What Log Cabin Executive Director R. Clarke Cooper giveth in one release on Thursday, with his strong statement on Obama’s fundraising pitch to the gay community, he taketh (partially) away in another that very day with a threatening language directed against his own party’s presidential nominee:
Marriage equality has captured the nation’s attention, and the response to President Obama’s announcement is evidence of the tide turning in favor of equality for all. . . .
Governor Mitt Romney’s statement in opposition to not just marriage but civil unions jeopardizes his ability to win moderates, women and younger voters, especially as a large majority of Americans favor some form of relationship recognition for their LGBT friends and neighbors.
Equality for all? What’s that mean? It’s certainly not a conservative slogan, but one more familiar to a Mr. W. Smith.
Clarke is right to criticize Romney for his “opposition to not just marriage but civil unions”, but his tone is counterproductive. Moderates, women and younger voters won’t vote against him because of his stand on gay marriage. They will, however, vote against him if he makes that stand central to his campaign. They’re not going to decide their vote exclusively on gay marriage. He would have served himself (and the cause of his organization) better had he merely expressed disappointment with Romney’s position.
Clarke is not the only non-left gay leader to offer intemperate remarks about Romney this week. Our pal JimmyLaSalvia, Executive Director and Co-Founder of GOProud, “With his speech at Falwell’s Liberty University, it is clear that Governor Romney’s message to Goldwater conservatives is: drop dead.” Earlier today, Governor Romney delivered the commencement address there.
While we would rather the Republican nominee not have to make a courtesy call at Jerry Falwell U (as have all Republican candidates “in recent years“), Romney’s speech hardly amounted to a repudiation of Goldwater’s small government ideals. Indeed, his talk barely touched upon government’s role in society, save to remind the graduating students that “Religious liberty is the first freedom in our Constitution“. He focused instead on the importance of family and faith.
And he did say, what we already know him to believe, “Marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman.” He offered nothing new on social issues — and didn’t attack gay people or advocate policies anathema to libertarians.
An interesting irony is all this is that the Log Cabin release in question is far less intemperate than the GOProud one; we’ve come to expect the opposite.
To be sure, both executive directors have a point. It’s just that their language is not that of allies, but of critics. That said, both groups should cheer this report from CBSNews indicating that Romney. . .
. . . does not intend to use President Obama’s flip flop of same-sex marriage against him in the campaign.Obama, who opposed same-sex marriage when he ran for president in 2008, said this week he now supports it. Romney said, “I think the issue of marriage and gay marriage is a very tender and sensitive topic. People come out in different places on this. The president has changed course in regards to this topic. I think that’s his right to do that. I have a different view than he does. I believe marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman, but I just don’t think that this becomes a hot political issue dividing our nation.”
He’s right to a point; I would just change the tense of his concluding clause above, from the present to the conditional, that gay marriage shouldn’t be a hot political issue diving our nation.
Simply put, Mitt Romney won’t win those moderate and young voters if he makes gay marriage a central issue in his campaign.
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