I thought the Log Cabin Republicans would withhold their endorsement of John McCain. Maybe I just hoped they would. After all, they withheld their endorsement of President Bush in 2004. So I thought it was possible.
In making its endorsement today, the group pointed to the Arizona senator's opposition to a federal constitutional amendment that would have defined marriage as being a man and a woman. The group also indicated that it had honest disagreements with Senator McCain on the subject of same sex marriage. The Log Cabin gang has traveled to St. Paul to carry the message that Republicans are on the "wrong side of history" when it comes to the right of gay and lesbian couples to marry.
Where to start?
First off, I understand the idea of working from the inside. I've seen heroic strides made by gay employees groups, gay teachers groups. From the inside. Lobbying to effect change. But I would argue that an endorsement ties your hands.
Secondly, I am not a single issue voter and most LGBT people I know are not either. We are smarter than that. However, call me crazy but my rights as a citizen (or lack thereof) are pretty damned important. And we all know that an endorsement means that an organization will mobilize its membership base to actively support a candidate. In this case, one who works against our fight for equality.
OK, so in the spirit of full disclosure, I am the Co-Chair of the National LGBT Finance Committee for Senator Obama. You could argue that I am not objective. And I suppose you could be right.
But there are facts that are impossible to ignore:
• "I don't believe in gay adoption," says John McCain.
• "I believe that the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy is working in the military," says John McCain.
• In 2000, 2002 and 2004, he voted against adding sexual orientation to federal hate crimes legistlation.
• McCain voted against extending the Civil Rights Act to prohibit job discrimination based on sexual orientation.
And as someone who is not a single issue voter, I could continue on in describing ways in which Senator McCain represents more of the same at a time when we need a fresh perspective, a new pair of eyes. And a man who takes the selection of his running mate with the seriousness it demands.
In the 2000 election, exit polls indicated that roughly 1,000,000 gay voters cast their vote for George Bush. Numbers like that make a difference in a close election. In that particular election, maybe all the difference.
The whole thing is a "shanda" (says the Irish Catholic girl). Shame on the Log Cabin Republicans. There is just way too much at stake.
Under other circumstances, I might link to the Log Cabin website so that you can read the endorsement for yourself.
But I'm mad. I refuse to drive traffic to their site.