out, and for the love of god, please don’t fuck them. It only encourages their bad behavior.

Andrew
October 24th, 2012 | LINK

Sorry, that last paragraph was inspired by John Waters: “If you go home with someone and they don’t have books, don’t fuck them”. It’s not intended to reduce being gay to a sexual act. But if someone realizes that their actions against their community make them pariahs, maybe they’ll start to stack up their self-indulgent inferiority complex against sitting by themselves. Because I can guarantee you, those other folks in the Conservative community sure as hell aren’t going to sit with them.

Ryan
October 24th, 2012 | LINK

I find it absolutely unfathomable that Cooper or anyone else could ever believe that Romney will do one fucking thing towards ENDA or any other gay rights legislation. And to say that ENDA or ENDA-like legislation is realistic with this Tea Party-controlled House is simply a bald-faced lie. Today I learned that the LCR and GOProud are indistinguishable.

Jim Burroway
October 24th, 2012 | LINK

But, I think that it is now clear that they did not blindly endorse out of pure partisan loyalty.

It is now clear? Nope, not at all, unless you ignore Cooper’s position on the RNC’s Finance Committee and pretend that he is just at that meeting only as a gay advocate.

All they got from Romney was what he has already said: he won’t advocate for undoing DADT, and he thinks that partners visiting their loved ones in hospitals are nifty “benefits” that he doesn’t want to reverse.

That’s not advcocacy. That’s “please tell us you won’t take anything away from us and we’ll endorse you.” A complete slap in the face of the very different LCR leadership of 8 years ago who bravely withheld their endorsement for a sitting president because he wanted to outlaw gay marriage in the federal constitution — just like Romney does.

If there’s one thing that I cannot stand, it’s someone who heads an organizaiton that purports to represent LGBT people while using the resources of that organization to give a pass for those who either fight against, or refuse to support the very people that the organization pretends to represent.

I hate it when they do that for Republicans, and I hate it when they do it for Democrats.

But I guess not everyone shares my refusal to give people passes when they don’t deserve them.

Timothy Kincaid
October 24th, 2012 | LINK

Jim,

Clearly we disagree. Yesterday when the news of the endorsement broke you said:

Instead, LCR sold those families out for a pat on the head and little else, revealing them as the partisan hacks they truly are.

When Adler said it was for ENDA, you quoted him without comment. When Cooper refuted the specifics of Adler’s claim, you insisted:

In 2012, LCR abandoned those principles when they endorsed Romney with nothing in return. Nothing, except some gossamer-thin suggestion that somebody on his staff might have said something kinda positive, depending on you you look at it, and depending on what time of the day it is.

That was incorrect (or at least by the dictionary definition of “nothing”)

Now that you are confronted with the reality that Romney did meet in person with Cooper and that they discussed issues of importance to the community, you double-down with:

That’s not advcocacy. That’s “please tell us you won’t take anything away from us and we’ll endorse you.” A complete slap in the face of the very different LCR leadership of 8 years ago who bravely withheld their endorsement for a sitting president because he wanted to outlaw gay marriage in the federal constitution — just like Romney does.

I don’t know what the next news in this story will be, nor do you. But I think that within the confines of this story, you have become incautious in your assertions and – having made rash claims twice now – might wish to be less angry about what you simply do not know.

And, incidentally, Log Cabin does not “purport to represent LGBT people”. Rather, they claim to represent Republican LGBT people, a not-inconsequential difference. It is a difficult task and one that they perform admirably well.

Here’s a reality that many in our community wish to ignore: between one third and one quarter of those who identify in exit polls as being gay also report voting for the Republican presidential nominee. That will also be true this year.

You, like many gay Democrats, seem to be under the impression that NO ONE should represent this third of the gay population. We should maybe shun them and tell them that they are kapos and turncoats and traitors?

But like it or not, they don’t believe that they owe us anything. And screaming at them isn’t going to change their minds. Nor is calling them names.

It will, however, make it much much more difficult for them ever to trust your opinions or views. They’ll just roll their eyes and say, “oh, of course” and go on with what they are doing.

They are quite accustomed to hearing that they are selfish greedy people who care about nothing but their money. They are quite accustomed to hearing that the nuanced decisions that they use to determine what they believe is in the best interest of the country are evil and bad and wrong, often from people who have demonstrated no discernible wisdom or reason to believe them.

I know that you are not such a accuser. I know that you are not a knee-jerk partisan who hates gay Republicans.

But, in this issue, today you sound that way.

Neil
October 24th, 2012 | LINK

If Romney had the slightest interest in employment non-discrimination Richard Grennell would have never had to resign as national security advisor.

Romney may well have nodded in a diagonal direction to supporting ENDA when talking with Clarke. The hint that even that may have happened has already drawn a “please explain” from Bryan Fisher. We’ll hear no more pro ENDA hinting now.

Is it really so far fetched to presume from what we’ve seen so far of Romney that ENDA would have zero chance of passage under an administration he leads?

tristram
October 24th, 2012 | LINK

I think Romney will support a watered down, non-inclusive bill that will be defeated by a coalition of the “nothing, nohow, never” right and the “all-or-nothing” left. This will innoculate Romney and the Scott Brown types against being cast as homophobes (and LCR against the “uncle tom” charge) and will sow massive discord amongst congressional Dems and lgbts.

Rowan Bristol
October 24th, 2012 | LINK

“We should maybe shun them and tell them that they are kapos and turncoats and traitors?”

Do they work to elect people who would keep us from getting married -Check

Do they work to elect people who would keep us from seeing our loved ones in the hospital -Check

Do they work to elect people who would ensure that we could be fired for being gay? -Check

Do they work to elect people who believe that bullying in the name of jesus christ should be defended in the law -Check

Do they work to elect people who would harm adoption rights? -Check

Do they work to elect people who support the criminalization of the transgendered? -Check

Do they teach republicans how to use us as a wedge issue to gin up the vote, knowing full well their wealth will protect them? -Ken Mehlman

And what do they do all this for? A lower tax bill, the elimination of protections for the poor and marginalized, and a military that’s 17 times bigger than our nearest competitor.

What else would we call them? Cuddlebunnies?

Timothy Kincaid
October 24th, 2012 | LINK

Rowan

I think you may be confused about who they support. Can you please provide the name of the candidate they support for each of the following issues:

Do they work to elect people who would keep us from seeing our loved ones in the hospital – who?

Do they work to elect people who would ensure that we could be fired for being gay? – who?

Do they work to elect people who believe that bullying in the name of jesus christ should be defended in the law – who?

Do they work to elect people who would harm adoption rights? – who?

Do they work to elect people who support the criminalization of the transgendered? – this is simply absurd

You could have made a credible comment with some of your points but you went for the hyperbole and the absurd.

Rowan Bristol
October 25th, 2012 | LINK

Tim-

You asked why I believe a gay republican would be considered a turncoat and a traitor. Are you telling me that gay republicans do not work to elect republican candidates? Each of those views were expressed by republican candidates at the federal, state, and/or local levels. Are you telling me that gay republicans don’t vote for these people? Do gay republicans just not vote then?

Nice that you omitted my comment on Ken, who basically represents in his behavior, every gay republican I’ve ever come across: Fuck you all, I’ve got mine.

But you wanted specifics.

LCR endorses mitt romney:

Who would keep us from seeing our loved ones in the hospital. http://perezhilton.com/2012-10-23-mitt-romney-same-sex-hospital-visitation-rights

Who would ensure we could be fired for being gay.
http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2012/05/mitt-romney-fire-gay-staffer-ardith-wieworka

Who believes that bullying in the name of jesus christ should be defended in the law.
“Advancing protections for victims of gender-based bullying certainly was not a priority for Romney as Governor of Massachusetts, where in 2006 his administration blocked publication of a state anti-bullying guide for Massachusetts public schools because — as was revealed through a public records request made by the Boston Globe — officials in the administration objected to the use of the terms “bisexual” and “transgender” in passages intended to protect certain students from gender-based harassment. I doubt much will change if he is to become president.”

Who would harm adoption rights
http://www.hrc.org/blog/entry/mitt-romney-rejected-birth-certificates-for-massachusetts-children-born-to/

Who would support criminialization of the transgnedered
See previous policies on transgendered issues during his governorship.

LCR endorsed this man. Are you saying I’m confused about their endorsement of Mitt?

Thank god for LCR. Their endorsement means even -more- now! We’re going to need them so much, now that they’ve endorsed a man with such a stellar track record for us. They speak for gays! By gays of course I mean rich white male gays who don’t give two shits about anyone else. See Ken Mehlman.

I’m so glad you found your home, Tim. The rest of us will continue to fight for justice.

Timothy Kincaid
October 25th, 2012 | LINK

Row,

Rather than qute the candidate’s words or stated position, you link to opinions of others about what they believe the candidate’s real secret position must be. You may certainly do so, Row, and it may influence your decisions. We all, to some extent, extrapolate when determining how we think.

But, in summary, your argument is that you despise those who opt to measure Romney based on their own person interaction instead of measuring based on the opinions of people, like Perez Hilton, with whom you agree. That’s fine, Row.

Robert
October 25th, 2012 | LINK

Timothy-

Your last comment to Rowan was BS. The views expressed by his campaign workers and advisers (Bay Buchanan in the first link) cannot be swept under the rug. These people are his spokespeople, and as such, they tell what they are told to tell.

And his very own actions as Governor in denying Gay parents their legal rights on birth certificates is proof of his views on Gay Rights. Period.

Not to mention their donation that was returned by Bob Dole in 1996 (hard to say you don’t support anti-gay cnadidates when one of the first you give money to is BOB DOLE.-Don’t claim that’s not fair to use if you use Barney Frank’s past supposed support for an anti-gay candidate in MA as a bad thing, even though you have yet to provide more than anecdotal evidence).
Then there is the endorsement of McCain Palin in 2008 (Palin is one of the most anti-gay politicians out there, and has and would vote to take away gay rights, or prevent them).
And then their is the support of Arnold Schwarzenneger as Governor, even though he vetoed the first and second Marriage Equality laws passed by the State Legislature (surely vetoing Marriage rights counts as anti-gay…)
ANd then there is their endorsement of the first term of GW Bush.

You can pretend all you want that they don’t support anti-gay politicians, but please, lie to yourself, not your readers.

Robert
October 25th, 2012 | LINK

Oh, and Tim, one last thing, you get all bent out of shape because a link was to Perez Hilton, but neglect to mention that it was a report on Romney Spokesperson Bay Buchannen and her statement about his position. Then you claim that one should look to Romney’s actual words on the issues and reject the link to the Boston Globe that provides his exact positions and history of activity.

Please, if you want to deride a link, at least give the person you are deridding the benefit of looking at the actual link rather than dismissing it out of hand. I recall one of the links you provided for the story on Barney Frank was a link to an opinion by a person who linked to themselves…

And you decry the culture wars while participating..LOL..

Rowan Bristol
October 25th, 2012 | LINK

So you’re saying that:

A) Mitt did pass publication of a state anti-bullying guide that included bisexual and transgender protections, but I’m reading it wrong?

B) Massachusetts birth certificates for gay and lesbian couples were easy to obtain, or it was difficult because of someone other than Mitt?

You want me like and accept people who held a secret meeting with a candidate, obtained secret promises from that candidate, with a candidate whose history of dealing with gay people is awful, and who has demonstrated a policy of saying anything to get a vote, even lying openly.

Because I, as a voter, don’t deserve to be in on the secret. Worse, I as a voter -can’t- be in on the secret, because I’m not nearly as important to coddle as a bunch of religious lunatics who believe our president is a Kenyan communist born of a homosexual relationship between a Weatherman and a Black Panther. Proving once again, that the republican way is the Ken Mehlman way: More for me, the rest of you can suck it. You’re not special enough to be in on the discussion of your rights.

And it’s Rowan, you horrible man. You don’t have the right to call me anything else.

Virginia Stephenson
October 25th, 2012 | LINK

I have to agree with Timothy’s last paragraph, as much as I find the LCRs distasteful. They do seem to be a force of moderation in the Rep. Party, and for that reason are doing us a service. If Romney is elected, he will be more apt to listen to them, than democrats.

Timothy Kincaid
October 25th, 2012 | LINK

And it’s Rowan, you horrible man. You don’t have the right to call me anything else.

Yes, indeed it is. Just like my name is Timothy and not “Tim”.

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