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Gay Republicans demand apology from congressman over ‘Mary’ slur

The nation’s largest gay Republican group is calling on Democratic U.S. Rep. Scott Peters to remove and apologize for an opinion piece on his campaign website that refers to his opponent as a “Mary.”

The Slang Dictionary defines “Mary” as “a male who behaves like a stereotypical little girl when scared or hurt.” It also gets used as a term for a gay male.

Peters’ GOP opponent is Carl DeMaio, who is openly gay. 

Peters did not write the opinion piece, which was originally posted on the liberal AmericaBlog.

Log Cabin Republicans, in calling for an apology from the congressman, said the piece “contained false and grossly distorted claims about DeMaio’s record on LGBT issues.”

Said LCR executive director Gregory T. Angelo, “There is no doubt that if the roles were reversed and a straight Republican congressman promoted content on his website calling his gay Democratic opponent a ‘Mary’ there would be no end to the outrage from the left.”

Angelo also said, “Of course, when a Democrat does it, no one raises an eyebrow — but we’re not going to let this side.”

LCR, in a news release, said Peters was a co-sponsor of an anti-bullying measure but that he is campaigning like a bully.

The blog post contained a quote from DeMaio about finding more social conservatives to be more tolerant of a gay Republican than gay people. After the quote, blogger John Aravosis, said, “Oh Mary, it’s so hard to be you.”

Angelo said, “Congressman Peters needs to remove this story from his website at once, and issue a formal apology to Mr. DeMaio. If not, he needs to stand by the language he is promoting and tell voters in California’s 52nd District if he believes all gay men are ‘Marys.’”

On the Web …




‘License to Discriminate’ bills lose in Arizona, elsewhere

Terry Valdez was thinking about Jackie Robinson and Jan Brewer while she waited for the Padres and the Mariners to take the field for an early spring training game in Peoria, Ariz., on Feb. 27.

The day before, Arizona’s Republican governor vetoed Senate Bill 1062, which would have allowed individuals, businesses and organizations to cite religious beliefs as a defense in any action brought by a business or individual claiming discrimination. Proponents called SB1062 a bill to protect religious freedoms; opponents said it was a license to discriminate.

The legislation had moved quickly through the Arizona Legislature even as the push for similar bills sputtered and died in several other states where right-wing lawmakers are working to hold back marriage equality.

“Turning people away because they are black or Latino or gay or Jewish or female, that’s just wrong,” said Valdez, who plans to marry her girlfriend in New Mexico in early 2015. “It is just backward that the law would allow people to be turned away from a restaurant or a bakery or some place because of sexual orientation or anything else.”

She shared her opposition to SB1062 on Twitter, along with thousands of others who were concerned that the governor, with her failing record on civil rights, might sign the bill into law.

The Democratic Party and civil rights groups — including the NAACP, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Human Rights Campaign — led the opposition to the bill.

Cyber activists launched petition drives, and the week- end after the bill was sent to the governor more than a dozen petitions were circulating on Change.org.

Businesses joined the chorus of SB1062 opponents, including Apple, American Airlines, Delta, Marriott Hotels, Yelp, as well as the National Football League and Major League Baseball.

In its statement, MLB said, “As the sport of Jackie Robinson, Major League Baseball and its 30 Clubs stand united behind the principles of respect, inclusion and acceptance. Those values are fundamental to our game’s diverse play- ers, employees and fans. We welcome individuals of different sexual orientations, races, religions, genders and national origins.

“MLB has a zero-tolerance policy for harassment or discrimination based on sexual orientation, as reflected by our collective bargaining agreement with the MLB Players Association. Accordingly, MLB will neither support nor tolerate any words, attitudes or actions that imperil the inclusive communities that we have strived to foster within our game.”

As Brewer began a series of private meetings on the issue, leaders in her party also were speaking out. Mitt Romney urged a veto, as did U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

The governor announced her veto in a news conference at the state Capitol on Feb. 26.

“Senate Bill 1062 does not address a specific or present concern related to religious liberty in Arizona,” the governor said. “I have not heard one example in Arizona where a business owner’s religious liberty has been violated. The bill is broadly worded and could result in unintended and negative consequences. After weighing all of the arguments, I have vetoed Senate Bill 1062 moments ago.”

She went on to chastise Republican lawmakers for making SB1062 a priority instead of dealing with economic issues and an overhaul of the child welfare system in the state.

Felipe Sousa-Rodriguez, co-director of the LGBT activist group GetEQUAL, said, “We cannot forget the suffering that some of her other decisions have caused to immigrants,” but on SB1062, Brewer “stood on the right of history.”

HRC president Chad Griffin said the governor “spared her state from institutional discrimination and economic catastrophe.”

The Log Cabin Republicans, a partisan LGBT group, called the veto a “watershed event.”

But Brewer’s veto was not welcomed by the Center for Arizona Policy, a right-wing group that helped write the bill. CAP president Cathi Herrod said, “The attacks on SB1062 represent precisely why so many people are sick of the modern political debate. Instead of having an honest discussion about the true meaning of religious liberty, opponents of the bill have hijacked this discussion through lies, personal attacks and irresponsible reporting.”

Similar measures have been proposed in Ohio, Maine, Mississippi, Idaho, South Dakota, Tennessee and and Oklahoma. The campaigns seem to have stalled in every state but Mississippi.

Welcoming Brewer’s veto, Eunice Rho of the American Civil Liberties Union said, “We strongly support the right of every person to exercise their religious beliefs, but religious freedom doesn’t give any of us the right to harm others. The massive public opposition to this, as well as several other failed bills across the country, shows that Americans of all political persuasions and religions feel the same way.

Log Cabin ad calls on GOP to make a bigger tent

Log Cabin Republicans placed a full-page ad in Politico on April 25 that calls on the Republican Party to expand its “big tent” by dropping opposition to LGBT civil rights.

LCR is in the midst of a “relaunch” while Republican leaders also have been discussing reshaping the party to be more inclusive – and successful.

The ad features two men looking at a small tent. One of them says, “Reagan’s Big Tent Isn’t What it Used to Be…”

The ad states, “If the Republican Party wants to win future elections and set this country back on sound financial footing, it must put an end to its obsession with opposing equal rights for LGBT Americans. The GOP’s focus should be on bringing together existing members, reclaiming former Republicans and attracting new voters. According to a Washington Post/ABC News poll, the freedom to marry is supported by 81 percent of adults younger than 30. If you don’t make the tent bigger, you might as well fold it up and go home.”

LCR executive director Gregory T. Angelo said, “Despite widespread and growing public support for marriage equality and the need to focus on increasing our numbers in the wake of the crushing electoral defeats of 2012, an element of the GOP remains hell-bent on emphasizing exclusion over inclusion.”

Gay GOP group issues ‘qualified endorsement’ of Romney

A gay GOP group has issued a “qualified endorsement” of Mitt Romney for president. Log Cabin Republicans announced the endorsement on Oct. 23, the morning after the final presidential debate between Romney and Barack Obama.

“The decision to endorse is the right one for our members, our community, and for the nation as a whole,” said LCR executive director R. Clarke Cooper. “Despite our disagreement with Gov. Romney on the issue of marriage, on balance it is clear that in today’s economic climate, concern for the future of our country must be the highest priority. We are Republicans, and we agree with Gov. Romney’s vision for America in which success is a virtue, equal opportunity is ensured, and leaders recognize that it is the American people, not government, that build our nation and fuel its prosperity.”

National Stonewall Democrats, an LGBT Democratic group, was quick to react. NSD executive director Jerame Davis said, “The Log Cabin Republicans have proven once and for all that they are not an organization aligned with the LGBT movement. They are a Republican front group bumbling their way into fooling LGBT voters that it’s OK to support a party that would legislate us back into the closet.”

The lengthy explanation from Log Cabin began with a review of LCR’s stated purpose: “Log Cabin Republicans work within the GOP to make the conservative case for pro-equality policies and legislation. Since Log Cabin’s founding in the late 1970s, we have believed in a simple idea: building a stronger, more inclusive Republican Party requires Republicans reaching out to Republicans.”

LCR, which already has made a series of endorsements in U.S. House and Senate races, said, “The freedom to work without fear of discrimination, the freedom to serve in our nation’s military, and the freedom to marry are all issues of vital importance. As we considered our endorsement decision, we did not degrade these issues as irrelevant, nor did we overlook the harm that is done to the Republican brand when our standard-bearers appear to be caught up in an outdated culture war.”

The group condemned anti-LGBT aspects of the GOP platform but said “we are still able to cheer the vision for America which was presented in Tampa, where success is a virtue, equal opportunity is ensured, and leaders recognize that it is the American people, not government, that build our nation and fuel its prosperity.”

LCR said Obama failed at job creation, pushed an expenseive and intrusive health care bill, presided over a credit downgrade and also a national debt that has topped $16 trillion.

“If LGBT issues are a voter’s highest or only priority, then Governor Romney may not be that voter’s choice,” LRC said. “However, Log Cabin Republicans is an organization representing multifaceted individuals with diverse priorities. Having closely reviewed the candidate’s history and observed the campaign, we believe Governor Romney will make cutting spending and job creation his priorities, and, as his record as Governor of Massachusetts suggests, will not waste his precious time in office with legislative attacks on LGBT Americans.”

The organization said it is confident that a Romney administration will not reinstate “don’t ask, don’t tell,” the anti-gay policy that both Romney and Paul Ryan said they supported. LCR also said it can work with Romney on workplace discrimination legislation. “And,” stated LRC, “for those people who point fearfully to potential vacancies on the United States Supreme Court, we offer a reminder: five of the eight federal court rulings against DOMA were written by Republican-appointed judges. Mitt Romney is not Rick Santorum, and Paul Ryan is not Michele Bachmann. Otherwise, our decision would have been different.”

The statement went on to say that “after long consideration, weighing input from our members and chapters, and dialogue with the Mitt Romney campaign and the candidate, the National Board of Directors of the Log Cabin Republicans have elected to issue a qualified endorsement for Governor Romney for president.”

Another GOP group focused on gay issues, GOPRoud Inc., endorsed Romney earlier this year. LCR, earlier in the year, had said if it endorsed in the presidential race, it would not do so before the national convention in late August. When LCR released a series of congressional endorsements but nothing on the Romney-Ryan ticket, there was speculation that the group would not make an endorsement in the race.

Davis, of Stonewall, said Log Cabin’s “endorsement of Mitt Romney isn’t just shameful – it’s insulting. Mitt Romney stands for nothing positive for LGBT people. He supports a federal marriage amendment – which was a reason for Log Cabin to refuse to endorse George W. Bush in 2004. He supports McCarthy-like investigations into our community for evidence of ‘harassment of Christians’. He opposes the repeal of DOMA. He opposes ENDA. He’s even said things as basic as the right to visit your sick or dying loved one in the hospital is a ‘privilege’ and not a right.”

Earlier this month, before the second debate, Human Rights Campaign spokesman Fred Sainz said, “Romney likes to portray himself as a compassionate figure who would never want to discriminate against anyone, but his policies point to just the opposite. Mitt Romney advocates against issues that impact virtually every area of an LGBT person’s life – from their ability to marry the person they love and start a family, to ensuring they can’t be fired from their job simply because of who they are, even down to making it more difficult to address bullying in schools.”

HRC endorsed Obama for re-election early in the campaign cycle.

Numerous other LGBT groups also have endorsed the president. So has the Wisconsin Gazette.

On the Web…

The Log Cabin endorsement: 


Note: This report will be updated with reaction.

Gay Republicans announce 2012 House, Senate endorsements

Log Cabin Republicans, the nation’s largest gay GOP group, has announced endorsements for the U.S. House and Senate.

LCR, in a news release, said “many of candidates have been vetted through the Young Guns program at the National Republican Congressional Committee, and/or have earned the support of their local Log Cabin Republicans chapter.

The candidates “appreciate that all Americans seek to enjoy the same freedoms and inalienable rights, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

For the Senate, LCR endorsed incumbent Republican Scott Brown in Massachusetts.

The House endorsements went to:

• Charlie Bass in New Hampshire.

• Judy Biggert and Bob Dold in Illinois

• Mary Bono-Mack, John Campbell, Gary DeLong and John Dennis in California.

• Joe Carvin, Richard Hanna and Nan Hayworth in New York.

• Charles Djou in Hawaii.

• Chris Fields in Minnesota.

• Charlie Dent and Mike Fitzpatrick in Pennsylvania.

• Leonard Lance in New Jersey.

• Dave Reichert in Washington state.

• Andrew Roraback in Connecticut.

• Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in Florida.

• Richard Tisei in Massachusetts.

LCR has not made any endorsement in the presidential race.

Barney Frank feuds with gay Republicans

Openly gay U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., triggered some community controversy at the Democratic National Convention, saying “Uncle Tom” was the role model for the Log Cabin Republicans, the nation’s largest and most organized LGBT GOP group.

LCR executive director R. Clarke Cooper, in a statement Sept. 6, shot back, “As far as Log Cabin Republicans are concerned, it’s a badge of honor to be attacked by a partisan hack like Barney Frank. We understand that Barney has earned his protected place within the Democrat Party by being their attack dog on gay rights issues, demonizing Republicans and undermining efforts at bipartisanship that would actually improve LGBT Americans lives. We expect this kind of bile from Barney, especially when it plays into the Obama campaign’s efforts to divide, distract and deceive the American people.”

Then National Stonewall Democrats, the largest and best organized LGBT Democratic organization in the U.S., responded. Said NSD Jerame Davis, “Barney Frank is a distinguished and honorable public servant. He has faced nearly 40 years of unspeakable hatred and persecution for being the most prominent and outspoken openly gay elected official in the country. Regardless of what he has to say about Log Cabin Republicans, the notion that they would suggest a man as brave and upstanding as Congressman Frank is either cowardly or a bully is both deluded and absurd.”

The quarrel came the same day that Frank, at the convention podium, delivered a speech focused on the economy and Mitt Romney, who served as governor of Massachusetts. Frank, who is not seeking re-election in November, talked about Mitt Romney versus “Myth Romney.”

On the Web: Barney Frank’s convention speech video

Gay marriage advocates to run ad during RNC

Gay Republicans and marriage equality advocates purchased an ad in the Aug. 29 issue of the Tampa Tribune to promote gay rights to Republican National Convention Attendees.

Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry and Log Cabin Republicans purchased the full-page, full-color ad, which features photographs of same-sex couples and emphasizes that gay marriage is about freedom, personal responsibility and family.

A news release said the ad was a response to the GOP platform, which calls for a constitutional amendment against gay marriage and defense of the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act.

Tony Perkins, of the far-right Family Research Council, authored the marriage plank, according to Perkins.

“Gay or straight, Republicans are united in the belief that strong families are critical to a free society,” stated R. Clarke Cooper, LCR executive director. “As fellow conservatives, Log Cabin Republicans actually agree with Tony Perkins about the importance of family values. The difference is, we believe that the freedom to marry is directly in line with the core ideals and principles of the Republican Party – less government, more individual freedom, personal responsibility and the importance of family.”

“The writing is on the wall for the Republican Party: Stand up for the values they say they believe in, or risk being seen as irrelevant with younger conservatives,” said Sarah Longwell, a member of the Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry leadership committee. “This is a party that should support freedom – for all people, and all families.”

The ad quotes from the platform, “The Institution of marriage is the foundation of civil society. Its success as an institution will determine our success as a nation.”

And then says, “We agree. That’s why Log Cabin Republicans and Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry believe that government should stop denying marriage licenses to committed gay and lesbian families. As conservatives, we believe that the freedom to marry is directly in line with the core ideals and principles of the Republican Party. Family values means valuing ALL families. 

The two groups also are hosting a brunch during the RNC.

Gay Republicans firm up convention plans

UPDATE: Convention officials announced early evening Aug. 25 that the convention would convene on Aug. 27 but immediately recess to Aug. 28 due to severe weather forecasted with Tropical Storm Isaac.

Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus issued a statement: “Due to the severe weather reports for the Tampa Bay area, the Republican National Convention will convene on Monday, Aug. 27 and immediately recess until Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 28. After consulting with Gov. Scott, NOAA and local emergency management officials, we are optimistic that we will begin an exciting, robust convention that will nominate the Romney-Ryan ticket.”

TAMPA — A crew of gay Republicans is making final preparations for the Republican National Committee’s welcome party on Aug. 26, as well as a series of Log Cabin Republicans events.

The convention officially begins at the forum in downtown Tampa on Aug. 27. By early Aug. 25, some streets in downtown Tampa were closed to traffic, government buildings were fenced off or barricaded and groups of state troopers were patrolling the area on foot, by bicycle and in cars.

Delegates were checking into host hotels and reporters and photographers – from lone bloggers and alternative press writers to cable news armies – were picking up their credentials.

And leaders with LCR, the largest LGBT Republican group, were in town, making final credential arrangements for supporters and preparing for a series of events, including:

• Holding a meet-and greet with gay delegates on Aug. 26 at the Rusty Pelican in Tampa.

• Holding a Republicans Out to Win party with the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and former U.S. Rep. Jim Kolbe on Aug. 27 at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay, 2900 Bayport Drive, Tampa;

• Hosting a Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry brunch with the Freedom to Marry organization on Aug. 29 at Holland & Knight, 100 N. Tampa St., Tampa;

• Celebrating Congressional Allies in support of the LCR PAC on Aug. 30 at 108 S. Morgan St., Tampa.

Log Cabin also was working on a tally of LGBT delegates and alternates attending the convention, which concludes with Romney’s acceptance speech on Aug. 30.

Follow WiG at the RNC 2012 in news updates on www.wisconsingazette.com, on Twitter at wigazette and on Facebook.

Republicans for gay equality, choice urge an inclusive GOP platform

A coalition of advocates from women’s rights and gay rights organizations urged the Republican Party platform committee to bring an inclusive and moderate document to the convention.

The Republican Party Committee on Resolutions aka the platform committee has been meeting in Tampa, Fla., to finalize a draft to present to delegates at the national convention next week.

Reports this week indicate that the proposed platform will reflect the influence of the Christian right and contain a call for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage and a vigorous defense of the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act.

Responding, R. Clarke Cooper of the Log Cabin Republicans, said, “The obsessive exclusion of gay couples, including military families, from the rights and responsibilities of marriage, combined with bizarre rhetoric about ‘hate campaigns’ and ‘the homosexual rights agenda’ are clear signs of desperation among social conservatives who know that public opinion is rapidly turning in favor of equality.”

Reports also indicate that the platform will call for a constitutional amendment outlawing abortion.

Representatives from several advocacy groups cautioned the committee against drafting a platform limited to one, faith-based viewpoint – that of the Christian right.

The call came from officials with Republicans for Choice, Catholics for Choice, the Log Cabin Republicans and the National Council of Jewish Women.

Republicans for Choice released data on Aug. 22 showing that views on access to reproductive health care including contraception and abortion are not at all universal for those aligned with the Republican Party.

In a broad poll, when asked “Regardless of your personal view on abortion, who do you think should make the decision on whether or not to have an abortion, a woman or her government?” nearly 80 percent of those who identified as Republicans agreed strongly that the decision should be made by a woman.

Also, 70 percent of those who identified as pro-life said that they agree strongly the decision should be made by a woman and not the government.

“Republicans in good faith don’t use faith to discriminate. They recognize the hypocrisy of advocating government get out of the boardroom but not the bedroom. They understand as well that they need to welcome and embrace voters of all religious persuasions, not just the few who have dominated the discussions in the recent past,” said Ann Stone, national chairman of Republicans for Choice.

Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, said, “Polls done across the political spectrum show the majority of Republicans, like the majority of Americans, do not agree that abortion should be illegal. It’s important that the current leadership of the party is challenged to better reflect the views of GOP voters — which are overwhelmingly pro-choice. Too many in the current leadership have been convinced by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops that recent advances in the provision of family planning are an attack on religious freedom. This is completely bogus.”

LCR programs director Casey Pick added, “A true commitment to the values of freedom, religious liberty and individual conscience should guide our party to embrace a broader range of opinion on these deeply personal subjects. The GOP’s ideological diversity is a strength to be embraced.”

“Any discussion about access to abortion needs to begin with protecting women’s health,” said Nancy K. Kaufman, CEO of the National Council of Jewish Women. “Instead, we have here a presumption that one religious view of conception and abortion can and should be imposed on everyone. As challenges to women’s access to abortion continue, we must remember what is truly at stake, lest we risk losing this war of attrition on women’s health and rights.”

Gay Republicans respond to shooting at Family Research Council

Log Cabin Republicans, the nation’s largest gay GOP group, responded to reports of a shooting outside the Family Research Council’s Washington, D.C. office.

LCR executive director R. Clarke Cooper, in a statement released about 2:40 p.m. Aug. 15, said, “As fellow conservatives, Log Cabin Republicans are often in the same room with the Family Research Council. Though we rarely see eye to eye, we absolutely condemn the violence that occurred today.”

Cooper also said, “Keeping in mind that at this time we know little about the shooter or his motives, whatever our political disagreements, in this country, we use ballots, not bullets, to address them. We offer prayers for the injured security guard, his family, and everybody at the FRC building, barely a fifteen minute walk away from Log Cabin Republicans national headquarters. In many ways, this is a reminder that we aren’t so far apart.”

The shooting took place earlier in the day.

First reports said that a security guard was wounded in the arm and police had taken a suspect into custody.

The Washington Post reported that D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said the shooter walked into the lobby of the building at about 10:45 and was confronted by the security guard as if the guard were asking him where he was going.

The man then took out a gun and opened fire on the guard, Lanier told the post. The guard and others wrestled the man to the ground, disarmed him and waited for police, she said.

The FRC advertises itself as “the leading voice for the family in our nation’s halls of power,” but the Southern Poverty Law Center describes the organization as a hate group.

The SPLC says, “The FRC often makes false claims about the LGBT community based on discredited research and junk science. The intention is to denigrate LGBT people in its battles against same-sex marriage, hate crimes laws, anti-bullying programs and the repeal of the military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy.”

The FRC emerged as a powerhouse in the Christian right during the early 1980s, with Ronald Reagan in the White House.