Gingrich to Gays: Vote for Obama

In response to a gay Iowan. If only Obama’s administration wasn’t a rolling disaster I would.

But I’m hoping Ron Paul knocks Gingrich for a loop in the state—and it could happen. Not that Paul would ever get his party’s nomination, but to see an opponent of the anti-gay federal marriage amendment (he called it “a very bad idea”) and a supporter of gays serving in the military win the GOP caucuses in heavily evangelical Iowa would be a good sign.

Added. The Washington Blade reminds us that:

[Paul] voted on two separate occasions in 2004 and 2006 against a Federal Marriage Amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage throughout the country. Paul was among the five Republicans who voted for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal on the House floor in May even before the Pentagon released its report in November 2010.

Paul certainly takes positions I don’t agree with; my point is that his record on gay issues is (by GOP standards) well above average, and it would be good, in that regard, if he bested Gingrich and the rest who would pervert government to deny us equality under the law.

More. Some Republican blogs and GOProud (and even Log Cabin) are defending Gingrich and noting that he was responding specifically about gay marriage (and why supporters of gay marriage should or shouldn’t vote for him), and that he was not telling gays in general to vote for Obama. There is some truth that this is a somewhat different context, but his defenders are themselves wide of the mark as well.

It’s a bit as if during the 1964 presidential campaign Gingrich had told a black civil rights advocate that if ending segregation and Jim Crow laws were the advocate’s predominant issue, then he should vote for Lyndon Johnson, and the media reported “Gingrich tells blacks to vote for Johnson.” The headline would overreach a bit, but the sentiment that if you think receiving equal treatment under the law is important, don’t vote for me, remains accurate.

At this stage, gay Rebublicans and independents should be supporting GOP candidates who most support our legal equality. Leavings aside (with the rest of the media) former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, of the major candidates Jon Huntsman is the best—a strong fiscal conservative with solid foreign policy experience who supports recognition of civil unions and, if he does better than predicted in New Hampshire, still might emerge as a contender. As noted above, Ron Paul also opposes the federal marriage amendment, unlike Gingrich and Romney.

On “don’t ask,” Gingrich has gone further than Romney (who opposed repeal of “don’t ask” during a war but indicated he’d leave repeal in place), whereas Gingrich said he would reinstate the ban.

So why the support for Newt, who would enshrine second-class status toward gays in the Constitution and federal policy?

13 Comments for “Gingrich to Gays: Vote for Obama”

  1. posted by Jorge on

    Humph. So you fell for it. See, the problem is that the primary source is the aggrieved voter and so there’s a large potential for bias or even misinterpretation. Gay people, I’ve noticed, have a habit of badly conflating marriage with gay rights.

    Don’t get me wrong, I was ready to write him off, but that is the question I needed to see answered first: was it about gay voters, period, or was it about gay marriage only?

    It’s still not excusable because it was an extremely open-ended question and Gingrich said basically nothing in acknowledgement that gay rights is a serious issue. Although, when he gave a completely color-blind answer on the racial question I approved of that. That’s just where he stands as a conservative. He completely rejects minority politics. (I don’t like that.)

    In any case, I’m glad to see that I got that matter cleared up very quickly. This is very good.

    By the way, Newt Gingrich is absolutely right that people who see other issues as more important should support him.

    • posted by Houndentenor on

      I don’t think it was gays who moved the line in the sand for gay rights to marriage. It was the right who realized that DADT was unpopular (about77% against) and that about 3/4 of Americans already think it’s illegal to fire an employee for being gay and are fine with that law (now if we could only get it passed!).

      The GOP wants to talk about marriage as the only gay issue because overall it’s the only part of the gay rights agenda that is still unpopular. If put to a popular vote we’d have ENDA. Unfortunately the religious right controls one party and has the other one shared shitless so it’s still not the law. I’d rather ask Romney and Gingich about military service and employment. I don’t know why commentators only ask about marriage. It’s certainly not a tactic gay people have demanded (nor is it a federal issue except for DOMA and the threat of a constitutional amendment).

  2. posted by Jorge on

    You know what bothers me about it?

    See, Michelle Bachman when she’s asked about gays dodges the question and says “I am running for president of the United States.” Romeny say he’s for gay rights. Santorum points out that Iran executes gays. You need to throw a bone, but more to the point, Bachman at least is saying that she understands that she’s there to represent all Americans. Gingrich spoke as a partisan candidate representing Republican and conservative interests only, and not as the president who is the head of state , there to represent the best interests of all Americans. And it’s not the first place we’ve seen this in Gingrich, either–witness his confrontational comments toward judges who make decisions he doesn’t like. That to me is a trait that makes someone unsuited to be president.

  3. posted by BobN on

    So why the support for Newt, who would enshrine second-class status toward gays in the Constitution and federal policy?

    I can only guess that the LCR are trying to out GOProud GOProud. Tis the season for sycophancy, I guess.

    As for Newtie, he pulled a deceptive trick by talking about same-sex marriage when asked a much broader question. He thus avoided clarifying to the American public just how anti-gay he is. I suppose it’s a mark of our progress that he’s a coward about it.

    • posted by Houndentenor on

      If I were Newt, I’d avoid all questions about marriage, same or opposite sex. When he voted to “defend marriage”, which of his three (so far) marriages was he voting to defend?

      I can’t believe someone so sleazy, even by Washington standards, is polling so well. Is the GOP that desperate?

  4. posted by Doug on

    So you like Ron Paul the racist for the GOP. That says a lot about you Stephen. Take a look at Paul’s newsletters and tell me he is not antigay.

    • posted by Houndentenor on

      Now that Paul is doing better in the polls someone is leaking all his batsh*t crazy newsletter rantings to the press. It’s full of all the standard conspiracy theory memes. I don’t know how someone can legitimately disavow something printed in a newsletter with his name at the top. I actually agree with Paul on a few things but he’s a lot more nutso than he lets on in the debates (as evidenced by his own publications).

      • posted by Jorge on

        He could always disintenuously disavow them.

        • posted by Houndentenor on

          I suppose there are people out there stupid enough to buy that.

          • posted by another steve on

            The newsletters of 20 years ago are bad but he disavows them. So, where are the anti-gay votes? Where are the anti-gay speeches? What I see are votes against the Federal Marriage Amendment (and a speech on the floor calling the FMA a terrible idea) and votes to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and statements that gays should be able to serve openly in the military.

            And where are the anti-black actions and speeches? He opposes race-based preferential treatment, but so do I.

            The GOP establishment and the liberal media have joined forces to get rid of Ron Paul. Makes me hope he does well.

          • posted by Jorge on

            That whole newsletter thing is not worth my time. I’m not even bothering enough time with it to find out what the story is about or Ron Paul’s response to it.

            It’s been talked about before.

            For some reason, it’s still carrying so far below the radar the only headlines about it are “there are questions about racist and anti-gay newsletters with his byline”. A smoking gun usually catches your attention better than that.

            By now we’ve seen from the debates just about everything there is to know about Ron Paul’s ideology directly from the man himself. So this is useless information. Stuff about his character, stuff about his actions and leadership–his votes and floor statements , as another steve cites–any clear recent inconsistencies and conflicts of interest, that stuff might be relevant. This isn’t useful.

            The timing is evil.

            And yes, it was 20 years ago. He obviously disavowed it along time ago.

  5. posted by TomJeffersonIII on

    1. I am an Independent and frankly resent the idea that I need to start backing the GOP candidates. Fred Karger is frankly the only GOP primary candidate that seems reasonably sane (I only heard bits and pieces from the former NM Governor).

    2. Yeah, Congressman Paul is a nut and a few other things that I will not type. Basically, he pretends to be a libertarian, when it suits him, but he also pretends to be a right-wing-state’s rights cultural conservative when it suits him to.

  6. posted by Tom Jefferson on

    I went back into the archives to see when Newt and his lesbian sister were in the news (a wee bit before my time). From what I can pick up, I would have to agree with his lesbian sister more, politically, but I suspect that I would not really like either of them to much.

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