Log Cabin Republicans Endorse Romney for President
The Log Cabin Republicans announced Tuesday that they will endorse GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney for president, according to the organization's website.
"The decision to endorse is the right one for our members, our community, and for the nation as a whole," Log Cabin Republican's executive director, R. Clarke Cooper, said. "Despite our disagreement with Governor Romney on the issue of marriage, on balance it is clear that in today's economic climate, concern for the future of our country must be the highest priority. We are Republicans, and we agree with Governor Romney's vision for America in which success is a virtue, equal opportunity is ensured, and leaders recognize that it is the American people, not government, that build our nation and fuel its prosperity."
"On issues of particular concern to the LGBT community, we believe Governor Romney will move the ball forward compared to past Republican presidents," he added, "No matter who is in the White House, it is crucial our community always has a credible voice speaking out on behalf of LGBT Americans. Log Cabin Republicans will be that voice to President Mitt Romney."
In 2007, the Log Cabin Republicans, which claims to advocate equal rights for the LGBT community within the Republican Party, ran ads slamming Romney for his strict views and said he was what is wrong with the Republican Party, the New York Times points out.
Nevertheless, members of the organization are now standing by Romney, who has changed his views on LGBT rights a number of times during his 18-year political career. Initially, the former governor of Massachusetts supported gay rights in 1994 when he was running for the U.S. Senate. During that race, he said he would be even more pro gay rights than his opponent, the late Sen. Teddy Kennedy.
"As a result of our discussions and other interactions with gay and lesbian voters across the state, I am more convinced than ever before that as we seek to establish full equality for America's gay and lesbian citizens, I will provide more effective leadership than my opponent," he wrote to Log Cabin at the time.
Romney was governor of Massachusetts when the state legalized gay marriage. He made a few efforts to curtail its implementation, but eventually gave up any efforts and carried out the court's orders.
During his two runs for the GOP nomination, he has since made a sharp turn to the Right. Currently, he stands against marriage equality and even civil unions. The last GOP president, George W. Bush spoke in favor of civil unions, and his vice-president, Dick Chaney, has come out for gay marriage.
Romney has taken other stances that many see as anti-gay. He has said that he did not agree with the repeal of "Don't Ask Don't Tell," which prohibited gay military members from openly serving. He has said during the current campaign that the policy of openly serving is now so firmly in place, however, that he will not try to reverse DADT repeal if elected president.
Romney supports the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal law that defines marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman only. Log Cabin has given out hints that they believe Romney would not oppose the long-delayed federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which Romney's vice-presidential running mate, Paul Ryan, voted for in the House of Representatives.
The Log Cabin Republicans calls itself "the nation's only organization of Republicans who support fairness, freedom, and equality for gay and lesbian Americans." The founder of GOProud, a more conservative group, tweeted a snarky comment about Log Cabin's late support for Romney.
"Just so we are clear, @GOProud is still the only gay group to endorse Mitt Romney and is the only group working for his election," Chris Barron wrote on Twitter.
The National Stonewall Democrats, a LGBT rights group connected to the Democratic Party, sharply criticized Log Cabin's endorsement for Romney.
"The Log Cabin Republicans have proven once and for all that they are not an organization aligned with the LGBT movement," the group's executive director Jerame Davis said in a statement. "They are a Republican front group bumbling their way into fooling LGBT voters that it's OK to support a party that would legislate us back into the closet. Their endorsement of Mitt Romney isn't just shameful. It's insulting.
"Mitt Romney stands for nothing positive for LGBT people," he added. "He supports a federal marriage amendment (which was a reason for Log Cabin to refuse to endorse George W. Bush in 2004). He supports McCarthy-like investigations into our community for evidence of 'harassment of Christian.' He opposes the repeal of DOMA. He opposes ENDA. He's even said things as basic as the right to visit your sick or dying loved one in the hospital is a 'privilege' and not a right."