Log Cabin Republicans finally endorsed GOP presidential candidate Bob Dole, despite Dole's newly minted, homophobic, campaign platform. The endorsement comes in spite of the fact that Dole refused to take money from Log Cabin and clearly stated that Log Cabin's agenda was at 100 percent odds with his own.
Network of Lesbian and Gay Democratic Clubs and Organizations Co-Chair Eric Bauman said "this must be the ultimate act of political self-humiliation and denial, and this action shows that Log Cabin leaders will spare no embarrassment to try and ingratiate themselves with the Republican establishment."
While the Republican convention was staged to suggest to TV viewers that the Republican Party is a "Big Tent," the newly adopted Republican platform clearly shows that there is no room for lesbians and gay men in that tent. The newly adopted Republican platform , speaking of equal rights laws, says "We reject those laws to cover sexual preference." It goes on to say, "We oppose Bill Clinton's assault on the culture and traditions of the Armed Forces, especially his attempt to lift the ban on homosexuals in the military. We affirm that homosexuality is incompatible with military service."
Lesbian and gay Democrats from around the country call on lesbian and gay Republicans to reject the Log Cabin endorsement and to join us in supporting the first President in our Nation's 220 year history to include lesbians and gays in his vision of America.
Network co-chair Eric Bauman said "While Bill Clinton has made his mistakes, he continues to publicly advocate for equal rights for lesbians and gays, to oppose discrimination in employment and housing, to oppose right-wing ballot measures designed to exclude gay people from equal protection laws, to include openly gay people in his Administration and reelection team, and to fight for the funds necessary to combat AIDS."
Recently President Clinton said "Those who would seek to legalize discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation are gravely mistaken about the values that make our nation strong....this is not an issue of special rights." At the first-ever White House conference on AIDS the President spoke bluntly and said "We simply cannot let our fears outweigh our common sense or compassion....we can't let our bigotry or our homophobia blind us to our obligations."
Contrast those statements with a March letter Bob Dole sent to the Washington Times, in the letter Dole said "I oppose the special-interest gay agenda that runs from gays in the military and reaches as far as to suggest special status for sexual orientation under federal civil rights statutes."
When asked why his campaign rejected the now-infamous $1000 contribution from Log Cabin, Dole's campaign spokesman Nelson Warfield responded to the Washington Post, "Our policy is to decline contributions from political groups that have an agenda that is 100 percent at odds with Sen. Dole's.
Bauman said, "Some gay Republicans have told me that they hoped the selection of Jack Kemp signaled a kinder, gentler, more inclusive campaign, Kemp's recent statements and actions make clear he is no friend of the gay community. While on CNN's Capital Gang in May, Kemp responded to the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Colorado's anti-gay Amendment Two, Kemp said "I think Justice Kennedy was wrong in suggesting that the people of Colorado had an animosity toward gay people. What they were basically saying, they shouldn't get special rights."
During Kemp's tenure as Secretary of HUD he rejected a union-negotiated contract that included a non-discrimination policy and limited family benefits for gay couples. He also told the Washington Post that he supported firing gay teachers. "I think a school board should have the right to choose what type of example we have for our children in public schools."
Bauman concluded "This election will determine the future of our nation into the new millennium. The decisions made by the next President will determine the ultimate success or failure of the hard fought struggle for equality for lesbians and gays. The single most important action affecting the gay community the next President will take is the appointment of at least 40 percent of the federal judiciary, including several Supreme Court Justices. We have seen the effect of President Clinton's Supreme Court appointees when they both voted to overturn Amendment Two. Bob Dole has made clear that he favors Supreme Court Justices in the mold of Antonin Scalia and Robert Borke, both major outspoken opponents of lesbian and gay rights. Only by reelecting Bill Clinton can we have any faith that our struggle for equal rights will succeed. "
The Network of Lesbian and Gay Democratic Clubs was formed this past spring to facilitate communication and the sharing of resources between gay Democratic groups around the country. Network members form around the country will be meeting in Chicago during the upcoming Democratic National Convention. The organization is co-chaired by Eric Bauman, president of Stonewall Democratic Club in Los Angeles and Mandy Carter, a political consultant and activist in North Carolina.