Metro Weekly

Dan Savage slams Log Cabin Republicans as ineffective

Columnist decries "useful idiots" who help to mask GOP's bigotry in order to help anti-gay Republicans win office

Savage (Photo: LaRae Lobdell of PhotoSister.com)

Savage (Photo: LaRae Lobdell of PhotoSister.com)

“This is the worst GOP platform ever. That’s all LCR has to show for nearly forty years of what exactly? Forty years of trying to change the GOP from within? No. Forty years of lying to the LGBT community about the Republican Party and forty years of complicity in Republican attacks on the LGBT community.”

–Columnist Dan Savage, in a column for The Stranger, excoriating gay Republicans, and the Log Cabin Republicans in particular, for failing to help the GOP change its opposition to LGBT rights.

Savage has harshly criticized LGBT Republicans before, comparing the now-defunct hard-right LGBT organization GOProud to a bunch meth addicts after it endorsed Mitt Romney in 2012, despite Romney’s hard-line stance on most LGBT issues.

In his most recent column, Savage responds to a piece of mail he received from the spouse of a gay politico in Oregon, objecting to an earlier column written on the GOP’s official platform for 2016. In that column, Savage slammed the Log Cabin Republicans for failing to stop the Republican National Convention’s Platform Committee from approving some of the most egregious anti-LGBT provisions in recent memory.

The author of the email, who identifies himself as “Paul R.” and as one of the plaintiffs who sued to force Oregon to recognize same-sex marriage, and whose spouse “is building a political career within the party to put a face to gay Republicans,” appears to be Paul Rummell. His husband, Ben West, unsuccessfully ran for the GOP nomination in Oregon’s 5th Congressional District to take on Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader, an LGBT ally.

The couple also previously appeared in a commercial for and endorsed Monica Wehby, Oregon Republicans’ nominee for the U.S. Senate in 2014 against Sen. Jeff Merkley, another LGBT ally. In his email, Paul R. points out that Gregory T. Angelo, the president of the Log Cabin Republicans, immediately denounced the inclusion of anti-LGBT language in the final draft of the party’s platform.

But Savage is having none of it.

“To clarify: I know that Gregory and the rest of the LCR boys had a wee public sad when the Republican Platform Committee adopted the most anti-LGBT platform in the party’s history,” Savage writes. “They promised a floor fight over the platform — and raised money on that promise — but didn’t deliver. The missing floor fight is what I was referring to when I slammed LCR for allowing the adoption of the Republican platform hateform ‘without a peep of protest.'”

Savage also argues that gay Republicans need to acknowledge “the futility of their efforts” and should be mad at leaders in the GOP who keep insisting on pushing for anti-LGBT measures. He points to the history of Log Cabin choosing to endorse political candidates who opposed LGBT rights in the past, accusing the group of “providing cover” for anti-LGBT Republicans.

“While anti-LGBT bigotry still plays well with the ‘rank and file’ of the GOP base, it doesn’t play well with moderate and independent voters,” writes Savage. “…I’m not fooled, Paul, and the overwhelming majority of LGBT voters aren’t fooled. But [Platform Committee co-chair and Oklahoma Gov. Mary] Fallin and [GOP Party Chairman Reince] Priebus aren’t trying to fool LGBT voters.

“They’re trying to fool — they’re trying to trick — straight moderate and straight independents into thinking the GOP is not as anti-LGBT as it actually is,” he adds. “And LCR, Republicans like your partner, and that poor woman on the platform committee help the GOP make that argument. … You’re helping them win elections and harming the ‘LGBTQ family’ you claim to care about so much.”

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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