As I reviewed the agenda of the Log Cabin “Convention”/Liberty Education Forum Symposium, I was generally disheartened by what seemed the banal agenda of a group eager to please the gay left. That said, the confab does show some signs of free thought, having included one of the most thoughtful (& responsible) advocates gay marriage — Jonathan Rauch — as well as a strong gay advocate of liberty — the Cato Institute’s David Boaz. And to my delight, it appears that gay abortion rights’ advocate Joe Solmonese will not be speaking in the panel on the State of the Gay Civil Rights Movement.
But, despite the recent lurch to the Left of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), the Liberty Education Fund decided to feature its executive director, Jody Huckaby in its “Symposium.” I laughed when I read that Log Cabin was calling its tribute to Andrew Sullivan, “The Courage of a Conservative.” Andrew Sullivan did indeed once have a great deal of courage where he raised his voice to challenge gay orthodoxy. And at one time, it might have been acccurate to call him a conservative.
Lately, however, Andrew has been anything but courageous, bending over backwards to badmouth the president in order to curry favor with the gay left and others in the B.D.S-afflicted MSM. While he may continue to hold some conservative views, no conservative would endorse John Kerry for President — or adopt that the tone he has used these past 2 years and (nearly) 2 months to describe the incumbent Administration. Log Cabin may well be the only group which calls itself Republican that honors individuals who endorsed John Kerry in 2004. This is not the first time. Others who have endorsed that left-of-center Democrat — and even renounced their GOP affiliation — remain members in good standing of the organization.
What is missing from this agenda is the stuff that makes up a real convention of a partisan political organization. There is no plenary session, to elect officers and to debate and set policy. Chapters can offer reports but club leaders have no forum where they can participate in the governing of the organization. They can’t even vote on resolutions.
There’s a speech “on the need for stronger Republican outreach to women,” but no seminars on how to elect Republicans or build bridges to the GOP. There is a panel discussion on the State of the Gay Civil Rights Movement, but no discussion of what it means to be a gay conservative, no consideration of whether the equality agenda of the gay left is compatible with the principles of conservatism. If Log Cabin were a serious Republican organization, instead of having speakers who, by and large, would not be out of place at the gathering of any other gay group, they would have more leading Republicans — and not just former and retiring elected officials. Once again, it seems Log Cabin is eager to conform to ideology of the gay left rather than offer a true conservative perspective (& agenda) on gay issues.
Nearly every time I write a post critical of Log Cabin national, I get an e-mail from a chapter leader (or member) detailing what his club is doing at the local level to help the GOP or to stand up to Democrats. While the national office may be kowtowing to the gay left, many of the clubs are working with their local Republican committees, elected officials and candidates — doing what it takes to help build the party. It’s too bad Log Cabin doesn’t see fit to have a panel discussion featuring chapter presidents — giving these gay Republicans a chance to provide other Log Cabinites the tools they need to build a more broad-based GOP.
With a few bright spots, this “convention” is just another gay confab with the Republican label pasted on. In recent e-mails — and other communications — Log Cabin has gone to great lengths to call itself a conservative organization. Yet, calling Log Cabin conservative is like calling the Easter Bunny a Jewish marsupial. Sure, there are some similarities — bunnies and marsupials are both mammals and some marsupials hop around like rabbits. And the faith which celebrates Easter did grow out of Judaism. But, despite these similarities, they are very different animals.
If Log Cabin really wants to be a conservative organization, it needs to do some things that a gay conservative group would do — and call the national gay groups on their left-wing agenda and their hateful anti-Bush rhetoric. And stand up for conservative principles of freedom, limited government and a strong national defense.
-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com