Metro Weekly

7 LGBT issues to watch for in the GOP presidential debate

Log Cabin Republicans keys in on seven topics they'd like Republican presidential contenders to address

Illustration by Scott G. Brooks
Illustration by Scott G. Brooks

The Log Cabin Republicans (LCR), the national group for LGBT Republicans, have outlined “7 Things Log Cabin Republicans Should Watch for at the First GOP Debate,” which will be held in Cleveland, Ohio, tonight.

The debate, which will feature the top 10 candidates from among a field of 17, will kick off at 9 p.m. on FOX News. Those candidates are: business mogul Donald Trump, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, renowned neurosurgeon Ben Carson, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Another debate, to be held beforehand, will feature the remaining candidates who were left out of the prime time debate.

LCR posed specific questions that fellow Republicans should consider with respect to LGBT rights:

1. Federal Marriage Amendment: Now that civil marriage equality is the law of the land, which candidates recognize that pursuit of a constitutional amendment banning same-sex unions is not only impractical, but bad politics?

2. Religious Liberty: Do candidates support reasonable religious accommodations for ministers and non-profit organizations, or do they support unnecessarily broad and dangerous religious accommodations that include for-profit businesses able to refuse service for any “sincerely held belief”?

3. Republican Party Platform: Which GOP candidates comprehend that anti-gay language in the Party Platform alienates voters — both within the Party and in the general election?

4. Non-Discrimination: Which candidates support non-discrimination legislation for LGBT Americans?

5. Big Tent: If talk of an “inclusive” GOP comes up, do candidates include “LGBT Americans” in addition to mentions of race, sex, religion, and age?

6. Transgender Americans: This week’s debate comes in the wake of the latest episode of the Caitlyn Jenner reality show I Am Cait in which Jenner discusses her support of conservative principles. If the transgender issue is brought up, do candidates respond with respect and sympathy?

7. National Security: Are candidates aware of the brutal murders committed against gay men and men merely suspected of being gay by the Islamic extremists of ISIS? And the so-called “gay propaganda” laws in Russia that have created an army of anti-gay vigilante crusaders in the country?

Gregory T. Angelo, the national executive director of LCR, will be attending the debate at the invitation of the Cuyahoga County GOP, the county-level affiliate representing the city of Cleveland and its surrounding suburbs. The 2016 Republican National Convention will be held in Cleveland next July.

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