One of the most bizarre assumptions behind the LCR's campaign against Romney in the primaries was that any of the other candidates were any better on the issues LCR cares about. They all pretty much opposed any legislation with anything LGBT in it, with a few details about whether they'd support an FMA (which would never pass and they don't even get to decide on) or whether LCR would have "access" to the campaign.
Well, here's the logical extension of that primary campaign:
Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) released a rather unflattering "comprehensive report on Sen. John McCain's record on GLBT issues." While we respect our friends at HRC, their report isn't a fair representation of Sen. McCain's entire record. Log Cabin has had a long relationship with Sen. McCain, going back to our national office's opening in the mid-90s. He has had an open door to us at Log Cabin and has a record of inclusion.
We understand the general election starts today and Log Cabin will do its part to educate gay and lesbian voters about Sen. McCain in the weeks ahead. Contrary to what many Democrats are saying, Sen. McCain is not George W. Bush. Most gays and lesbians understand that fact. Sen. McCain isn't going to use gay people as a wedge issue. He won the GOP nomination with no help (and with outright hostility) from many so-called "social conservatives." This is a significant achievement for all gay and lesbian Americans.
HRC glosses over McCain's principled stand against the anti-gay federal marriage amendment. As I pointed out in this column for the Washington Blade, McCain didn't just vote (twice) against the marriage amendment. He put himself on the line, bucked his own party leadership and President Bush, and took to the floor of the U.S. Senate to speak against the proposal. In 2004, he gave one of the most impassioned speeches from the Senate floor on the issue. That isn't insignificant.
Is his record perfect? No. But it's inclusive and shows positive signs. We will hear more about his priorities and record in the months ahead. Stay tuned...
"Positive signs"? Sure, if that were the best we could do, but not when there's another candidate who's showing more positive signs.
Entire books could be written about the psychology behind LCR's support of John McCain, but how they came to the conclusion that he's somehow not tied to the Religious Right is beyond me. He's sought the endorsements of more homophobic Religious Righters than can be written about here and will keep on doing it to try to excite the base. That he's not as openly hostile to us as GWB was is a win for queer activists, not McCain.
The only "principles" McCain has are making more war and getting money, but whether he actually cares about the social conservative stuff is neither here nor there. Why he supports homophobic and transphobic policy is a nice discussion question, but when it push comes to shove, he's against us in pretty much everything.
Besides supporting nothing LGBT at the federal level (no ENDA, no eliminating DADT, no expanding couplehood rights beyond same-sex marriage) and supporting the Arizona ballot initiative to ban same-sex marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships, he's indicated that he's not going to back off homophobia and that he'll appoint judges along the lines of Alito and Roberts.
What's left to educate people about, I have no idea. There'd be quite a bit less cognitive dissonance going on here if they just stuck to local races this cycle instead of splitting hairs about differences between McCain and GWB.