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  • « You can tell he worked for Clinton | Main | Up off the mat, gently »

    January 28, 2010

    A new Log Cabin Republican low

    Posted by: Chris

    Log cabin republicans dont ask dont tell
    The initial reaction from Gay Rights Inc. are in to the president calling on Congress to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell in the State of the Union address. Not surprisingly, most groups (including the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, Lambda Legal and the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network) give Congress a complete pass, acting as if Obama alone can repeal DADT. The Human Rights Campaign mentions Congress but only in passing.

    And then there's this despicable statement from Log Cabin Republicans, a group I have defended for years but don't even recognize anymore:

    “President Obama is more concerned about protecting the rights of terrorists than he is about the rights of gay and lesbian Americans who are putting their lives on the line every day fighting to preserve peace and democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan and operate small businesses that are the backbone of the American economy.”  — Charles Moran, a spokesperson for Log Cabin Republicans

    Never in more than a decade of covering the gay rights movement have I seen a public pronouncement by a gay political group that is more offensive, more over the top and more worthy of universal condemnation.

    Put aside, for the moment, the conflating of gays in the military with the completely unrelated decision by Attorney General Eric Holder (independent of President Obama) to try some Guantanamo prisoners in Article III courts (as the Bush administration did) rather than in front of military commissions. Put aside even, the gay Republican group's indefensible silence in response to condemnation of the president's promise by leading Republicans, especially sore loser John McCain.

    This president favors the entire range of gay rights legislation put forward by our movement, up to and including civil unions if not marriage in terms of relationship recognition. He is more supportive by far than any previous president and is a complete and total foil for both McCain and the last Republican president, who favored federal or state constitutional amendments making those same gay Americans second-class citizens.

    I don't know who is running Log Cabin these days, and why they are even trying to outflank the GOP apologists over at the oxymornic GOProud, but outrageous and offensive statements like this one convince no one of the rightness of our cause, including the anti-gay Republican leadership, which Log Cabin so cravenly seeks to ingratiate.

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    Comments

    1. Kevin on Jan 28, 2010 9:44:32 AM:

      Chris:

      I think we were writing posts this morning at the same time, and I didn't see this one before I posted mine. I glanced at the LCR release but hadn't really read it until I saw this post. I went back and read it - and I have to say, I'm perplexed by it. They were right in terms of calling Obama on his zig-zagging on this issue in the past, and to raise the specter of accountability if he zig-zags again. No one else in the gay movement would raise that flag, so Log Cabin should. But the rest was confusing to me. Like Obama's speech, there was too much in that release for me to understand what should have been their main point.

      I also don't agree with the use of military tribunals in cases like that of the Detroit bomber. This idea that we render all of these people to some secret location without constitutional protections erodes the very legal institutions we are defending against the terrorists' nihilism. Fair enough for those who disagree on principle, but I don't get where that comes in to the main issue for gay groups in last night's speech. Call me old fashioned - I think the gay groups have one dog to fight in Washington, D.C. until Election Day now, and they should all be focusing on that.

    1. Chris on Jan 28, 2010 10:02:40 AM:

      Actually, I wrote this post last night for publication today and hadn't/haven't seen any LCR statement beyond the exact text quoted. If you've seen something more than that, I'd love to see it. Fair enough for criticizing the speed with which President Obama and Congress have acted on this and other gay issues, but you do realize that glaring hypocrisy that most see in Log Cabin complaining about the pace of Democratic support given ongoing GOP intransigence on gay rights (and well, pretty much everything else). That hypocrisy is magnified significantly when Log Cabin does not at least criticize Republican opposition to repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell, especially John McCain's high profile statements last night.

      On the issue of military tribunals, a few points: These decisions are made by the Department of Justice independently of the White House. The president cannot and should not interfere with the prosecutorial decisions of DOJ. Let's also remember that the shoe bomber, the first World Trade Center bombers and the "22nd 9/11 hijacker" were all tried in Art. III courts, convicted and remain imprisoned. Even the Bush-Cheney administration allowed the semi-impartial DOJ of their day make these calls unimpeded.

      All that said, we can at least agree that one issue has nothing to do with the other, and I would hope you agree that it is deeply, deeply offensive for anyone to claim that President Obama cares more about rights of foreign terrorists than he does the rights of gay Americans.

    1. Len on Jan 28, 2010 10:50:45 PM:

      LCR is exactly right to call Obama out on his anti-gay policies. The Leftist gay community needs to learn that putting all our hopes in the Democrat Party is a losing proposition. Remember, it was Bill and Hillary Clinton who thought up DADT in the middle of the night and stabbed us in the back. LCR members are the only gays with enough balls to be in the belly of the beast and fight for our rights. It's easy for a gay man on Barney Fwank's staff to live his lifestyle. But it takes true courage for those of us working for Michelle Bachman and Rep. Virginia Foxx. We are the true civil rights heroes.

    1. Kris on Jan 29, 2010 11:17:25 AM:

      President Obama is a Liar!!!
      The Log Cabin Republicans have every right to point out his obvious lies, and failure to follow through with any of the promises he made to LGBT Americans. HRC, StoneWall Democrats, and the like are all lap dogs for Obama, and it sickens me.

    1. Chris on Jan 29, 2010 1:01:36 PM:

      @Len: Whoa, let's correct some facts here. Obama's "anti-gay policies"? What would those be? He is 100% supportive on every single federal gay rights issue -- bar none. Please correct me if I'm wrong on that one. Re DADT, I am NO fan of the Clintons, but DADT was dreamed up by Sam Nunn and foisted on Clinton. Yes, Bill Clinton lacked the political courage to stand his ground, but it was certainly not his idea. Finally, you're going to have to explain to me how working as a gay staffer for Michelle Bachman, Virginia Foxx or other antigay conservatives makes you a "civil rights hero." The only argument I can think of would require some meaningful behind-closed-door advocacy on behalf of gay rights along with a legitimate belief that your Member is movable on the issue. Otherwise, with all due respect, you are a closet case facilitating your own second-class citizenship.

      @Kris: Thanks for Joe-Wilsonesque passion. Care to point out specific examples of his "lies" on gay rights?

    1. Terry Hamilton on Feb 4, 2010 8:49:48 AM:

      The fact remains. Log Cabin started its legal challenge to end DADT five years ago. We had the courage to challenge the DOD on this issue while President Bush was in office. Now we will move this issue to the front burner when the case finally comes to trial in June 2010. The Obama Justice department is fighting this case. We are doing our part to end the policy.

      Terry Hamilton,
      Chairman of the National Board,
      Log Cabin Republicans.

    1. Terry Hamilton on Feb 4, 2010 9:14:23 AM:

      Did you see this...

      February 3, 2010

      Log Cabin Republicans Responds to ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Testimony, GOP Recalcitrance

      GOP OPPOSITION WEAKENS PARTY’S COMMITMENT TO NATIONAL SECURITY AND PROMOTING LIBERTY

      (WASHINGTON, DC) – In response to the testimony by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mike Mullen before the United States Senate Armed Services Committee, Log Cabin Republicans issued the flowing statement:

      “The sentiment and personal conviction displayed by Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen show the finest commitment to honor and duty to our country’s armed forces and the purpose it serves to protect. Log Cabin Republicans is grateful to these men for providing such committed and dedicated testimony that the military is truly ready to take a stand against the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy - one of last forms of state-sanctioned discrimination,” stated Log Cabin Republicans Board of Directors Chairman Terry Hamilton. “To any Republicans who are sitting on the side-lines waiting for the military command to weigh-in – you now have your answer,” concluded Hamilton.

      In response to Republican criticism of testimony provided by Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen, and a proposed repeal of the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy, Log Cabin Republicans National Spokesperson Charles T. Moran comments:

      “Since this policy was instituted, roughly 13,500 gay and lesbian servicemembers have been discharged, and nearly 800 were in critical positions. This policy has cost US taxpayers over $350 million. Anybody who thinks this policy has worked ‘just fine’ clearly needs to get his or her head checked. Recent polls have shown that Seventy-five percent of servicemembers would have no problem serving alongside a fellow soldier that is gay,” stated Moran. “True conservatives understand that the defense of our nation and ensuring our freedom and liberty comes before any kind of personal hang-ups over sexual orientation. Our men and women in uniform understand that, hopefully so will Congressional Republicans after hearing Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen’s testimony.”

      While Log Cabin Republicans applauds and honors the sentiment and dedication that both Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen – both originally appointed by Republican administrations – have towards dismantling discrimination against gays and lesbians in the military, the final decision will clearly be political one determined by Congress. To that end, Log Cabin Republicans will still continue to press forward with its legal challenge to the failed ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy.

      Currently, Log Cabin Republicans vs. The United States of America, is the only direct challenge to the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy. It is also the only contemporary legal challenge to this policy to succeed at the district court level. One of the injured parties named in the case, Alexander Nicholson, is a former U.S. Army Human Intelligence Collector who fluent in multiple languages, including Arabic, and who was discharged under the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' law just six months after 9/11. Another injured party in the case, listed simply as ‘John Doe,’ currently serves in the Armed Forces and would face a discharge if his identity were revealed.

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    1. Jordan 3 on May 9, 2010 11:49:55 PM:

      If you've seen something more than that, I'd love to see it. Fair enough for criticizing the speed with which President Obama and Congress have acted on this and other gay issues, but you do realize that glaring hypocrisy that most see in Log Cabin complaining about the pace of Democratic support given ongoing GOP intransigence on gay rights (and well, pretty much everything else).

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