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, 2010

Sen. Cornyn finds “common ground” with Log Cabin Republicans

Timothy Kincaid

September 23rd, 2010

Texas Sen. John Cornyn, a social conservative who does not support marriage equality or repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, headlined a cocktail fundraiser for gay group Log Cabin Republicans last night. (Standard Times)

Texas Sen. John Cornyn told a Republican gay and lesbian group that he was amazed at some of the controversy surrounding his appearance at the group’s fundraising event Wednesday evening.

“I guess perhaps it speaks to the times we find ourselves in where people are so unwilling to find grounds of commonality where we do agree despite some honest differences and firmly held differences of opinion,” Cornyn told about 60 guests at the Log Cabin Republicans Political Action Committee.

Cornyn spoke on the issues on which he agrees with the group.

And he said he knows they all agree, as loyal Republicans, on the importance of limited government, lower taxation, free trade and common-sense laws that facilitate economic development, economic growth and job creation.

Cornyn was not scheduled to stay for the subsequent dinner, which featured five Congresspersons who are allies of Log Cabin. Rep. Pete Sessions, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, was unable to attend due to a scheduling conflict. He sent an aide with a speech he recorded for the group, which was played at the dinner.

The funds raised at the reception featuring Cornyn will be used to further Log Cabin’s goal of advancing the message of gay equality within the Republican Party.

Cornyn and Sessions No-Shows at LCR Dinner, Receive Awards Anyway

Jim Burroway

September 22nd, 2010

How convenient:

A Republican gay-rights group presented Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) with a leadership award Wednesday night despite his vote against a repeal of the ban on allowing openly gay people to serve in the military nearly 24 hours before the event. …Neither Cornyn nor Sessions appeared in person to accept their awards.

Cornyn did appear and speak at a pre-dinner reception, which was attended by only 60 people and closed to the press. I don’t know whether he was given his trophy at that time when nobody from the press was there to see it, but we hear that all the gays sang a lovely round of “Happy Birthday” for Mrs Cornyn. That moment of festivity occurred just one day after Sen. Cornyn voted to continue to keep LGBT people from serving in the military. After about 45 minutes, he then ducked out without commenting to the press.

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)

The leadership awards that LCR gave to Sessions and Cornyn are named for Barry Goldwater, who had no problem speaking his mind in support of gay rights. This action is a blight upon his good name, especially considering that Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) was sitting right there at that very dinner. She was a founding member and remains the only Republican member of the LGBT Equality Caucus, where she serves as a vice-chair. She cosponsored the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act; she was the lead cosponsor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act; she is a sponsor of the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act; she actively supports repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and she voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment. Plus, she didn’t use the Republican Caucus meeting as an excuse to skip the dinner despite being the senior Republican woman in the caucus. She was honored with the Spirit of Lincoln Award, but if anyone deserves a leadership award named for Barry Goldwater, it’s her. Not the cowards who couldn’t be seen accepting it six weeks before the election.

Update: Chris Johnson at the Washington Blade caught up with Rep. Ros-Lehtinen after the LCR dinner:

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) told the Blade following her remarks at the National Log Cabin Republicans annual dinner in D.C. that she doesn’t know what will happen with pro-LGBT legislation as she took a dig at the current Democratic majority for not moving forward.

“I don’t know what will happen with Republicans,” she said. “I know what’s happening now. I don’t really get an opportunity to get to vote on those [bills] very often on the floor.”

Asked whether she thinks pro-LGBT legislation would advance in a Republican-controlled House, Ros-Lehtinen replied, “The Democrats are in control. I don’t know that they’ve gone forward. … I guess you should ask [U.S. House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi why they haven’t gone forward.”

Republicans are expected to gain control of the House in this year’s mid-term elections.

Pete Sessions To Duck LCR Dinner

Jim Burroway

September 22nd, 2010

Pete SessionsRoll Call reports that Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) will not make it to tonight’s Log Cabin Republicans dinner after all, saying that he needs to attend a House Republican Caucus meeting instead. Sessions’ home town paper The Dallas Voice finds that explanation “convenient.” They also note that Sessions’ spokesperson, Emily Davis, “mysteriously became unavailable after we identified ourselves as being from the gay paper, and she hasn’t gotten back to us.”

Sessions was to be honored by the gay Republican group with the Barry Goldwater Award, despite holding positions on gay rights that were at odds with those of the late Senator who was popularly known as “Mister Conservative.” Since he will be a no-show, does he still get the award? Because if so, that would be a neat trick. He would get an award from a gay rights group without the embarrassment of having a photo taken of him shaking hands with a gay rights advocate six weeks before an election.

Log Cabin Republicans To Award Sen. Cornyn for Inspiring Pro-Gay Web Site

Jim Burroway

September 20th, 2010

The Log Cabin Republicans have announced a slate of awardsthat they plan on handing out at their National Dinner on Wednesday. Among those to be honored is Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), for providing inspiration for the name of Box Turtle Bulletin.

Okay, not quite. LCR will award him the Barry Goldwater Award “which recognizes leaders in the Republican Party who have served their nation with distinction in the model of the late Senator Barry Goldwater.” Sen. Goldwater, who was famoulsy supportive of his gay grandson, famously denounced the 1993 “Don’t ASk, Don’t Tell” policy, saying “You don’t need to be straight to fight and die for your country. You just need to shoot straight.” Cornyn, on the other hand, is famously un-Goldwaterlike in his opposition to overturning “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

Sharing Goldwater Award with Cornin will be Representative Pete Sessions (R-Dallas), Chairman of the Republican National Congressional Committee. He holds a similarly un-Goldwaterlike position on DADT. “I think it’s a slap in the face to the members of the military to be driven down a road that is driven by a political agenda from the left in this country rather than a wise policy,” he said on the House Floor last May.

The Senate will conduct an important cloture vote tomorrow on the Defense Appropriations Bill, which contains language which would begin the process of repealing DADT. Sen. Cornyn will almost certainly vote against cloture. He and Sessions will then receive their awards on Wednesday. Sen. Goldwater will roll over in his grave shortly afterwords.