Log Cabin Republicans Convene, Hear Amaechi, Look to Giuliani

The Log Cabin Republicans held their convention in Denver late last week. The Associated Press noted that gay Republicans seem to be leaning toward Rudy Giuliani as their candidate: “However, delegates to the Log Cabin Republicans annual convention said Friday that they also fear the former New York mayor, in his bid to capture the Republican presidential nomination, might be waffling as he reaches out to more conservative GOP voters.”

GiulianiLast week, Giuliani flip-flopped on the issue of civil unions, which he had previously supported. His spokesperson told the New York Sun: “Mayor Giuliani believes marriage is between one man and one woman. Domestic partnerships are the appropriate way to ensure that people are treated fairly. In this specific case the law states same sex civil unions are the equivalent of marriage and recognizes same sex unions from outside states. This goes too far and Mayor Giuliani does not support it.”

Frank Ricchiazzi, who helped found Log Cabin three decades ago, warned Rudy: “Mainstream Republican voters and moderate voters are going to vote for you. Don’t tilt to the right.”

According to a survey taken this year by Log Cabin Republicans, the Human Rights Campaign and the National Rifle Association are the two organizations which receive the greatest amount of financial support from gay Republicans.

The convention also hosted a talk by former NBA player John Amaechi. Amaechi spoke on both his coming out and on the state of gay rights and attitudes in America today.

John_amaechiSaid Amaechi: “I underestimated America. I braced myself for the wrath of a nation under God. I imagined that it would be a firestorm, that it would be some insane number of letters demanding my deportation or my death. And in fact, 95 percent of the correspondence I’ve had have been overwhelmingly supportive and positive. But I will say that the 5 percent that I’ve had have been unbelievably, viscerally, frighteningly negative.”

Amaechi noted that not a single former teammate has been in touch with him since he came out, and his story has never been mentioned on NBA.com: “Probably 30 of my former (NBA) teammates have my e-mail and my telephone contacts and probably 16 or so of those I was in regular touch with and there are probably 10 people who I have (on instant messenger). And…nobody who’s active in the NBA has been in touch with me since the day I came out, despite the fact that most of them knew I was gay in the first place.”

Perhaps noting his audience, Amaechi, who is a British citizen, did comment diplomatically on the political climate in the country: “It’s hard for me to hide the fact that I am no fan of this administration, as much for their foreign policy as for their stance on (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender) issues. However, I am no fan of the Democratic candidates who take four days before they decide that Gen. Pace’s comments were not very nice.”

Comments

  1. Leland says

    “might be waffling”? “MIGHT be waffling”???!!! Jews for the Nazis are always so quaint, so amusing in their participatory brainwashing. Haven’t they been paying attention to the fact that his only unique skill is to be able to crawl backwards on his belly for votes? What? Oh, right. They’ve either been at Human Rights Champagne fund circle jerks or at NRA turkey shoots. What was that Charlton Heston said? “They can have this red, white, and blue dildo when they peel it from my cold, dead ass.”

  2. says

    “I am no fan of the Democratic candidates who take four days before they decide that Gen. Pace’s comments were not very nice.”

    As opposed to those who are apologists of General Pace?

  3. Rad says

    “…According to a survey taken this year by Log Cabin Republicans, the Human Rights Campaign and the National Rifle Association are the two organizations which receive the greatest amount of financial support from gay Republicans.”

    Gays, guns and God! ROFL!!!

  4. yoshi says

    sigh… hate to break to you Leland but bush isn’t hitler and the republican party isn’t the nazis. go read a history book instead of sitting behind a computer spouting off complete nonsense.

  5. Jeff in Deserto says

    We are awake, Ish. We just choose our party affinity on the basis of a broad spectrum of issues, not just one. Log Cabin is fighting a really tough battle, but can be effective in places where other organizations have no credibility.

  6. Leland says

    Yoshi. Yoshi. Yoshi. And, of course, all gay Republicans aren’t Jews. But then you might have not gotten the allusion because you don’t understand the difference between metaphor and literal description. The prerequisite for voluntary brainwashing is willful ignorance. Congratulation, Yoshi. You win.

  7. Dan says

    It’s in all gay people’s interests to have pro-gay platforms in both national parties, not just one. You should be fucking grateful the Log Cabin folks even exist.

  8. Leland says

    Yeh, Jeff, how’s that “effectiveness” working out for you? Has Bush stopped returning Log Cabin’s checks? Fools like to repeat over and over that Guiliani MUST be pro full gay equality because he temporarily lived with a couple of queens. Yeah, that worked out REAL well. He’s even more conservative re gays now than before. And, as for that broad spectrum of other issues. You mean you support an unjustified invasion of another country based on shameless lies and fake evidence which has resulted in tens of thousands of casualities collectively on all sides and created MORE terrorists rather than less and made 90% of our allies hate us? You mean sending American soldiers into that war from Day One without adequate body armor and in vehicles that a rock could penetrate? Do you mean dropping the nation’s future into decades of indebtedness because of the cost of that meaningless war? Do you mean the millions of Americans still without healthcare? Do you mean choosing profits over cost-effective drugs for your grandparents? Do you mean continuing to look the other way while industries rape the environment and point blank refusing to enforce the Clean Air Act? Do you mean the hell of Hurricane Katrina made worse by the racism and ineptitude of Hotair Bush? Do you mean wanting to codify second class citizenship into the US Constitution–forget THIS MEANS YOU, TOO–a “true American” would be horrified regardless of which citizens that affected. Do you mean teaching religious nut abstinence at the cost of realistic information that is more successful in preventing unwanted pregnancies? Do you mean swearing allegiance to the belief that it’s better to let people here and in Africa, et al., die of AIDS than distribute condoms? Do you mean the majority of Repug candidates raising their hands and saying they don’t believe in evolution? Yes, Mary, that’s some admirable gang you run with.

  9. anon says

    Leland: I know some of Guiliani’s gay friends and from what they tell me about him you would be a bit off, but they also don’t think he will be able to stay in the race to the nomination. Don’t underestimate his support for the gay community.

    Amaechi doesn’t strike me as a guy with a lot of friends, but it’s still surprising former NBA players haven’t contacted him. Maybe when the season is over…

  10. says

    Actually, Jeff, I don’t only choose who I support on gay issues only. But since I am opposed to killing Iraqi children, since I believe in evolution, since I support a woman’s right to choose, since I don’t glorify depriving gay people of equal rights like marriage, since I don’t believe in pretending that the monkey in the white house is a rocket scientist and not a criminal, and since I don’t fucking believe in lying to everybody and ripping off the whole world for profit, the democrats make a poor lesser of two evils choice, but the republicans? give me a break.

  11. Adam says

    Anon.,
    Of course Giuliani’s gay friends think he’s going to be supportive of the gay community. I’m sure Giuliani says lots of nice things to his friends. I remember reading that Bush has (or had?) gay friends too and I’m sure he and Laura are very “nice” to them.
    I’m sure there are tons of Republicans that privately support their gay friends and family members and then continue to shit all over us by being complicit with the anti-gay fundies in their party.
    Can you say Daddy Cheney?

  12. John says

    I love it when gay Republicans accuse the “leftist gay community” of turning their backs on them, as if that were some sort of purely emotional decision borne out of loathing.

    Lets be honest/blunt for a moment. Until societal attitudes change (from bottom-to-top, rather than through “trickle down” tolerance), it’s a zero sum game.

    If one party goes pro-gay, the opposing party tends to take up the anti-gay position by default. The many, many people who still oppose homosexuality have to go somewhere. That’s what happens in a representative democracy. Otherwise, why have a two-party system?

    In other words, if you get your way with the GOP, the crazies will simply run back to the Harold Fords and Heath Shulers of the world and strengthen their hand in the Democratic Party.

    That’s why it is not in the interest of gay Democrats (like myself) to care about or work with gay Republicans. You got most of the anti-gay nutjobs at the moment, and we don’t want them. Sorry.

  13. says

    “You should be fucking grateful the Log Cabin folks even exist.”

    oh, yes, we are soooo grateful! whatever would we do without them? such amazing things they’ve done!

    Get real. And hating on Republicans–be they straight or (gulp) gay–is not JUST about their stands on gay issues. It’s because, well….read Ish’s response above.

  14. mark m says

    Not all Gay Republicans are self-loathing. Most of them, however, put certain issues above gay rights. In my opinion that is wrong, but that’s why I’m not a Gay Republican. Do I think it’s a good idea to have gays working in both Parties? Sure.

    But until I see convincing evidence that Gay Republicans are making strides in that Party, I will continue to side with Gay Democrats because if Gay rights will advance, it will be from the Left.

    Not the right.

    Of course the Democrats often give us lip service. It’s insulting and shameful when that happens. But how many Democrats go out of their way to DEMONIZE us? How many Dems actively court a segment of the population who thinks God hates fags and that Evolution is a myth?

    Not many. So until the moderate Repubs clean up their Party and seize control from the Wingnuts, I will continue to feel safe and secure in my choice to back the Democrats.

  15. Leland says

    Dan, you win the “What Planet Have You Been Living On Or Sorry About That Coma You’ve Been In Award.”

    Of course, we’d welcome a pro gay Republican platform. DUH! But, point of fact [sorry, can’t help myself], the last Republican platform was so antigay that even the Log Repugs condemned it [along with refusing to endorse Bush]. It not only called for a Constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage but, just like the 2007 Release of Guiliani, opposed even civil unions, in fact, ANY legal recognition of ANY kind of same gender relationships. ” We further believe that legal recognition and the accompanying benefits afforded couples should be preserved for that unique and special union of one man and one woman which has historically been called marriage.” Specifically including, “in a single state or city,” thus, once again showing that the Party is controlled by people who only believe in “states’ rights” when it suits them [see US Supreme Court ruling, George W. Bush and Richard Cheney, Petitioners v. Albert Gore, Jr., et al.; 12/12/2000].

    The 1992 GOP Convention is best remembered for the prime time “Culture War” speech of fascist Pat Buchanan who said that he agreed with President Bush the First about the, “amoral idea that gay and lesbian couples should have the same standing in law as married men and women.” Bush Pere had earlier told an NBC reporter that he didn’t think homosexuality was “normal.”

    The 1996 GOP platform, in referencing civil rights laws, said, “”We reject the distortion of those laws that cover sexual preference.” Meaning, we support equality for all—except gay Americans. It also said, “homosexuality is incompatible with military service.”

    The 2000 GOP platform repeated banning gays from the military, and added, “We do not believe sexual preference should be given special legal protection or standing in law.” Of course, “special” is a major part of the Big Lie Republicans have been spreading about our movement for decades. There is nothing “special” about equality.

    Then, of course, came the scorched gay earth platform of 2004. Consider what Pat’s bulldog sister, Bay Buchanan, US Treasurer under Reagan and Repug insider, told Michaelangelo Signorile in 1996: “[Log Cabin and gays generally] don’t have any strength in the party. The rank and file does not agree with the particular aspects of their agenda. They have less strength than even the pro-choice people, who don’t have much strength as it is. The grass roots won’t support them. It’ll never happen. That’s it. End of discussion.”

    Considering that even Repug one-time “moderates” like Guiliani and Romney and libertarians like McCain are crawling on their bellies faster and faster to the demagogues who control the party there is no reason to believe that is going to change within the next 20 years, Log Cabiners or not. Even I concede that there are many good-hearted men and women among the LCR. But good-hearted is not synonymous with clear-thinking. With all due respect, Einstein [some say Franklin] defined insanity as, “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

  16. Ted B. (Charging Rhino) says

    “….Not all Gay Republicans are self-loathing. Most of them, however, put certain issues above gay rights. “….

    This implies that Gay Rights are a monolith to be accepted with a simple “yes” or “no”; rather than a whole-host of overlapping issues where persons of good faith might have a variety of opinions and understanding-of. There are many issues that involve Gay Rights that there should be reasonable room for debate, just as there’s room for debate on whether transvestite and transgendered issues are “gay” issues….or even intergendered issues. How broad do you cast the net, and then insist on Trotskyite orthodoxy? Declaration of “class-treason” against gay Republicans and the Log Cabin because they differ in their political and social priorities within the full-spectrum of “gay” issues simply defines those doing-so of having a lack of political perspective. I reject that Gay Rights is an “all or nothing” position.

  17. anon says

    The Big G is basically lying to the religious right about his beliefs and intentions regarding gay rights. Politicians lie all the time, in case you didn’t notice. Not particularly brave perhaps, but there is a tendency here to think all pandering to the religious right is honest.

    McCain is anti-libertarian, very fiscally liberal (by voting record) and socially conservative. A libertarian would take us out of Iraq, end the war on drugs, allow gay marriage by state law to happen (no Federal amendment support), support women’s choice and promote free speech (i.e. end McCain-Feingold restrictions). These are not exactly John’s positions.

  18. Leland says

    In addition to misusing “monolith” [“monolithic” would have worked, at least grammatically]—save perhaps for yourself—your description/defense of gay Republicans misses the proverbial target by a mile. While there are differences even among gay Democrats, e.g., gay “marriage” is or is not an absolute; out gays in the military is a goal OR gays should not want to be a part of the industry of death, I believe there is far more consensus than difference among all gays about fundamental gay equality issues. It is the continued willingness to sacrifice even fundamental equality in order to align themselves with other issues of the Party that are also repugnant [as enumerated by ISH and I above] that makes gay Repugs so repulsive. Further, I believe that many are far more motivated [however subconsciously] by association with and imagined acceptance with, as it were, The Normals than they are by any issue. And that applies to Black Republicans and Jewish Republicans and Hispanic Republicans, too.

    As for being dismissed as one issue, in my own case, the Repugs could come out this afternoon in support of every gay-related issue dear to me; George Bush could call a prime-time broadcast address to publicly apologize for making a career out of demonizing gays; hell, he could come out as “a gay American” his own damn self and I would still work to keep them out of office—because of everything else they stand for.

  19. Zeke says

    I have one question for the Log Cabin Republicans and I ask this question as a person who used to be one:

    Since LCR’s inception in the late seventies, name me one year that the Republican party hasn’t become less gay friendly and more anti-gay than it was the year before.

    In thirty years the LCR has not only NOT been able to move the Republican party toward being more gay positive, they haven’t even been able to stop them, or even slow them from becoming increasingly and consistently more hostile to the gay community.

    By their own mission statement they have been an unqualified failure at accomplishing ANY of the things they claim to strive for.

    Besides that, the Republican party stands AGAINST just about everything they stood FOR when LCR was formed. If LCR was formed to support the “conservative principles” of the Reagan years then how on earth can they support the current manifestation of the GOP?

    The day I cleared my eyes and began to see these things was the day I left LCR and the Republican party. After breaking myself from the groupthink mentality of the GOP, I began rethinking a lot of my political positions.

    David Keaton is quoted as saying, “I’m an American first, then a Republican second, and gay falls in third or fourth…” while STANDING BESIDE HIS PARTNER Rob Schlein

    Wow, I can’t imagine how it would make me feel if my soulmate/partner/husband told someone that I, and his love for me, came third or forth behind his nationality and his political ideology.

    THAT is what that statement REALLY says to me.

    As for me, my husband and our son are my NUMBER ONE priority; country and Democratic party be damned! If I HAD to give up all but one I would drop my political party and move out of the country in a split instant before I would turn my back on my husband/family. You see, my sexuality isn’t about where I put my d*ck, it’s about who I love and how I express that love and there is NOTHING more important to me than that.

    It’s been pretty clear for a long time now that within the Republican Party (the party of supposed “family values”) those “family” values come third or forth behind patriotic and political values. That’s how you end up with Gingrich and Giuliani and McCain and Bush being staunchly supported by people who righteously railed against Clinton as an adulterous, draft dodging drug abuser.

    That’s what happens when your political party allegiance is stronger and more important to you than your morals, ethics or values.

  20. pacificoceanboy says

    Insane = doing the same thing over and over yet expecting different results.

    When will the log cabin gays realize that nothing what so ever has changed due to their party affiliation. the republican party does not want to change. They keep doing the same thing over and over and finaly just the once they hope the result will be different. That is Insanity

  21. hill_w says

    And what of our newly minted “hero” John Amaechi? While he braced himself for “the wrath of a nation under G-d,” (who largely didn’t know who the hell he was to begin with), he’s merely dismayed that not a single one of his former NFL “friends” or teammates has bothered to contact him since he came out. Clueless much?

  22. John says

    The gay Republicans who say Giuliani is lying to the religious right today are the same people who assured us George W. Bush would lead, and I quote, “the most gay-friendly Republican administration in history” back in 2000. Remember the Austin 12? And the ever optimistic Jim “Nostradamus” McFarland?

    Hopefully, we’re not going to fall for that one again. When people who are so wrong all the time tells you to trust them again (and again and again), you’d be stupid to do so. To quote the Supreme Decider of the “most gay-friendly Republican administration in history”:

    “There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again”

  23. Jason Young says

    The only Republican that I would vote for out of this bunch is Ron Paul despite the fact that he is anti-choice and either anti-gay/gay-neutral. He isn’t pro-gay, but at the same time I’ve never really heard him talk smack about gay people. I don’t think he really cares about gay issues honestly and where he does have an opinion he just says it should be left up to the states and he voted against the federal marriage amendment because he thinks it should be left up to the states. He’s big on states rights and he is anti-choice but he still says that it should be left up to the states to decide.

    Where is good though is his anti-war stance which he has had since before the Iraq War started. He is a non-interventionist. He is a Rightest-Libertarian. He is fiscally conservative and he would send back any budget that he received that wasn’t balanced. He would try to end the Department of Education and Medicaid/Medicare and make those issues that belong to states like they should. That’s how it works in Canada and their system is better. California and other blue states could then have universal healthcare while states such as Texas would do whatever the hell they would decide to do. Getting rid of the Department of Education would be one of the best things to happen to the country period. Having the feds involved in education makes as much sense as having the EU involved in the education of its member states. It is better to try 50 different ways and have a few fail but figure how to make the systems work better than to have one system that fails completely like we have now. At least this way some of us would have a chance. Frankly none of the Presidential candidates have a good Pro-gay record. Edwards or Richardson are probably the best but the winner will probably Hillary or Obama for the Dems. I have no idea who the Repubs will elect but it probably won’t be Ron Paul because he is no fan of federal subsidies to anyone including the defense and oil industries who would probably assassinate him rather than allow him to be elected President. The love of money makes people do terrible things.

    Ron Paul is the only candidate that I would make gay issues secondary for but only because he is so much better in almost every other area. He also isn’t bending over backwards to kiss the religious rights ass because he doesn’t have to. His voting record is in alignment with their values enough to make him viable for them. Frankly we’re not going to get a pro-gay President in all likelihood anyway this time around but I will keep working for the acceptance of gay people at the grassroots level where our acceptance will have to come from just like racism in the South is going to have to be tackled if things are ever going to truly improve there.

  24. mark m says

    “You see, my sexuality isn’t about where I put my d*ck, it’s about who I love and how I express that love and there is NOTHING more important to me than that.”

    This is what is changing the hearts and minds of straight Americans. Not only are heteros less likely to be anti-gay if they personally know a gay person, they need to see us in relationships, sharing homes, raising kids. Some call this assimilation but I couldn’t disagree more. It’s human coupling. And it’s such a universal thing. Being gay is simply coupling with members of your own sex. Nothing more.

    Thank you Zeke, we should be pushing that image of “being gay” above all others.

    As for your challenge to LCR members… funny how they get really quiet when a former conservative challenges them with logic.

  25. Jared says

    You see, my sexuality isn’t about where I put my d*ck, it’s about who I love and how I express that love and there is NOTHING more important to me than that.”

    Many, MANY gay men would disagree with you. For many gays (especially younger gays), sexuality is simply about sex, not about relationships and partners and husbands. We need to get beyond the belief that gays all think the same way and want the same things. Some gay men feel that their sexuality does not define their life–their race, class, even age are more important. Does that mean they are wrong? Stupid? No–it simply means that not all gay men think alike, and that should be celebrated, not disparaged.

  26. Timothy says

    I find it interesting how some gay people have such contempt – to the point of hatred – against other gay people who are Republicans. It’s amazing what sort of stereotypes and bizarre assumptions some gay folks make about registered Republicans and how one’s party registrations is somehow justification for heaping on abuse and vitriol.

    Personally, I don’t see much difference between Fred Phelps and his “God Hates Fags” troop and the gay haters who say that gay Republicans are similar to Nazi-supporting Jews. It’s just mindless hatred by those who view themselves as superior and who self-justify their dispicable behavior.

    And I’ve seen gay Republicans who behave as abominably toward gay Democrats.

    Clearly each person makes party affiliation though a number of reasons. Some for fiscal issues, some social issues, some family affiliations, some because they believe their sexual orientation dictates their every action, some because they truly are self-loathing. I’m not judging the motivation for the decision. But I suspect that those who are most hostile to persons in the other party – whether they call them pinkos or fascists, secular progressives or fundies, left-wing nuts or Nazi-loving Jews – probably are those least secure in their own reasons and those who have thought the least about the bases of their own philosophical or idealogical positions.

    Or, at least, that’s my guess.

  27. Zeke says

    Yeah Jared, I hear that from a lot of people, straight and gay, however I often find that even people who believe that sexuality = sex, WAY underestimate how big a part of their lives their sexuality represents. You can’t separate a person’s thoughts, desires, affections and attractions from their orientation and these things are POWERFUL in shaping a person’s existence no matter how much we would like to claim they aren’t.

    Straight people will tell you that their sexuality is a very small part of who they are and what they do. However, if you really pay attention you will often discover that next to the need for food, water and safety, NOTHING influences or drives a straight person’s life more than his sexuality. It is often THE driving force in straight people’s lives; even the ones who claim that it is a small part.

    Gay people are not a different species. I don’t think we are any different from straight people in how much our sexuality influences our existence. Even if many gay people don’t have interests in settling down or having children, the drive to fulfill sexual desire is still a strong driving force that affects their lives.

    Additionally the effort and energy it requires to hide one’s homosexual orientation, life, behavior is often an underestimated force and influence in people’s lives.

    I think people who claim that their sexuality is JUST about sex are in denial and underestimate how big an influence one’s sexuality has over his life and non sexual expression.

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