Failed Policy? HRC Doubles Down

by Stephen H. Miller on October 28, 2012

The leader of the once-nonpartisan Human Rights Campaign laments that Congress lags in support for LGBT equality. How’s that one-party strategy working out (check out the group’s 2012 endorsements)?

Meanwhile, a new political action committee that actually aims to make a difference by electing pro-gay Republicans to Congress announced its endorsements. Plus, candidates endorsed by the Log Cabin Republicans are listed here, and those backed by GoProud are listed here.

In some cases, candidates backed by GoProud and/or LCR are opposed by HRC. So instead of targeting the worst homophobes, the nation’s largest LGBT political pac is working to defeat gay-supportive Republicans (in open races, or races where the Republican is the incumbent), such as Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown.

The Republican gay groups self-identify as partisan; HRC doesn’t but, of course, is.

More. Lots of braying from the party operatives. The facts speak: HRC couldn’t find one—ONE—Republican congressional candidate to endorse. Not even openly gay Richart Tisei in Massachusetts. Shame on HRC, and its supporters.

Furthermore. Via the New York Times:

A victory for Carl DeMaio, who is locked in a tight mayoral race, would make San Diego the second-largest city in the country to elect an openly gay mayor, and by far the largest to elect a gay Republican. Yet, perhaps no group has opposed Mr. DeMaio as loudly as this city’s sizable gay and lesbian population. . . .

[P]arts of the crowd booed Mr. DeMaio at a mayoral debate at the gay and lesbian community center here. He was booed again as he walked hand in hand with his partner in this year’s gay pride parade. And many gay and lesbian leaders here have lined up behind Bob Filner, 70, a Democratic congressman and Mr. DeMaio’s opponent in the Nov. 6 election. . . .

Jim Kolbe, an Arizona Republican who became the second openly gay Republican in the House when he came out in 1996, said he faced opposition similar to what Mr. DeMaio has encountered from gay voters….

We’ll see from the election if it’s actually opposition from “gay voters” as much as it is from vocal and media-savvy progressive LGBT Democratic party activists.

More still. From author David Lampo’s Facebook page, a link to: Republicans support same-sex marriage, too. He comments, “The numbers grow every year. It’s time all gay rights advocates stop demonizing them and start talking to them.”

{ 55 comments }

Doug October 28, 2012 at 5:25 pm

The failed policy belongs to LRC and GOProud. They have accomplished little or nothing for gay rights. A gay superpac actually endorsed a candidate that equates gays with bigomy and poligamy. That’s certainly the kind of support I like. . . NOT.

Tom Scharbach October 28, 2012 at 6:19 pm

In some cases, candidates backed by GoProud and/or LCR are opposed by HRC.

I went over the HRC, LCR and GOProud lists you provided in the links, finding only five conflicts:

President
HRC: Barack Obama
LCR: Mitt Romney
GOProud: Mitt Romney

Uh huh. Even Stephen can’t justify LRC and GOProud’s support for Mitt Romney except as a necessary means of gaining “access”.

US Senate – Connecticut
HRC Chris Murphy
LCR No Endorsement
GOProud Linda McMahon

Chris Murphy is a strong partisan for equality, and has a long track record. Linda McMahon pulled a Romney and reversed her previous position on equality in a recent debate. HCR is supposed to endorse her over Murphy because of that late-in-the-race reversal?

US senate – Massachusetts
HRC: Elizabeth Warren
LCR: Scott Brown
GOProud: Scott Brown

We’ve discussed this one in other threads. By Republican standards, Scott Brown is a shining light. He actually voted for DOMA repeal. But this is a case of a half-a-loaf Republican running against a 100% pro-equality Democrat.

US Senate – Wisconsin
HRC: Tammy Baldwin
LCR: No Endorsement
GOProud: Tommy Thompson

Are you kidding me with the “pro-gay Republican” in this case? Tommy supported Wisconsin’s 2006 anti-marriage amendment and has taken the standard Republican “traditional marriage” stance in 2012. If he has taken a single pro-equality stance in this election cycle, he must have done so under the covers in bed at night, in a whisper, because nobody in Wisconsin heard him. Tammy Baldwin is 100% pro-equality, with a very strong pro-equality Congressional record (she’s my Representative, so I know), and she’s open about her orientation as well.

Congress – Rhode Island 1
HRC David Cicilline
LCR No Endorsement
GOProud Brendan Doherty

Cicilline is openly gay and 100% pro-equality. I can’t comment on Doherty, because I know nothing about Doherty’s positions. Doherty’s website doesn’t even mention equality issues. A real champion, Doherty is, if his website is any indication.

Stephen, get over it. HRC doesn’t make a bean’s worth of difference, but even if it did, I can’t see any neutral grounds for complaint about the endorsements in these races.

What you consistently ignore is this reality: LGBT Democrats got off their behinds thirty years ago and got to work in the Democratic Party, finding, funding and supporting pro-equality candidates. LGBT Republicans didn’t.

That’s the reason why the Democratic Party is where it is today on equality issues, and the reason why the HRC has strong, pro-equality candidates to support.

Has it never occurred to you that the reason why HRC no longer endorses Republicans, as it did in the past, is that the bar has been raised since the 1990′s? In every case where a “pro-gay Republican” (by Republican standards) is running in 2012, that “pro-gay Republican” is running against a strong, committed pro-equality Democrat with a track record?

Houndentenor October 28, 2012 at 10:05 pm

The only real conflict here is in the Warren/Brown race. Brown’s record on gay issues is good, even better than some Democrats. But then I haven’t heard anyone making negative comments about the GOProud and LCR endorsements of Brown. Thompson? Romney? Anti-gay. There’s just not getting around the facts.

I don’t know what it takes to live in the deep voodoo of cognitive dissonance it takes to be a gay Republican. All we ever hear from the homocons is how evil liberals are. Without those liberals we’d have no rights at all. Wake up.

Jorge October 29, 2012 at 2:43 am

I don’t know what it takes to live in the deep voodoo of cognitive dissonance it takes to be a gay Republican.

I don’t know either. I voted for the Devil in a sweatervest.

All we ever hear from the homocons is how evil liberals are.

For someone who claims not to know you sure know a lot.

Without those liberals we’d have no rights at all. Wake up.

And Barack Obama killed Osama bin Laden.

You know with foreign policy, sometimes you need a liberal in for a couple of years to get a certain job done right but then you need to pull him out quickly before he can do any serious damage. With gay rights the you want the liberals to run free, but every so often you have to pull them back a little whenever they start to smell bad.

Don October 29, 2012 at 9:51 am

if you voted for the Devil in the sweatervest, how can you be taken seriously here at all. his only policy stands are draconian social issues. he alienates half of republicans. His only reason for running is to outlaw all abortion and make homosexuality illegal. he had no economic policy other than “yeah, all that stuff we Republicans like”

his entire reason for running was to demonize gay people. and to make sure that we were thoroughly harassed at the heighest levels of government because his church says we are evil.

aren’t there other websites you can patronize? or are you actually a gay person with a pathological self-loathing?

Jorge October 29, 2012 at 11:17 am

Michelle Bachman is a tea party wacko who wants to crush the country under the glass ceiling of the debt limit.
Hermain Cain is also from the tea party. Puke!
Ron Paul is a libertarian who thinks we should be nice to Iran. Not a wacko. Just wrong.
Rick Perry opposes No Child Left Behind (blasphemy!)
Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney cater to tea party wacko political pressure.
And Barack Obama is a flat no.

I want a Republican party that recognizes the government’s responsibility to intervene on issues of social justice, both in this country and around the world, for the sake of giving everyone a fair opportunity. Too many Republicans are content to deny that social justice issues even exist, while Democrats are more for equality of results than equality of opportunity. Even more Republicans are unwilling to advocate on these issues because they barely get rewarded for them in the polls, but the Democrats’ methods are ineffective, resulting in generations of oppression and poverty. I also want a country that has an assertive foreign policy that recognizes our responsibility to be a strong force for freedom in the world. Only one candidate pushed for those principles in the primary election. Because that candidate finished second and defeated the tea party and the libertarian movement, we now have a Republican candidate who strikes the balance that says our economy and our debt are a national security issue. We have a Republican candidate who says his budget standard is whether it’s worth being in debt to China over, so bye-bye PBS subsidies, but that means important stuff like funding to combat disease overseas has a chance.

The fact that the only candidate who stood for neoconservatism happened to be the far-right candidate is a sign that neoconservatism’s days may be numbered.

As for the Catholic Church saying that gays are evil, I will suffer you to tell outright lies. No less than the current Pope has written (before he became Pope) about the distinction between gay people and gay sex (the Church condemns the latter), on “the duty of trying to understand the homosexual condition” that “culpability for homosexual acts should only be judged with prudence”, and that “It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the Church’s pastors wherever it occurs. It reveals a kind of disregard for others which endangers the most fundamental principles of a healthy society. The intrinsic dignity of each person must always be respected in word, in action and in law.”

So with the Catholic Church we are dealing far more with stodgy old traditionalists than with actual evil (although I *do* fault the Church for being silent on the issue of hate crimes.)

I wasn’t going to answer you any further but I find that by rebutting your lies about the Catholic Church I do not have to.

Jorge October 29, 2012 at 11:19 am

(That should read I will *not* suffer you to tell outright lies.)

Houndentenor October 29, 2012 at 6:05 pm

LOL. You voted for Frothy Mix? Really?

And yes, the Catholic Church is anti-gay. Saying it’s okay to be gay so long as you don’t have sex is ridiculous. they can’t even get their own clergy to stop having sex. The church would be a laughing stock if it weren’t for the fact that they allowed a worldwide child rape crisis to continue for decades with their only action to cover their tracks. There’s nothing at all funny about that.

Carl October 29, 2012 at 9:46 am

Scott Brown said he wants SCOTUS justices like Scalia. That was his #1 pick. Scalia the justice who will likely vote against gay rights at any opportunity.

Jorge October 29, 2012 at 2:34 am

I went over the HRC, LCR and GOProud lists you provided in the links, finding only five conflicts…

You got guts making such a bald-faced lie like that. The HRC endorsement list is all Democrats, while the LCR’s and GOProud’s lists are all Republicans and Libertarians.

Now, the five House Republican candidates I gave money to were Judy Biggert (IL), Illena Ros-Lehtinen (FL), Nan Hayworth (NY), Richard Hanna (NY), and Charles Djou (HI, challenger). Biggert, Ros-Lehtinen, and Djou voted in favor of the bill that led to the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Hayworth and Hanna are new, but have mentioned on this site as members of the LGBT caucus (along with Ros-Lehtinen). So I would expect at least some token support by the organization that tries to be the country’s pre-eminent and supposedly non-partisan GLBT lobbying group, and by token support I mean an endorsement for at least one of them and probably all of them. These guys are moderates–four blue state Republicans and one swing state Republican, and trust me, I get their mail.

So this is pure partisan fanaticism, and I object strongly to the way you’re are trying to downplay it.

Tom Scharbach October 29, 2012 at 10:03 am

Tom: “I went over the HRC, LCR and GOProud lists you provided in the links, finding only five conflictsb …

Jorge: “You got guts making such a bald-faced lie like that.

No, Jorge, I did not make “a bald face lie”. I spoke to the facts, and I stated them accurately.

Stephen’s statement, as I quoted, was: “In some cases, candidates backed by GoProud and/or LCR are opposed by HRC.”

There are five, exactly five, and only five cases where “candidates backed by GOProud and/or LCR are opposed by HRC”.

So this is pure partisan fanaticism, and I object strongly to the way you’re are trying to downplay it.

HRC endorsed 14 candidates our of several hundred candidates running for Congress, the Senate and the Presidency, Democratic and Republican alike. HRC, in selecting the 14, apparently chose not to endorse other pro-equality candidates, Democratic and Republican alike.

Why? I am not an HRC member, and I don’t participate in HRC’s endorsement process or influence it in any way, so I don’t know any better and you do about why those 14 were chosen out of the hundreds of pro-equality candidates running this year.

But HRC’s endorsement criteria gives an insight.

Look first at the HRC statement on the endorsement page Stephen linked to: “The candidates you see below have proven time and again that they will fight for full equality under the law for the LGBT community. The Human Rights Campaign proudly endorses these champions for equality.

Then look at the HRC donation page associated with those endorsements suggests a further criteria for selection: “These candidates stand out as key supporters of equality for LGBT Americans, each has demonstrated leadership on fair-minded policies, and will have a competitive race.

If you put the two statements together, and read the candidate descriptions on the donation page, it looks to me like HRC’s endorsement criteria was (1) the candidate must have a proven pro-equality track record as an elected official, and (2) the candidate must be in a race that is competitive, and might not win.

Like you, I can think of deserving candidates HRC did not endorse. In Wisconsin, for example, we have strong pro-equality Democrats running in all eight Congressional Districts.

One, Mark Pocan (CD-2) is endorsed. Mark has been front and center in the fight for equality in Wisconsin during his 14 years in the State Assembly, and he faced a tough primary battle. But the other seven were not endorsed.

Looking to HRC’s criteria, I can see the rationale.

Two, Ron Kind (CD-3) and Gwen Moore (CD-4) are incumbents with long, proven pro-equality records. Neither is endorsed by HRC, probably because neither is in a competitive race. The other six Democratic candidates are running against anti-equality turds like Jim Sensenbrenner, Tom Petri and Sean Duffy, but presumably don’t fit one or the other of HRC’s endorsement criteria.

HRC does not suggest that it takes on the task of endorsing every pro-equality candidate. This year, HRC did not endorse any of the five pro-equality Republican candidates you mention. Nor, this year, did NRC endorse any but a handful of the pro-equality Democratic candidates running. HRC’s endorsements reflect a very small slice of available possibilities. It looks like HRC focuses on a handful of races in order to have the most impact.

I don’t think that is the best strategy for a national organization, but I’m not an HRC member and have no say in forming HRC’s strategy.

But while HRC’s endorsement strategy might not be the best strategy, or even particularly useful in advancing equality, I think that characterizing it as “pure partisan fanaticism” is as inaccurate on your part as characterizing my statement as a “bald face lie”.

I note, without irony, that LCR failed to endorse any of the candidates you mentioned. If Stephen’s link accurately reflects the picture, LCR endorsed only Richard Tisei, Scott Brown and Mitt Romney this election cycle. Are you going to start pissing all over them, too?

Calm down and think.

Houndentenor October 29, 2012 at 10:49 am

Name one Republican running who has a better record on gay issues than his or her Democratic opponent.

Jorge October 29, 2012 at 11:41 am

Stephen’s statement, as I quoted, was: “In some cases, candidates backed by GoProud and/or LCR are opposed by HRC.”

There are five, exactly five, and only five cases where “candidates backed by GOProud and/or LCR are opposed by HRC”.

“Five” =/= “some”? But more to the point, no, the whole list of Ds with the whole list of Rs. It doesn’t get much clearer than that.

Name one Republican running who has a better record on gay issues than his or her Democratic opponent.

Probably the one the HRC gave a 98/100 rating to. This is a complete bluff on my part.

(And you lost. They mentioned that case already. I mean, you’re right, but it’s not a slam dunk by any means.)

Ack! What about the one with an 86/100 rating?

(Might hold.)

Tom Scharbach October 29, 2012 at 12:30 pm

But more to the point, no, the whole list of Ds with the whole list of Rs. It doesn’t get much clearer than that.

Jorge, let’s posit a strategy in which HRC followed the NRA model of endorsing strongly supportive incumbents. That would be “nonpartisan” enough to meet your test, I guess.

Looking at states with 25 Electoral College votes:

(1) If HRC endorsed every incumbent with an HRC score of 75% or above, the result would be 73-3 in favor of Democrats (California 35- 0, Florida 5-1, New York 23-2, and Texas 7-0).

(2) If HRC lowered the bar to 50% or above, the list would be 73-3 in favor of Democrats (California 35- 0, Florida 7-1, New York 23-2, and Texas 7-0).

(3) If the bar were lowered to a 25% score, the tally would be 73-6 (California 35-1, Floria 7-3, New York 23-2 and Texas 7-0).

I don’t know what would happen if HRC rated every candidate, imposed a minimum bar for endorsement (say 50%) and then, if two candidates who met the bar were running against each other, endorsed the most supportive pro-equality candidate in each race. But my guess is that it would result in a heavily pro-Democratic endorsement list.

That might be a better way for HRC to proceed, rather than focusing on a few candidates with 100% ratings in tight races.

But even in that situation, I can’t come up with a scenario in which the HRC’s endorsements, at present, would not be heavily lopsided in favor of Democrats.

Can you?

Jorge October 31, 2012 at 1:07 am

Jorge, let’s posit a strategy in which HRC followed the NRA model of endorsing strongly supportive incumbents. That would be “nonpartisan” enough to meet your test, I guess.

It would.

Their current strategy does not.

But even in that situation, I can’t come up with a scenario in which the HRC’s endorsements, at present, would not be heavily lopsided in favor of Democrats.

That is a strawman argument and does not interest me.

Tom Scharbach October 31, 2012 at 8:36 am

Tom: Jorge, let’s posit a strategy in which HRC followed the NRA model of endorsing strongly supportive incumbents. That would be “nonpartisan” enough to meet your test, I guess.

Jorge: It would.

I agree. I’ve long argued that LGBT advocacy groups should operate more like the NRA, with a laser focus on equality issues.

I’d like to see an HRC scorecard, like the NRA scorecard, that rates every federal candidate each election cycle. HRC already has a scorecard for federal legislators, and it wouldn’t take much work to extend it to all federal candidates, with ratings for non-elected candidates based on a survey response to the same issues as are used to rate the legislators.

I think that the NRA scorecard, which faithfully arrives the week before the election in my mailbox, is useful. I think a similar HRC scorecard would be useful.

Tom: But even in that situation, I can’t come up with a scenario in which the HRC’s endorsements, at present, would not be heavily lopsided in favor of Democrats.

Jorge: That is a strawman argument and does not interest me.

It wasn’t an argument.t was an observation.

The only argument I can think of that follows from the observation is a variation of the argument I make until I’m blue in the face, that is, that LCR’s and GOProud’s strategies are no more successful in turning the Republican Party around than HRC’s, and that it is time for gay and lesbian conservatives to stop, rethink, and get to work within the party structure, rather than operating like lobbying groups.

Houndentenor October 28, 2012 at 10:01 pm

LOL. The supposedly-gay Republican groups endorse openly anti-gay candidates, but HRC is who you choose to attack? Really?

Peter October 29, 2012 at 6:04 am

@Jorge:
I just checked one of your examples. Nan Hayworth is not on record as supporting marriage equality at all but only vaguely supporting the concept that different states should be able to choose (but not that she supports marriage equality), while her opponent Sean Maloney is a gay attorney! Gee, HRC supporting a candidate who supports us 100%. You may have given money to Nan, but don’t think she is the pro-gay candidate in the contest, please.

Tom Scharbach October 29, 2012 at 10:25 am

Gee, HRC supporting a candidate who supports us 100%.

I note for the record that HRC made no endorsement in this race.

Jorge October 31, 2012 at 1:19 am

I just checked one of your examples. Nan Hayworth is not on record as supporting marriage equality at all

So what? I don’t support the DREAM Act, the Lily Ledbetter Act, or hiring quotas. Does that make me anti-illegal immigrant, anti-woman, and anti-black?

Does that *really* tell you everything you need to know about m?

I have no interest in interfering with how other people put together their slate of preferred candidates, but it seems to me that with a fair number of people to choose from on the Republican side, a non-partisan group should be choosing at least some of them.

Carl October 29, 2012 at 9:40 am

I thought this was going to be about HRC-backed “moderate” Republican Judy Biggert comparing gay marriage to polygamy and bigamy. Oops!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/26/judy-biggert-gay-marriage_n_2024653.html?utm_hp_ref=elections-2012

Don October 29, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Jorge, your pro-Santorum logic is so tortured it’s not even funny. you can’t even call him by name. He is the most virulently anti-gay politician since Jesse Helms. And his qualifications are non-existent. In his last race for senate he lost to an democratic opponent who stood for nothing and campaign solely on “i’m not rick santorum” over, and over, and over. it got so bad the Philadelphia Inquirer called the democrat out on it as meaningless blather and that he should tell us what he was for, not that he wasn’t rick santorum. he never did. and he won by a landslide.

this is the guy you wanted to be president? a rank incompetent who lost to a guy who only said “vote for me! i’m not him!”

Jorge October 31, 2012 at 1:45 am

Jorge, your pro-Santorum logic is so tortured it’s not even funny. you can’t even call him by name.

I’m not that rude 100% of the time to say I support Rick Santorum directly on a gay website. Sometimes I use caution. It’s out there. I’ll remind people sometimes. It is enough.

You are entitled to your opinion, but my own mind is no less made up, and frankly, your complete disregard for the content of my last post is not well-taken. I cannot overstate how diametically opposed I am to the ideology of the tea party and the libertarian right. If you can’t begin to appreciate that, then I don’t have any reason to continue this conversation.

Don October 31, 2012 at 10:07 am

oh, i can appreciate opposition to the tea party. i guess i just can’t understand for the life of me why someone would support an anti-gay candidate. not just a little anti-gay. i totally get that. but the standard-bearer of gay hatred, demonization, and vilification? it’s like going on rush limbaugh’s site to extoll the virtues of karl marx. unthinkable.

as for your content on the catholic church, which is what i presume you say I ignored, I find no trouble with the church teaching gay is immoral. but they intend, as does santorum, to go much further and legally ban its existence. codification of religious opinion is the most unamerican thing i can fathom.

at this point, just gotta think you can’t be gay. or maybe you’ve gone to a christian re-education camp to pray away your gay. either way, I cannot respect your position here. I can fight to the death for your right to have it. But I just can’t respect it. Not even a little bit.

Jorge November 1, 2012 at 1:13 am

as for your content on the catholic church, which is what i presume you say I ignored…

No. I was talking about the first half of my post.

I find no trouble with the church teaching gay is immoral. but they intend, as does santorum, to go much further and legally ban its existence.

You say my problem is that you’re ignoring what I wrote about the Catholic Church. You then proceed to ignore it and cling to your false views.

No less than the current Pope has written (before he became Pope) about the distinction between gay people and gay sex (the Church condemns the latter), on “the duty of trying to understand the homosexual condition” that “culpability for homosexual acts should only be judged with prudence”, and that “It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the Church’s pastors wherever it occurs. It reveals a kind of disregard for others which endangers the most fundamental principles of a healthy society. The intrinsic dignity of each person must always be respected in word, in action and in law.” These date back from 1987. The source I usually cite is its 2003 document on gay marriage (which speaks more directly to what it considers christian duty in the case of both de facto and de jure gay marriage respectively).

Pauliji October 29, 2012 at 7:14 pm

I am a resident of Massachusetts, and I really beg to differ on your assessment of Senator Scott Brown.
He voted for an anti-gay marriage amendment after our Supreme Court ruled that marriage equality was demanded by our constitution.
He refused to participate in a video supporting LGBT youth, the only member of the Massachusetts congressional delegation who did refuse.
He publicly supports DOMA.
Whatever else he may have said or done, those are problematic for me. Especially when presented with such a wonderful equality advocate as Elizabeth Warren.
As far as I can tell, the only thing he has done which can be said to be pro-LGBT is vote to repeal DADT. That’s it.

Carl October 29, 2012 at 7:22 pm

He also made very anti-gay remarks in the past. He’s smart enough to not make those now…I guess that deserves support. That’s about it.

Tom Scharbach October 30, 2012 at 9:02 am

The facts speak: HRC couldn’t find one—ONE—Republican congressional candidate to endorse. Not even openly gay Richart Tisei in Massachusetts. Shame on HRC, and its supporters.

Whatever. If you don’t think that HRC’s strategy is useful, stop complaining and do what I did — ignore the HRC, get to work in your own political party, working within the party structure to find, fund and support 100% pro-equality candidates, build pro-equality support within the party, and render the HRC irrelevant.

Let me ask you a simple question: How is whining about HRC going to change the Republican Party, which is your goal?

Houndentenor October 30, 2012 at 10:02 am

It’s a strawman. He wants to lash out at liberals and HRC in all it’s ineptitude is an easy target. HRC carries no weight. It delivers no votes. All it’s good for is throwing lavish parties where people pat each other on the back. In all these years and after all the money spent, it can show not one accomplishment. Everyone knows HRC is irrelevant, so why do gay Republicans keep harping about them?

Tom Scharbach November 2, 2012 at 7:18 am

Strawman or not on Stephen’s part, HRC has a strategy. HRC did not issue endorsements wholesale.

HRC picked 14 “champions” to endorse, out of roughly 900 candidates running for federal office this election cycle. The 14 represent about 3% of the Democrats running this cycle, and, as Stephen points out, 0% of the Republicans.

Stephen is miffed. I understand why Stephen is miffed — so, presumably were the hundreds of Democratic candidates with strong pro-equality ratings that weren’t endorsed. So be it.

My view is that HRC should adopt the NRA’s strategy, rating every general election candidate running for federal office each election cycle, and widely publicizing its ratings.

But that isn’t what it does. HRC’s election strategy is one of the reasons I am not an HRC member. The main reason I’m not a member, though, is that I think that Beltway lobbying is ineffective. I’m not a member of the Stonewall Democrats, either, for that reason, and if I were a Republican, I wouldn’t waste my time on LCR or GOProud.

But, all that having been said, I guess I am missing something. I don’t understand why Stephen is so obsessed with the HRC. Complaining about the HRC is a waste of time. It accomplishes nothing.

If Stephen got involved in his own party — working within the party structure to change the party instead of holding himself outside as a pseudo-independent pundit spending his time digging out every possible complaint about “left/liberals” — he’d be too busy to care about the HRC, and his energy would be put to good use.

Doug October 30, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Without HRC to harp about Stephen and other gay conservatives would have to face the harsh reality of their own inability to bring change to the GOP.

Houndentenor October 30, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Wait a cotton-pickin’ minute!

So we have to cheer any candidate who is gay? Did you guys do that for Barney Frank? Are you supporting Tammy Baldwin? No, because you disagree with them on the issues. That’s fine. But then why can’t gay moderates and liberals do the same when it comes to gay GOP candidates?

Also, (this is a big pet peeve of mine, sorry) if we have the right to cheer, then we have the right to boo. No one has a right to my applause.

Tom Scharbach October 30, 2012 at 6:37 pm

[P]arts of the crowd booed Mr. DeMaio at a mayoral debate at the gay and lesbian community center here. He was booed again as he walked hand in hand with his partner in this year’s gay pride parade. And many gay and lesbian leaders here have lined up behind Bob Filner, 70, a Democratic congressman and Mr. DeMaio’s opponent in the Nov. 6 election. . . .

Oh, Stephen, you old faker. You get an “A” for creative use of brackets to hide the context.

Here’s the full paragraph:

Angered by his reticence on gay issues and his acceptance of campaign donations from backers of Proposition 8, California’s 2008 ban on same-sex marriage, parts of the crowd booed Mr. DeMaio at a mayoral debate at the gay and lesbian community center here. He was booed again as he walked hand in hand with his partner in this year’s gay pride parade. ”

Its maneuvers like this — giving me a good belly laugh — that make me fond of you in spite of yourself.

Here’s a bit more context from the article you linked:

And he has also alienated some gay and lesbian voters who have supported Republicans like Jerry Sanders, the current mayor, whose tearful announcement of support for same-sex marriage in 2007 cost him some backers but rendered him a hero among many gays and lesbians.

“He stood up for us, and I felt it was our duty to stand up for him,” Susan Atkins, the chairwoman of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, said of Mr. Sanders, whom she supported in 2008. But she will not support Mr. DeMaio.

While Mr. Sanders was campaigning aggressively against Proposition 8 four years ago, Mr. DeMaio stayed quiet on the issue as he ran for City Council in a conservative district.

Since then, Mr. DeMaio has stated his support for gay marriage, and voted to support gay causes on the council. But he has also accepted endorsements and campaign money from major donors to Proposition 8. And social issues like gay rights, he has repeatedly said, would not be a priority for him as mayor.

We’ll see from the election if it’s actually opposition from “gay voters” as much as it is from vocal and media-savvy progressive LGBT Democratic party activists.

I think we’ve already seen, just from reading the article.

Don October 31, 2012 at 10:09 am

thanks, Tom. i needed that.

Tom Scharbach October 31, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Well, Don, Stephen spins and spins and spins. Sometimes he spins right out of control. When he does that, I like to call him back to reality by pointing out a fact or two.

Stephen needn’t worry about “left-liberals” denying DeMaio the election. San Diego is Republican territory, and has elected only one Democratic Mayor in the last forty years. DeMaio’s probably in like Flynn.

Jorge November 1, 2012 at 1:16 am

Well, Don, Stephen spins and spins and spins. Sometimes he spins right out of control. When he does that, I like to call him back to reality by pointing out a fact or two.

How come I always merit seven or ten? >:(

Jimmy November 3, 2012 at 5:08 pm

“How come I always merit seven or ten?”

Perhaps he is annoyed by the willful obtuseness you aforementioned.

Tom Scharbach November 2, 2012 at 6:39 am

It’s time all gay rights advocates stop demonizing them and start talking to them.

If the shoe fits

Mark F. November 2, 2012 at 7:26 am

“Ron Paul is a libertarian who thinks we should be nice to Iran. Not a wacko. Just wrong.”

Right, far better we try to starve and bomb a country which is no threat to us and which has no actual nuclear weapons program, according to the Israelis.

Doug November 2, 2012 at 7:52 pm

Marco Rubio is now making anti-gay robo calls in several states. How’s that GOP outreach workin for you now Stephen? Rubio one of the rising stars in the GOP.

Doug November 2, 2012 at 7:53 pm

Marco Rubio is now making anti-gay robo calls in several states. How’s that GOP outreach, with a place at the table, workin for you now Stephen? Rubio one of the rising stars in the GOP.

Jorge November 2, 2012 at 9:47 pm

Hmm-hmm.

Before I accept an accusation that someone is doing something “anti-gay”, it is important for me to have the accuser identify exactly what they are doing that lends themselves to this conclusion. “Anti-gay” is an opinion, not a fact, and it means different things to different people. Some people think it’s acceptable to boo someone for accepting campaign donations by people who are against same-sex marriage. Others think that is such an irrelevant reason as not to even merit a mention. You need to be clear. And yes, I looked up the story before making this response.

Doug November 3, 2012 at 2:22 am

By changing one word the same could be said of slavery.

Carl November 3, 2012 at 5:50 am

Rubio has always had a history against gay rights. He also opposes gay adoption and foster care.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/waymon-hudson/marco-rubio-flexes-right_b_565798.html

John D November 3, 2012 at 1:55 pm

The calls can be summed us as “vote for Romney or the gay marriage advocates win” and are going out in states without any same-sex marriage propositions.

Yeah, I’d call that anti-gay. Face it, the big names of the Republican Party have made an opposition to equality for gay people one of the distinguishing characteristics of the party. Sure, there are pro-gay Republicans, but they’re in a minority, tolerated by their party, and willing to go along with the anti-gay policies.

It’s pretty disgusting that Mitt Romney is running on a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. No, I don’t think he can deliver it any more than George W. Bush could, but it’s at least if not more disgusting now. And he is not alone in the Republican Party.

Wake up and smell the anti-gay bigotry.

JohnInCA November 3, 2012 at 1:10 pm

“He comments, ‘The numbers grow every year. It’s time all gay rights advocates stop demonizing them and start talking to them.’”

… you know, LCR and GOProud said comparable things leading up into the convention. And then the platform came out more anti-gay then ever before. So either those numbers aren’t growing as much as some would want us to believe, or they’re just unwilling to *actually* be supportive rather then just *saying* they’re supportive.

Jorge November 3, 2012 at 2:23 pm

you know, LCR and GOProud said comparable things leading up into the convention. And then the platform came out more anti-gay then ever before.

Ah, yes, the US imposing a “homosexual rights agenda” on other countries crap. This willful obtuseness of this country can be very annoying sometimes.

I would be a little happier if people were to hold those two groups accountable for that specifically.

Houndentenor November 4, 2012 at 1:33 am

I notice that in the linked list of Republicans who support gay civil marriage, not one of them is an elected official. The platform is still strongly opposed to any recognition of same-sex relationships. Does anyone on that list actual lobby on our behalf behind closed doors with Republicans, or do they just claim to support us in public to make themselves sound better in big-city socially liberal circles. (Exception noted for Ted Olson who successfully argued our case in court.)

TomJeffersonIII November 4, 2012 at 4:08 pm

The HRC got started up in the 1980s and has probably faced an uphill battle getting any gay rights legislation taken seriously in Washington D.C. The undefined period of time when, we are told, the HRC was ‘bi-partisan’ was not exactly a great period in terms of actually getting legislation passed.

Heck, I suspect that none of the major party presidential candidates in the 1980s and early 1990s had a stellar record on gay rights. Again, waay before my time but I doubt that Reagan or Carter or Mondale or Duckasis or Bush sr. (sic?) had too much good to say about gay rights legislation.

Why? Well, a significant number of voters either did support gay rights in general or were sort of tolerant, but opposed specific issues (i.e marriage). So, over the decades the American electorate became more education.

Yet, their is still a potential gravy train (politically speaking) over fueling fears about the “THE GAY AGENDA”.

Elected officials (Democrats or Republicans) in a socially conservative Congressional district or State are probably going to oppose gay rights, but their may be some slight variation in how much they oppose it and how tactfully they might be about it.

Presidential candidates — from the major parties at least — are probably going to oppose gay rights or at least try and avoid the issue in ‘swing’ States or in certain primary situations.

I guess the real question to ask ourselves is how educate a diverse demographic of voters so that federal candidates do not feel like they have to ignore/oppose gay rights?

I am not sure that the HRC or the LCR or OutProud is capable of really dealing with this question. HRC has the money and basic organizational skills and can do a good job educating voters who are generally center-left or progressive.

The HRC should probably never be trusted to lead any sort of educational campaign at the local or state level. They can help out/advise, but even folks who support the HRC generally tell me that its not setup to lead at the State or local level.

Now, the LCR and Outproud may have the money or potentially could, but they have been struck me as being terribly organized or well funded. They can be better at talking with center-right and conservative folk (compared to the HRC) but to really make an impact gay Republicans will have to do what gay Democrats started to do in the 1970s; get involved and speak out.

The reason that the Democratic Party candidates gradually became more supportive of gay rights issues is because gay Democrats get involved with the party, locally, statewide and change did, gradually occur.

I do not see that really happening with the two gay Republican groups. If you are happy to vote for anti-gay Republican candidates because you agree with what they say on taxes, that is fine and dandy. But, its not going to change things in the party.

So, I think we need to really look at what gay Republicans can do to change things within their own party. You might want to track down some older gay Democrats because being effective in local/state party politics (in the major parties) often involves very similar behavior.

Jorge November 5, 2012 at 11:15 am

I guess the real question to ask ourselves is how educate a diverse demographic of voters so that federal candidates do not feel like they have to ignore/oppose gay rights?

The reason that the Democratic Party candidates gradually became more supportive of gay rights issues is because gay Democrats get involved with the party, locally, statewide and change did, gradually occur.

I do not see that really happening with the two gay Republican groups.

I don’t think the same formula necessarily works with the right.

The Democratic party has become one that is very invested in equal rights causes and language and suspicious of religious politics, and has been for many years. To get the Democratic party to support gay rights, you can succeed by appealing to individual rights and the fear of religious extremism, even if you don’t succeed in convincing it that gays are regular Joes like everyone else.

The Republican party is more invested in family values and certain principles of law and order and personal responsibility, with religious values thrown in as well. To get the Republican party to support gay rights, you have the harder task of appealing to their sense that gays are members of their families and communities who deserve to be treated in an upstanding way.

The work of convincing the Republican party to back gay rights is one in which the straight community is more important. So, while groups like GOProud and LCR are important (for intellectual debate is part of the deal), I think the greater (and increasingly more relevant) exposure of gays in popular culture is more important. So, just because you’re a gay Democrat doesn’t mean you’re off the hook.

Houndentenor November 5, 2012 at 8:17 pm

Ted Olson makes that case quite convincingly. The question is why isn’t that resonating? The only answer I can think of is that the religious right is far too important in the GOP and that few can risk support for gay rights without facing a challenger in the next primary.

Also, liberals are just fine with religious politics. It’s a different politics and to some extent a different brand of religion. But it’s just as religious, much to the chagrin of those who are not religious at all. The religious right like to think of themselves as the only true Christians, but they are, in fact, a minority in Christiandom. Most of the liberal movements in our nations history started in the churches or had a religious underpinning (abolitionism, for example, or the civil rights movement). It’s just not true that liberals are anti-religious. That might be true in a few, very small circles, but if you listen to Democrats talk you’ll hear plenty of religious language and rhetoric.

Doug November 5, 2012 at 9:22 pm

If you are suggesting that Democrats have less ‘family values’ you are full of crap.

Tom Scharbach November 6, 2012 at 6:24 am

TomJeffersonIII: “The reason that the Democratic Party candidates gradually became more supportive of gay rights issues is because gay Democrats get involved with the party, locally, statewide and change did, gradually occur.

Jorge: “I don’t think the same formula necessarily works with the right. …

To get the Republican party to support gay rights, you have the harder task of appealing to their sense that gays are members of their families and communities who deserve to be treated in an upstanding way.

And what better way than to have Republican gays and lesbians, out and visible, sharing conservative values, active in the Republican Party at county, state and federal levels?

Mike in Houston November 6, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Jorge: “To get the Republican party to support gay rights, you have the harder task of appealing to their sense that gays are members of their families and communities who deserve to be treated in an upstanding way.”

There’s the problem in a nutshell. You first have to believe that yourself and act like it… if you fundamentally don’t believe that you deserve equality, then how do you expect others to?

To quote Mayor Annise Parker:
“I do think it’s important for GLBTs to stay engaged in both parties. But not at that at the price of your self-respect and dignity. And it is great to be a gay Republican and to say, “My party has left me behind. I can’t support it this time until they get on the right track. I support this, this and this issue as a Republican, but until they treat me personally, and my relationships, fairly, I can’t support them.’ “

Carl November 6, 2012 at 11:55 pm

Looks like Tisei lost. This certainly makes things easier for the increasingly conservative House GOP. They used him for positive media (look at how diverse we are!) and now they’re done.

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