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Saturday, January 22, 2005

Immediate Past RNC Party Chair Gillespie gets asked about Place of Gays in the GOP

Rich Tafel explains:

After his formal comments Ed engaged the audience in period of informal question and answer. One question was about immigration. Gillespie told the story of his first generation immigrant father from Ireland. He explained that this experience made him a proponent for immigration, though he described this issue as the most divisive in the GOP.

I knew there were deep divisions among Republicans on this issue, but I was surprised that he described it as the most divisive issue.

The theme of inclusion continued when Charles Francis who runs the Republican Unity Coalition asked the next question. The RUC was created in 2001 with hopes of becoming a gay straight alliance in the GOP.


The RUC surprised many Republicans when they declined to endorse Bush in 2004. Two Administration appointees of the group publicly refused to support the President and one resigned from his appointment in protest.

With that background it wasn't surprising that Francis asked about the place of gays in the GOP citing the record number of gays who voted for Bush. Gillespie gave a very thoughtful answer explaining that there was a place for gays in the GOP. He explained that he didn't support gay marriage based on his Catholic faith and asked rhetorically if
gays can respect his belief that gay marriage was wrong in the same way that he respects gays who believe it is right. Gillespie likened this issue to the abortion issue in the GOP.

Gillespie went on to explain that the GOP needed to reach out to all groups if the Party is to become a majority party. Ed stated that many gays were not single issue voters on gay marriage who voted for the President because they agree with him on many other issues other than gay marriage.


Then "TedB" in the comments mentioned the Lloydletta post of Frank Ricciazzi's account of how the relationship between the Bush campaign and Log Cabin Republicans unraveled.


Jan 17, 2005
Lloydletta posted an excerpt from Frank Ricchiazzi on a Bush campaign's withdrawl from engagement with the LCR so to campaign to the Evengelicals. How does this compare to Mr. Gillespie's comments? Was it a short-term brazen 'ploy' just for the election-season...or a signal that the enstragement will continue indefinitely? Especially in-light of Bush's 'abandonment' of FMA for the present. Seems like a lot of mixed signals.


Rich's response:

Ted: Frank's take on the Bush team is one I've heard repeatedly from my many friends in the organization. It doesn't match up to the reality of conversations I had with Bush people throughout the campaign though. I'm not sure what experience Frank is basing his view of things. Politics surely played a role, but my sense is each side feels the other shut the door. Rich


Frank's basing his view of things from the perspective of Log Cabin Republicans staff. Clearly the RUC who Rich mentioned were also blindsided when Bush came out in support of the FMA.

I remember years back during Bush's first presidential campaign that Rich had many uncharitable things to say about Charles Francis. This was when Charles organized a group of gay Republicans (leaving Rich out) to meet with Bush. Jake Tapper covered the division within Log Cabin Republicans about this one.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Leviticus Crowd goes after Pro-Choice Republican Deputy Chair

From the New York Times:

Ken Mehlman, chairman of the Republican National Committee, has asked an Ohio Republican who supports some abortion rights to be his co-chairman, stirring the ire of social conservatives.

Mr. Mehlman's choice is Joann Davidson, who was chairwoman of the Bush campaign in the pivotal Ohio Valley region and a former speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives. In an interview on Thursday, Ms. Davidson declined to discuss her views on abortion. ''My focus is on building a stronger party,'' she said.

Her nomination awaits approval by the Republican National Committee.

She has been a member of the advisory board of the abortion rights group Republicans for Choice since its founding in 1990, according to a statement posted on the group's Web site congratulating her.

''We look forward to working with her to help make sure the concerns of pro-choice and moderate Republicans are heard within the Republican National Committee headquarters,'' the statement said.


I was unable to find this statement on the Republicans for Choice website.

They are criticising her for being Pro-Choice on abortion, and Pro-gay. Horrors! From the Wingnut Daily:

The Pro-Family Network of Ohio, however, says Davidson "does not represent the values of the rank and file of the GOP."

Greg Quinlan, executive director of the group, disputes part of a New York Times story in which Davidson says the issue of homosexual rights "had not come up" during her tenure as speaker.

"Ms. Davidson is suffering from a lapse in memory," said Quinlan in a statement. "Legislation to add sexual orientation to the existing hate-crimes laws in Ohio went down to defeat when three former homosexuals testified against the measure while Ms. Davidson was speaker. She told her Republican caucus at that time that she supported the sexual orientation legislation, even though it was introduced by a Democrat."

Quinlan also goes after Davidson for not killing a bill on marriage.

"Davidson's memory loss becomes even more suspect with the Defense of Marriage Act in Ohio," he said. "Not once, but twice, the measure was introduced and never had a vote in committee because, as speaker, Ms. Davidson had the measure killed and is on record calling the legislation 'unnecessary.'"

Though the party is hailing Davidson as being key to Bush winning Ohio, Quinlan says it was pro-family voters who came to the polls to support Issue 1, which banned homosexual marriage and civil unions in the state, that made the difference for the president.

"Issue 1 was the mobilization for the grass roots," said Quinlan. "These citizens and their churches registered Ohioans to vote and got them to the polls. Davidson had nothing to do with these pro-family, pro-life, pro-parent voters going to the polls."

Concludes Quinlan: "The RNC needs to ask Ms. Davidson why she supports gay marriage and abortion. After all of our hard work in the past election, Republican voters have a right to these answers."


The Family Research Council is also disturbed.

Devaluing the Values Voter

The New York Times reported today that incoming RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman
has tapped former Ohio legislator and pro-abortion activist Joann Davidson
as the party's vice chairman. Davidson established a poor rating with Ohio
Right to Life during her tenure in office and serves on the advisory board
of the Republicans for Choice PAC. Yesterday, the Republicans for Choice
website had a congratulatory message for Ms. Davidson saying,
"Congratulations to JoAnn Davidson (OH) one of our RFC Advisory Board
Members, who is going to be named as the co-chair of the Republican Party
at the Winter Meeting of the GOP. JoAnn Davidson has been a member of the
Republicans for Choice Advisory Board since our founding in 1990. She has
proven to be a tireless campaigner and brilliant political strategist so it
is no wonder Ken Mehlman and the Bush operation have tapped her to be the
Party's new national co-chair. We look forward to working with her to help
make sure the concerns of pro-choice and moderate Republicans are heard
within the Republican National Committee Headquarters..." This morning
after The New York Times story was released, the message on the RFC website
was taken down and replaced with a message that the site was under
construction. While many people vouch that Ms. Davidson is a tireless
campaigner, her record and reputation on life and key family issues like
marriage put her at odds with the hundreds of thousands of families that
worked tirelessly, not only in Ohio, but across the nation to protect
marriage and advance life. Some say that Davidson's elevation is a bow to
the GOP's "Old Bulls,"but those bulls are old for a reason. They remind us
of the party's minority past not its hopes for a majority future.


Agape Press:

...Pro-family groups are demanding the Republican National Committee reconsider a proposal to appoint a pro-abortionist to be the party's vice chairman. After learning late last week that Joann Davidson of Ohio is being considered for the high ranking job, a long list of pro-family leaders signed a statement expressing outrage over the selection. Davidson has served for more than 10 years on the advisory board of Republicans for Choice PAC, and many Christian leaders feel it is nothing short of a betrayal, after pro-life Christians and other pro-family values voters did so much to help re-elect President Bush, to even consider giving the vice-chairmanship to someone who favors so-called "abortion rights." Also, the protesting pro-family groups note that Davidson, during her tenure as speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, refused to endorse Ohio's recently passed marriage protection amendment. Meanwhile, she supported a failed attempt to add sexual orientation to that state's existing hate crimes law, even though it was introduced by a Democrat. Obviously, pro-family groups hold out little hope that an apparently pro-abortion, pro-homosexual Republican will represent their interests. The signers of the protest statement, which has been sent to the White House and members of the RNC, charge that the personnel in an organization or party have dramatic influence on its policies, and pro-family conservatives simply do not trust Davidson to uphold the GOP's pro-life and pro-marriage platform. [Fred Jackson]


Despite the whining from the wackos, Davidson was elected unanamously to this post. From GOP USA/Talon News

Davidson's selection to become co-chairman of the Republican Party was unanimous at the RNC Winter Meeting in Washington, DC on Wednesday. She succeeds outgoing RNC co-chairman Ann Wagner.

"I look forward to spending the next two years traveling the nation exciting the grassroots base that is the heart of our party and spreading the President's conservative message," Davidson stated upon becoming RNC co-chairman. "Grassroots supporters propelled the GOP to historic gains last year, and will be the key to our success as President Bush implements the American people's Election Day mandate."


Congratulations to Joann Davidson!

Florida's Puzzling Gay Adoption Ban

Steve Chapman from the Chicago Tribune has an excellent column about Florida's ban on gay adoption.

From the column:

The state of Florida is not ridiculously selective when it comes to letting people adopt children--and with some 4,200 kids in need of adoption, it can't afford to be.

It allows single adults to adopt. It accepts people with serious illnesses and disabilities. It leaves the door open to drug addicts. It is even willing to consider people who are known to have neglected, abandoned or abused children.

It doesn't accept homosexuals.

That's the law in Florida, the only state that singles out gays and lesbians in this way. And apparently it's going to remain the law. Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a constitutional challenge to the ban on gay adoptions, which has the effect of upholding the policy. This decision also prevents a 13-year-old boy from securing a permanent home with the two men who have been his foster parents since he was an infant.

At birth, the boy had cocaine and marijuana in his system and tested positive for HIV (though he no longer does). He was taken in by Steven Lofton, a registered pediatric nurse whose two other foster children have AIDS, and his partner, Roger Croteau. Lofton has taken care of the kids full-time for the past decade, efforts that earned him an Outstanding Foster Parenting award from the Children's Home Society. He also has been a foster parent to five other kids with HIV or AIDS.

But his exceptional devotion doesn't impress the state of Florida. When Lofton applied to adopt the boy 10 years ago, the Department of Children and Families, which had previously said he was perfectly suitable to serve as a foster parent, was not allowed to consider him as an adoptive parent.

Normally, the state assesses applicants individually, on the crazy assumption that it should focus on what's best for the child. But when the prospective parent is gay, the interests of the child go out the window. Despite everything Lofton has done for the boy, the state is trying to place him in another home.

This approach is not the preference of the people charged with looking after the needs of kids. When the state's chief adoption official was asked under oath if there is any "child-welfare reason at all for excluding gay people from adopting children," she answered: "No."

The original impulse, it turns out, was not to protect children but to penalize gays. The measure, passed in 1977, was an offshoot of singer Anita Bryant's successful campaign to repeal a Dade County ordinance banning discrimination against homosexuals. The bill's chief sponsor explained it as a valiant effort to open lines of communication with gays: "We're trying to send them a message, telling them: `We're really tired of you. We wish you'd go back into the closet.' "


I posted this column to the Catholics for Bush yahoogroup. Bridget O'Rourke responded:

You know I have to agree - Yes, ideally, the perfect family would be a mother and father.

But as a consequence of our society there is a whole "group" of kids that are considered un adoptable.

Older kids who have been abused. To keep those kids in foster care versus putting them into a home is just wrong.

However, I am no fan of Rosie - I think she is one of the most selfish people I have ever seen. Adopting only white babies. If she really wanted to be a hero, she could have adopted older kids or even ones with mixed ethnicity. Angela Jolie is a much better example.

I agree that there should be a priority on adoption, but to eliminate a group of people who may be willing to take some of these kids who would otherwise not be adopted - just punishes the children.


Andre Traversa responded: responded:

a choice between foster care and being in a gay home is like a choice between burning to death and freezing to death.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

New Family Values PAC Forms in Virginia

This time taking the words "family values" back from the usual anti-gay code words meaning. Their shot accross the bow here:

Virginians Form Family Values PAC
Virginians promoting family values create political action committee for November state elections.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Waldo Jaquith
President, Virginia Family Values PAC
waldo@jaquith.org

Charlottesville, VA, January 10, 2005 - Virginians from across the commonwealth today announced the formation of a non-partisan political action committee to strengthen family values and families' political influence in Richmond and in the November elections.

The PAC, Virginia Family Values, will focus on the statewide elections and targeted House of Delegates races, raising money to support pro-family candidates.

Virginia Family Values has named four of the candidates that they'll be targeting for removal from office for their anti-family votes: Delegate Bob Marshall (13), Delegate Dave Albo (42), Delegate Dick Black (32), and Delegate Bob McDonnell (84). All four candidates have consistently voted against family and parental rights, and have introduced bills that would increase the size of government while decreasing family freedoms and privacy.

"The family is the foundation of our society," explained PAC founder Waldo Jaquith. "Every time that these legislators have been given the choice between family values and bigger government, they've chosen wrong. They're way out of touch with Virginia values, and we intend to show them the door."

More information about Virginia Family Values is available on their website, at vafamilyvalues.org.

# # #


Elsewhere on the website, it says:

Virginians are subjected to some of the most restrictive sex laws this side of the Taliban. For example, both oral sex between spouses and sex outside of marriage is illegal. These aren't centuries-old unenforced laws, but the product of men in office right now. Now they want to make birth control illegal. Together, we can end this slow erosion of family rights.

Life Begins at Fertilization Bill introduced in Virginia

Hat Tip: Virginia Family Values

This bill could ban not just abortion, but also contraceptive methods such as the pill, Emergency Contraception and the IUD. From the Free Lance Star:

To champions of reproductive rights, though, Cole's bill puts the law on the slippery slope of curtailing women's access to basic contraception.

"I thought I'd seen it all in 25 years of working with the General Assembly. We've seen numerous bills in recent years that would impact women's access to contraception, unfortunately," said Ben Greenberg, chief lobbyist for Planned Parenthood of Virginia. "This bill is probably just the latest and perhaps the most threatening and extreme of examples of legislation that would do that."

Greenberg said a number of popular birth control methods--the Pill, Depo Provera, the morning-after pill--all can potentially act after fertilization has occurred. Cole's bill could prevent access to all those types of birth control.

"The only thing that would be available on the market, if these methods of contraception were made illegal, would be the barrier methods," Greenberg said. "Condom manufacturers should be very excited by this legislation."

Sullivan vs Nobile Brawl over Lincoln

At issue, CA Tripp's recent book that describes Abe Lincoln as gay.

Nobile's original piece slams Tripp's book and accuses Tripp of plagiarizing Nobile.

Sullivan fisks Nobile's review:

The Standard piece is a work of character assassination against a rigorous scholar who cannot defend himself, in the service of a political agenda that is indeed homophobic. Maybe the Standard's editors were unaware of Nobile's rival book and past attacks on the "het-line" of homophobic Lincoln scholarship. Well, they are aware now. They need to apologize for this lacuna and correct the record.


Nobile responds to Sullivan:

My hard case against Tripp's flim-flam is based on facts documented in my article, none of which Sullivan bothers to mention or refute.


Steve Miller has a good wrapup of the controversy.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Leviticus Crowd Responds to Bush's Backing off FMA

The usual suspects at the FRC are howling mad.

FRC:

Presidential Leadership Needed on Marriage

January 17, 2005 - Monday
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 17, 2005 CONTACT: Amber Hildebrand, (202) 393-2100
FOR RADIO: J.P. Duffy

"The president has a mandate to protect marriage, therefore he, not members of the Senate, must lead the effort to protect the institution of marriage."
~Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council.

WASHINGTON, DC- On January 16th a front page story in The Washington Post reported that President Bush "will not press senators to pass a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage" during his second term.

FRC president Tony Perkins responds to the president's position: "The American voter, particularly the 'values voter,' went to the polls last November in extraordinary numbers to support the presidential candidate who spoke to the issue of protecting marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Pundits and policy makers agree that this was the domestic policy issue that turned the election.

"After traveling the nation for a year campaigning for reelection, the president heard a resounding message from the American people - they want marriage protected. Incorporating the theme into his campaign, those who traveled with the president said the protection of marriage garnered one of the most enthusiastic responses from the crowds he addressed," said Perkins.

"Freshly equipped with the demands of the American people, the president should lead the United States Senate in moving ahead to check the pending judicial assault on marriage. While Social Security and tort reform are important initiatives, there was far less outcry for reform of these laws from the American public. No doubt there are many in the Senate, even within the president's own party who oppose such policy initiatives; however, there is no evidence such indifference or opposition is deterring the president from including them in his second term agenda. He should have at least the same resolve if not more to protect the institution of marriage," Perkins added.

"Let's be clear. Both here and abroad, the judicial assault on man-woman marriage is well underway. Liberal activist judges have no compunction about abrogating laws passed on this issue by 70 percent majorities. No serious constitutional scholar believes that this assault will be deflected by legislative and executive passivity. For our nation's leaders to be advocating that we wait for the Defense of Marriage Act to be struck down by the courts before they act to protect marriage is like a fire chief telling a local hotel to wait until there is a fire to install a sprinkler system. Leadership is needed now to protect the institution of marriage and our children and their future."

Family Research Council president, Tony Perkins is available for interview.
Contact FRC's Press Office at (202) 393-2100
-30-


Well they ought to be mad. They are being treated like cheap dates.

Oddly enough, John Aravosis has not posted on this subject.

Has Bush's position Changed on the FMA?

They must have gotten to him. Santorum is having a cow. From the New York Times.

The White House sought on Sunday to reassure conservatives that President Bush would work hard on behalf of a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, backtracking from remarks Mr. Bush made in an interview suggesting that he would not press the Senate to vote on the amendment this year.

In an interview with The Washington Post published on Sunday, Mr. Bush said many senators did not see the need for the amendment as long as the law known as the Defense of Marriage Act was in place. Because many senators are waiting to see if that legislation can withstand a constitutional challenge, "nothing will happen" for now with the proposed amendment, Mr. Bush said.

*********snip***************

Mr. Bush's stated support for an amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman was a rallying cry for many social conservatives in the presidential campaign.

Along with ballot initiatives in several states barring same-sex marriage, it helped increase turnout among voters who backed him.

In interviews on Sunday on television news programs, Dan Bartlett, Mr. Bush's counselor, said Mr. Bush was referring in The Post interview only to the reality of legislative vote counting and was not suggesting that his support for the amendment had diminished.

"What the president was speaking to was some of the legislative realities in the United States Senate," Mr. Bartlett said. "As you know, it requires 67 votes in the United States Senate for a constitutional amendment to move forward. That's a very high bar. What we learned through the debate last year is that many members of the Senate believe that the Defense of Marriage Act first must be overturned or challenged before we take the next step of a constitutional amendment."

The president's statement in the interview with The Post, Mr. Bartlett said, "does not change President Bush's view about amendment, the need for an amendment. And he'll continue to push for an amendment."

Some of Mr. Bush's conservative allies on Capitol Hill said that they would keep pushing the issue and that they believed the president would be with them.

"I can tell you, I'm not going to break faith with social conservatives, and I know the president won't either," said Senator Rick Santorum, Republican of Pennsylvania, speaking on "Fox News Sunday."

"This president has gone out and led on this issue," Mr. Santorum added. "He understands the importance of traditional marriage, that children need mothers and fathers, and we have to have a culture that nurtures and supports that. And I'm confident the president will go out there, and I don't think one interview is a turning point in his presidency."


He made a deal with the devil, and they are making his life hell.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

A Gay Bomb?

Hat Tip: Ken Avidor of Avidor Studios.

Got this in my email:

Not making this up...

------------
The US military investigated building a "gay bomb", which would make enemy soldiers "sexually irresistible" to each other, government papers say.

Other weapons that never saw the light of day include one to make soldiers obvious by their bad breath.

---------

I wonder how Michele Bachmann and the Rev. Battle stands on this kind of military spending?

-Avidor

Avidor Studios
http://www.avidorstudios.com


Fact is stranger than fiction.

AFA Started an In house blog

Here.

It will be interesting to see how long this stays public.

Steve Miller criticizes Gay Unity Statement

Here.

Money quotes:

The statement endorses the basic agenda of most gay activists, including support for hate crime laws (which add penalties on the basis of anti-gay motivation), and federal and state laws to outlaw job-related anti-gay discrimination.

But while most gays may support these goals, many libertarian and conservative-minded gays don't, believing that equal treatment is all gays should demand from the state; that violent acts, not violent thoughts, should be criminalized; and that private employers have a right to hire and fire whomever they please. But gay libertarians and conservatives are outside the framework of this unity.

The statement also follows the litany of proclaiming we're all part of a "lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community," leading to a call, for instance, to end "the military's discriminatory anti-LGBT ban," meaning that cross-dressers, too, be allowed to enlist. But demanding a transgender-inclusive military (no discharge for Corporal Klinger) will set back efforts to let gays serve openly and honorably.

*********snip**************

A final point: Patrick Guerriero, executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans, said the statement's was intended "to send a message...that we share a common vision." But while LCR is clearly intent on finding unity with liberal gays, it appears less concerned about finding unity with Republicans, or even gays who might support equal treatment but not hate crimes, job laws and the rest of the agenda. That's LCR's prerogative, of course, but it's worth noting that it does leave a block of gays outside the bounds of "unity."


I happen to oppose Hate Crimes Legislation. However, Log Cabin Republicans official position is in support of Hate Crimes Legislation. I also have a number of liberal friends who oppose hate crimes legislation. Way too many politicians feel bullied into supporting this type of legislation, since what gets said if you oppose hate crimes legislation, you must support hate crimes.

This is the list of signers:

ACLU Lesbian & Gay Rights Project
Equality Federation
Freedom to Marry
Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD)
Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation
Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund & Leadership Institute
Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN)
Human Rights Campaign
Lambda Legal
Log Cabin Republicans
Mautner Project
National Association of LGBT Community Centers
National Black Justice Coalition
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs
National Gay & Lesbian Task Force
National Youth Advocacy Coalition
Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians & Gays (PFLAG)
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network
Sigamos Adelante: National Latino/Hispanic LGBT Leadership
Stonewall Democrats

Rick Garcia, Bitchy Queen

Dennis Sanders posted about the Unity Statement" put out by a coalition of
Gay and Lesbian organizations - including Log Cabin Republicans. First in line to stink up the punch bowl is Rick Garcia from Equality Illinois.

Yet Rick Garcia, executive director of Equality Illinois, said his initial impression of the statement suggests national gay groups were banding together to protect HRC from suggestions last December that the group was seeking to soft-peddle the issue of marriage equality after the abrupt departure of executive director, Cheryl Jacques, a strong proponent of marriage rights.

The national gay group also came under criticism in December for suggesting it might support efforts to privatize social security, so long as gay couples were entitled to benefits.

"That's what I think it is," said Garcia, flush from success in the Illinois state legislature, which this week passed a bill banning discrimination against gays in the workplace, real estate transactions and access to financial credit and public accommodations.

"I will tell you, as someone on the statewide level of the movement, I don't care what those national leaders have to say about anything. Most of them are out of touch," he said. "We are going to continue with our hard work. Gay and lesbian Illinoisans will set the agenda. I don't care what HRC's decision is for our community."


Surprisingly enough, GayPatriot hasn't commented on this statement as of yet. Usually they are ahead of the Washington Blade on this sort of thing. (Though, I understand they will be commenting soon).

Garcia in the past, called Charlie Mehler - former President of Log Cabin Republicans of Chicago a "nazi" for because LCR/Chicago supported a conservative candidate for Secretary of State. The candidate wasn't perfect, but he was someone who showed an interest in dialog.

This was also rather ironic because Charlie is Jewish. Charlie Mehler is also the author of the Award Winning: "I am the Very Model of a Modern Gay Republican".

Log Cabin Responds to President Bush's Comments on the Future of the Anti-family Federal Marriage Amendment

(Washington, DC)- In an interview with the Washington Post, President Bush stated that, "Senators have made it clear that so long as DOMA is deemed constitutional, nothing will happen. I'd take their admonition seriously". Until that changes, nothing will happen in the Senate." The anti-family Federal Marriage Amendment failed to garner even a majority of votes in the Senate in 2004.

"Log Cabin is hopeful that the President's comments recognizing the lack of support for the anti-family Federal Marriage Amendment will result in a second term agenda that can concentrate on much needed reform: reform of social security, reform of the tax system, reform of immigration, and reform of our approach to combating HIV/AIDS," said Log Cabin Republicans President Patrick Guerriero.

"After a divisive debate in 2004 over the anti-family amendment, Log Cabin looks forward to working with the President and the GOP leadership in the House and Senate on critical issues such as social security reform," concluded Log Cabin Political Director Chris Barron.

###
Log Cabin Republicans is the nation's largest organization of Republicans who support fairness, freedom, and equality for gay and lesbian Americans. Log Cabin has state and local chapters nationwide, a full-time Washington office, and a federal political action committee. www.logcabin.org


I'm sure the Leviticus Crowd is howling.

More comments over on GayPatriot.

This is very good news.

UPDATE: Andrew Sullivan comments here. Christian Grantham's take here. No press release on this issue on the HRC or Stonewall Democrats websites.

Bush and his Religious Test

My post: Is Faith a Job Requirement for President provoked a fair amount of comment.

Sandi states:

Lloydletta, sorry to have to disagree with you, Sully, and especially Pharyngula, who needs to set the jug down and back away slowly.

Bush did not say he thought faith was a "requirement" for President. All Bush was saying is that he doesn't see how anybody could be president, and bear that burden inherent therein, without having a strong personal faith to draw on.

As a commenter over at Balloon Juice put it:
If I were to say "I don't understand how you can be president without sleeping 8 hours a night," it doesn't mean that all people who sleep less than that should not be allowed as president. What Bush was saying is clear as a bell.


Sandi has a blog here.

Mithrandir disagrees:

Sandi: If he thinks you need a faith to handle the burden of being President, he thinks that faith is (in practice, if not in law) a requirement for being President.

The most gracious you can be to a position like that is to point out that it's idiotic to assume that just because you don't understand how something can be done, then it can't be done.


Sandi draws upon the First Amendment to respond:

Mithrandir, thats the whole point, "in practice, NOT in law," in other words, just an opinion. Just a wonder, or awe at where one would draw a tremendous amount of strength if not from God.

You also put words in his mouth. He did not say "it cannot be done" (without God).

The fact that he claims to draw strength from God doesn't establish a religion. If you think it does, which? Methodist? Baptist? Luthern? Just as the rest of us has the freedom to "exercise religion," so does the President.

Amendment I:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

What law is made by a Presidents faith, or his "announcement" of faith. The "free exercise thereof," does not stop at the Presidency, public or private.


The "Establishment clause" in the First Amendment is the most well known place the constitution discusses the separation of church and state. However, there's a less known section that prohibits the use of a "religious test" to determin fitness for public office.

Article 6, section 3 of the US Constitution reads:

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several State legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.


This seems pretty clear to me. I've always wondered how so-called "strict constructionist", Antonin Scalia deals with this.

Gene Garman wrote an explanation for this clause here.

Fornication Law Repealed by the Courts in Virginia

Hat Tip: Gay Patriot....

Well personally, I think the legislature had the responsibility to repeal these stupid laws - but they avoided their responsibility.

Log Cabin Republicans in Virginia were major pushers of repealing the sodomy law in Virginia.

How about it, Gay Patriot - why not call for the Legislature to repeal both these stupid laws. Does Government really belong in the bedroom?

Will there now be calls for a Federal No-Fornication Amendment? (FNFA)