Box Turtle Bulletin

Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
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Posts for September, 2008

Log Cabin Endorses John McCain

Timothy Kincaid

September 2nd, 2008

Log Cabin Republicans has endorsed Sen. John McCain for President. Log Cabin appears to recognize that McCain’s agenda is not much in alignment with the goals of the gay community or the principles of equality:

“We have honest disagreements with Sen. McCain on a number of gay rights issues. Log Cabin will continue our conversation with him and other Republican leaders about issues affecting gay and lesbian Americans. We will speak out when there’s disagreement—either during the upcoming campaign or when John McCain is President,” said Sammon.

Their endorsement seems based on the following:

  • McCain led the Republican opposition to the anti-gay Federal Marriage Amendment
  • McCain has an “inclusive record” which has engendered support from grassroots members of the organization
  • McCain has a long history of dialogue and friendly association with Log Cabin
  • An endorsement will give Log Cabin better access to a McCain administration
  • Other issues (foreign policy, the economy, jobs, energy policy, health care reform, and taxes) are important to LGBT voters
  • Gay and lesbian Republicans believe Sen. John McCain is the most qualified person to lead our country.

There is no indication in the press release that Log Cabin had gained any concessions or clarifications of position from the McCain campaign before making their decision.

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Behind the Scenes of NY’s Safe Schools Bill

Timothy Kincaid

August 13th, 2008

Queerty has a fascinating tale of how Log Cabin worked with ten New York Republican Senators to carefully craft a gay-and-trans-inclusive school protection bill that would provide protection for bullied children but also address the objections of more conservative members.

Foreseeing challenges with gender identity and expression, the Cabinites worked with gay non-profit Empire State Pride Agenda to add another level to the argument. Rather than focusing on the “trans” implications of such legislation, the group highlighted the fact that many students aren’t targeted for being “gay,” but for not conforming to gender norms. That may be a simple fact for some of you, but New York’s Republican party’s not always the most progressive.

McCain Meets With Log Cabin

Timothy Kincaid

June 25th, 2008

Gay Patriot has the scoop:

GayPatriot has exclusively learned that presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Senator John McCain held a personal meeting with the head of the national gay Republicans organization, the Log Cabin Republicans. Log Cabin President Patrick Sammon confirmed his meeting with Senator McCain earlier today.

It is not inconsequential that the presumptive nominee for the Republican Party has met with a leader in the gay community. It suggests that McCain recognizes our community to be a constituency and that we have specific concerns and issues upon which we may be able to find common cause. It also suggests that he is unlikely to be quick to engage in politics based on accusations of “homosexual agenda”.

I hope that Log Cabin is able to get the Senator to clarify his position on certain areas of policy that seem to be nebulous or contradictory. I also hope that the Senator will craft a campaign that actively competes for the votes of gay and lesbian citizens. Such a direction would not only be effective in moving our country closer to equality under law for the members of our community but it would also go far towards healing the rift in the nation caused by culture war and past devisive campaigns.

Gov. Schwarzenegger Opposes Gay Marriage Ban

Jim Burroway

April 11th, 2008

Scott Schmidt is at the Log Cabin Republicans Convention, liveblogging California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s address:

Speaking to the Log Cabin Republicans, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger came out against a ballot measure circulating in California to add a gay marriage ban to the State Constitution. Stating that he “will always be there to fight against that,” Schwarzenegger made one of his first pubic statements about the initiative constitutional amendment in circulation.

A Ray of Light

This commentary is the opinion of the author and may not reflect the opinions of other authors at Box Turtle Bulletin

Timothy Kincaid

March 20th, 2008

When homophobic rants like those of Sally Kern get a standing ovation from her House Republican caucus, or when folks like Oregon State Sen. Gary George (R – Newberg) can call gays “perverts” and advise that they just “shut up”, it can become discouraging. It does seem as though our nation is deeply divided along party lines and that we are an easy target in the raging culture wars.

But I think much of the venom and bile are the behavior of those who know in their gut that dusk is falling on their culture of heterosexist oppression. The signs are there for those who look. And here’s one from the Bay Area Reporter:

Log Cabiners’ optimism that their party is turning a lavender corner was buoyed last month at the California Republican Party’s state convention, held in San Francisco. The party adopted a new platform that no longer calls for passage of a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

The change in stance on an amendment is a blow to conservative groups trying to place such a ballot measure before voters this November. And it reinforces gay GOPer’s belief that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will oppose such a measure should it get on the ballot.

The party does still define marriage as being between a man and a woman, though a push to strip that from the platform came close to passing this year. It fell short by only eight votes.

A closer look does illustrate continued homophobic language within the platform, including

We believe that public policy and education should not be exploited to present or teach homosexuality as an acceptable “alternative” lifestyle. We oppose same-sex partner benefits, child custody, and adoption.

And in its discussion on Equal Opportunity, it clarifies that Equal does not include gay people.

We oppose any special rights based on sexual or behavioral preferences.

Clearly a (small) majority of the California Republican Party voting membership has decided not to view gay citizens as equal or deserving of the same rights that they hold so dear for themselves.

But in our constant battle against those who actively seek us harm, it can be easy to forget how much progress has been made, and how quickly progress continues to be made. In many states, any Democratic candidate that displays overt homophobia cannot expect to win their party’s nomination. In some areas, Republican candidates are facing the reality that their constituents can no longer be motivated by hate. And more importantly, many elected officials of all parties are coming to recognize the inherent worth of gay citizens on their own.

I believe that those kids who are now toddlers will live in a world in which a Sally Kern will seems as much an anomoly or embarrassment as David Duke or George Wallace. And while that day is still a ways off, this change in the CRP platform is definitely a positive omen of better days to come.

Log Cabin Republicans Attack Ad Against Mitt Romney

Jim Burroway

October 4th, 2007

What do you think about this?

YouTube Preview Image

I really had to scratch my head over this one. Yes, I get it, Mitt Romney is a shameless flip-flopping opportunist who shouldn’t be trusted. He for abortion rights before he was against them. He was for gun control before he was against it. And he was for gay rights before he was against them. Heck, he even promised to out-Kennedy Sen. Kennedy when he was running for governor of Massachusetts.

Oh, wait. That last part isn’t in the commercial.

It seemed really strange to me that a national gay political group would put out a TV ad like this without mentioning the massive pink elephant in the room. During his 1994 campaign against Sen. Edward Kennedy, Romney sent a letter to the Massachusetts Log Cabin Republicans promising to be a stronger supporter for gay rights than Kennedy. And the Massachusetts LCR returned the favor by supporting Romney.

Romney went back to the Massachusetts LCR in 2002 to ask for their support for his gubernatorial campaign, promising that if he won he would respect that state’s high court pending decision on same sex marriage and not launch a fight either way. Again LCR endorsed Romney. And the rest, as they say, is history, with Romney leading the fight to try to amend the Massachusetts constitution to ban same-sex marriage.

Romney’s positions on an awful lot of things have changed over the years, and LCR naturally is feeling betrayed. And so they’re fighting back by bringing up lot of things that Romney has flip-flopped on.

But the issue of gay rights remains unmentionable. That had me puzzled at first, but after several rounds of emails, I think I understand what’s happening. Think about it. Imagine the howls of protest if LCR had used Romney’s previously-admirable stand on gay rights to tell anti-gay voters not to trust his his current stand on gay rights.

So okay, I get it. The Log Cabin Republicans are letting it be known that no candidate can court the gay Republican vote and accept gay Republican money one year and turn around later and bash gay Americans later in the political careers when it suits them. Revenge can certainly be sweet, and good for LCR for exacting theirs.

But what’s that about “Massachusetts Values” at the end? Ever since same-sex marriage was legalized in Massachusetts three years ago, we’ve heard nary a word about “Taxachusetts.” So I doubt that’s what springs to mind among conservative voters when they hear “Massaachusetts Values.” So what did they mean by that? Are “Massachusetts Values” supposed to be anything like “San Francisco Values”? After all, we all know what that means.

Maybe LCR managed to talk about the big pink elephant after all.

Log Cabin Republicans Call for Criag’s Resignation; No Mention of Vitter

Jim Burroway

August 31st, 2007

Yesterday, I jumped the gun a little bit by saying that Log Cabin Republicans were calling for Idaho Sen. Larry Craig’s resignation as I was discussing the GOP’s double standard between Sens. Craig and Vitter. At that time they hadn’t explicitly called for his resignation, although I think their statement made the conclusion inescapable. Today, LCR has this on the front page of their web site:

Update! Log Cabin, which has been featured in national media coverage of the situation involving Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID), has called for the Senator’s resignation.

Still no mention of Vitter. Amazing. Gay Republicans are being poorly served by this “stance.”

Update: As BTB contributing author Timothy Kincaid points out, Patrick Sammon, president of the Log Cabin Republicans is, well, mentioning Sen. Vitter in media appearances. I’m glad he’s bringing this up, but so far Sammon’s only calling on one Senator to resign and not two. I hope this changes.

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