Would a chicken vote for Colonel Sanders?Editorial, Top Highlights Thursday, February 9th, 2012
As I watch the Republican field jockey for the party’s nomination, I am struck by how far right each candidate is willing to go to secure it. As a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender person, is there really a choice among the Republican field whom we can get behind? Let’s take a look.
The evangelical homophobe: Rick Santorum. Santorum has been a homophobe for decades and supports reinstatement of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, as well as a constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage and adoption. His campaign-trail statements continue to highlight his homophobia:
“What we’re doing (DADT repeal) is playing social experimentation with our military right now. And that’s tragic.”
Then there’s this gem: Same-sex adoption is “robbing children of something they need, they deserve, they have a right to. You may rationalize that that isn’t true, but in your own life and in your own heart, you know it’s true.”
The nutty professor: Newt Gingrich. Candace Gingrich, Newt’s half sister, is a lesbian and has been a tireless advocate for LGBT equality. Candace has come out in support of President Obama. If Gingrich’s own sister does not support him, partially due to his views on LGBT equality, why should you or I? Here are a few gems from Newt on the campaign trail:
“I believe that marriage is between a man and woman. It has been for all of recorded history and I think it (same-sex marriage) is a temporary aberration that will dissipate. I think that it just fundamentally goes against everything we know.”
“I think on traditional marriage, it’s likely to be a long, complex struggle with the courts making it, I think, worse, because they are intervening without regard to popular opinion.”
Popular opinion? I am sure that African Americans are happy that the courts did not go with popular opinion when they ruled in favor of desegregation and voting rights. If courts had bowed to popular opinion civil rights would have been set back decades.
Gingrich also told a voter during the Iowa caucus that if same-sex marriage was the only issue he cared about, he should vote for Obama. Thanks Newt; will do.
The daffy doctor: Ron Paul. Paul’s Iowa campaign director, Mike Heath, is a rabid homophobe. We should not tolerate those who hire people who hate us to lead their campaign. Yes, people change. So, Dr. Paul, have your hired hands go public with their support of LGBT equality. Heath was also the board chairman of Americans for Truth about Homosexuality, one of the most fringe and virulently anti-gay groups in the country. Dr. Paul, if you think this is one of this country’s great political minds, then you do not deserve our vote. Here are a few troubling quotes from Paul himself:
“If I were in Congress in 1996, I would have voted for the Defense of Marriage Act, which used Congress’ constitutional authority to define what official state documents other states have to recognize under the Full Faith and Credit Clause, to ensure that no state would be forced to recognize a same-sex marriage license issued in another state.”
“I think [Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell] is a decent policy … [If] there is homosexual behavior in the military that is disruptive, it should be dealt with. But if there’s heterosexual sexual behavior that is disruptive, it should be dealt with. So it isn’t the issue of homosexuality.”
Paul supported the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. So I guess it was not such a “decent policy” after all. Dr. Paul changed his mind. Bravo. He still does not believe that the Defense of Marriage Act is wrong, so Paul would deny gays and lesbians the federal rights, protections and responsibilities given married couples. Of course, there are also those pesky newsletters from the ’80s and ’90s where Paul or his ghostwriter suggested that LGBT people were “far better off when social pressure forced them to hide their activities.”
The misguided millionaire: Mitt Romney. As we all know, Romney is hard to pin down; you know that flip-flopper thing. While Romney has previously professed support for LGBT rights, in 1994 he claimed he would be a stronger advocate for LGBT rights than Sen. Edward “Ted” Kennedy. Romney recently signed the National Organization for Marriage Pledge defining marriage as “the union between one man and one woman.”
In the pledge, Romney further agrees to vigorously defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which denies same-sex relationship recognition by the federal government. DOMA ensures that same-sex relationships are discriminated against by the tax treatment, as well as denied over 1,100 other rights granted to married couples by the federal government.
The pledge also says that Romney would establish a presidential commission on religious liberty. One of the commission’s charters would be to investigate whether the LGBT community is harassing or threatening those who have taken a position against same-sex marriage. By the way, the evangelical homophobe Rick Santorum also signed the pledge.
Tuesday – the day an appeals court ruled against Prop. 8 – Romney said:
“Today, unelected judges cast aside the will of the people of California who voted to protect traditional marriage. This decision does not end this fight, and I expect it to go to the Supreme Court. That prospect underscores the vital importance of this election and the movement to preserve our values. I believe marriage is between a man and a woman and, as president, I will protect traditional marriage and appoint judges who interpret the Constitution as it is written and not according to their own politics and prejudices.”
Earlier, he said this:
“At the same time, from the very beginning in 1994, I said to the gay community, I do not favor same-sex marriage. I oppose same-sex marriage and that has been my view. If people are looking for someone who will discriminate against gays or will in any way try and suggest that people – that have different sexual orientation don’t have full rights in this country, they won’t find that in me.”
Isn’t denying the right to marry discriminating against the LGBT community? Why does Romney think that marriage is not a fundamental right? It’s not because Romney believes in LGBT equality.
So as the LGBT community assesses the Republican presidential field, it should simply ask one question. Would a chicken vote for Colonel Sanders? Of course not, the chicken knows the relationship will not end well. That’s exactly how the LGBT community should view Santorum, Gingrich, Paul and Romney. Aren’t we at least as smart as chickens?
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