Thursday, June 19, 2008

Into Submission

The Log Cabin Republicans, the group that supports gay and lesbian rights in the GOP, is making up its mind whether or not to endorse John McCain.

Sen. McCain has had a long and friendly association with Log Cabin Republicans, dating back to the organization’s opening of a national office in the mid-1990s. McCain has spoken before gay and lesbian Republicans, has met with gay and lesbian Republicans, and by all public accounts, has a personal comfort level with LGBT people that will prove promising to many fair-minded Americans.

During his previous run for the White House, McCain met with Log Cabin Republicans in 1999 during the heat of the Republican presidential primary season (which, at the time, no other Republican nominee for president had done). Eager to show his support for the gay and lesbian community, McCain told then-Log Cabin Executive Director Richard Tafel, “I just want you to know, Rich, that I am unashamed, unembarrassed and proud to work with you.”

Sen. McCain has remained friendly with the organization, particularly as he stood with the gay and lesbian community in opposition to the anti-gay federal marriage amendment. Log Cabin endorsed McCain’s Senate re-election bid in 2004.

Yeah, except he spoke out in favor of the ban on same-sex marriage in Arizona in 2006 (it lost) and despite the LCR’s attempt to put lipstick on a pig, Mr. McCain has been pretty much party-line lockstep with the GOP’s anti-gay agenda, and it’s only going to get more obvious as he panders to the evangelical base, which already views him with suspicion for his occasional feints to the center.

In a way, I understand where the LCR comes from; they think there’s more to being gay than just focusing on single issues, and they know that gay people — myself included — take a lot more into consideration when they chose a candidate than just one issue. But there’s also the question of priorities, and as long as the GOP — and Sen. McCain — don’t think that the LGBT community is entitled to the same rights as the rest of the people in the country, then there’s really no point in discussing the rest of the agenda. You can’t paper over the fundamental issue of equality.

I suspect the LCR will endorse McCain. What choice do they have? Besides, some people are into submission and that sort of kink.