Gay Republicans urge focus on economy after Florida fight


Gay Republicans continued to encourage the candidates for their party’s presidential nomination to focus on jobs and economy the morning after the Florida primary.

Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich battling for votes in the Sunshine State pushed their conservative credentials and ran a series of bruising negative attack ads.

Romney emerged the clear choice in Florida, with 46 percent of the vote. But Gingrich vowed to carry on in the nomination race, which has Rick Santorum and Ron Paul in third and fourth in delegates.

Log Cabin Republicans, on Feb. 1, released a statement cheering Romney’s win in Florida: “With a strong showing in Florida, including a win at the Florida Log Cabin Republicans straw poll on Saturday, Romney proves he can build a coalition of conservative voters.”

But LCR executive director R. Clarke Cooper said concern remains about Romney’s recent courting of right-wing groups.

“The real question now is whether Romney can win a majority of Americans, including younger voters, independents and disaffected Democrats,” Cooper said. “The 2010 mid-term election, in which Republicans campaigned on smaller government and cutting spending, is a model for victory in 2012. Republicans of all stripes are strongly committed to replacing President Obama, there is no need or excuse for engaging in antigay pandering or divisive social politics.”

The day before the Florida primary, the Romney campaign announced its Social Conservatives Coalition and released a letter from nine Massachusetts conservative leaders who defended the candidate as anti-abortion and anti-gay rights.

The letter stated that Romney staunchly denounced same-sex marriage in Massachusetts and “he followed up on that denunciation with action – action that saved our nation from a constitutional crisis over the definition of marriage. He and his staff identified and enforced a little-known 1913 law that allowed them to order local clerks not to issue marriage licenses to out-of-state couples. Absent this action, homosexual couples would surely have flooded into Massachusetts from other states to get ‘married’ and then demanded that their home states recognize the ‘marriages,’ putting the nation only one court decision away from nationalizing ‘same-sex marriage.’”

One of the nine, Roberto Miranda, has said that the “virus of homosexuality and gay marriage” brought about the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.