I’ve never understood Log Cabin Republicans – gay conservatives who give their support to a homophobic political party that derides their sexuality and refuses to grant them equal rights under the law. There is a self-loathing quality to it all. R. Clarke Cooper is one such person. In fact he is the executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans and yesterday he found reason to bitch about a President who had just expressed his wish that gays be granted the same civil liberties as heterosexuals and be allowed to marry the person they love.
That the president has chosen today, when LGBT Americans are mourning the passage of Amendment One, to finally speak up for marriage equality is offensive and callous. Log Cabin Republicans appreciate that President Obama has finally come in line with leaders like Vice President Dick Cheney on this issue, but LGBT Americans are right to be angry that this calculated announcement comes too late to be of any use to the people of North Carolina, or any of the other states that have addressed this issue on his watch. This administration has manipulated LGBT families for political gain as much as anybody, and after his campaign’s ridiculous contortions to deny support for marriage equality this week he does not deserve praise for an announcement that comes a day late and a dollar short.
That is pretty screwed up. As a conservative, Cooper is more than entitled to criticize Obama on a number of issues he disagrees with – be it his handling of the economy or his views on abortion. I get that part. What I don’t get is how a member of the LGBT community, conservative or liberal, can choose to criticize this President at a time when he’s just declared his full support for marriage equality. It’s idiotic and a sign that there is something about conservatism (at least in
some many) that shuts down the cognitive, rational part of the brain.
Obama speaks in favor of marriage equality and he is called “offensive and callous” by a gay man. Amazing. This is the President who repealed Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell and…
- Signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which expanded existing United States federal hate crime law to include crimes motivated by a victim’s actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability — the first positive federal LGBT legislation in the nation’s history.
- Reversed US refusal to sign the UN Declaration on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
- Extended benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees in 2009 and, further, in 2010
- Lifted the HIV Entry Ban
- Committed to ensuring that federal housing programs are open to all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity
- Banned job discrimination based on gender identity throughout the Federal government (the nation’s largest employer)
- Instructed HHS to require any hospital receiving Medicare or Medicaid funds (virtually all hospitals) to allow LGBT visitation rights
- Extended domestic violence protections to LGBT victims
- Endorsed the Student Non-Discrimination Act and the Safe Schools improvement Act targeting discrimination and bullying based on sexual orientation and gender identity
- Appointed the first openly gay man to serve on the federal bench
- Nominated the first open lesbian US attorney
- Successfully fought for UN accreditation of IGLHRC (the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission) — against Republican attempts to block it
- Hosted the first LGBT Pride Month Celebration in White House history
- Named open transgender appointees (the first President ever to do so)
- Launched a muscular, game-changing campaign for global LGBT equality, highlighted by the Secretary of State in a half-hour address to the United Nations
And that’s just a tenth of the accomplishments from this President and his administration in favor of LGBT equality (see the full list here) and yet fools like Cooper choose to criticize Obama while promoting the candidacy of Mitt Romney – a man who refuses to recognize civil unions and who said he would sign a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. A freakin’ constitutional amendment! And this is the guy a gay man will vote for next November?
Pathetic and ridiculous.