Michael Crawford

No Defending John McCain on Gay Issues

Filed By Michael Crawford | March 04, 2008 8:18 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Chris Crain, gay Republicans, gay rights, John McCain, Log Cabin Republicans

Queen please!

That's the first thought that came to mind when I read the sycophantic opinion piece called In Defense of John McCain by Scott Tucker, communications director for Log Cabin Republicans, making excuses for John McCain's weak record on GLBT issues. Tucker's piece was published in the Washington Blade and is a response to a column by Chris Crain pointing out McCain' serious shortcomings when it comes to GLBT civil rights.

I get that there are seriously slim pickings among the Republican presidential contenders when it comes to GLBT issues and that this puts gay Republicans in an extremely difficult position, but to attempt to defend John McCain's weak record on GLBT issues must be some sort of sick joke.

McCain has failed to co-sponsor any of the six pieces of GLBT related legislation currently pending in the Senate, including the hate crimes bill and a bill to provide funding to reduce teen pregnancy and STD rates. He scored a 33% on the most recent Human Rights Campaign Congressional Scorecard. In 2006 McCain supported the proposed amendment to Arizona's constitution that would have prohibited marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships.

Tucker claims that it took "enormous political courage" for McCain to vote against the Federal Marriage Amendment. Big whoop! McCain simply voted, as he and all members of Congress should have, against sullying the U.S. Constitution with a discriminatory and divisive amendment. McCain doesn't deserve a cookie for that. He was doing his job and defending the Constitution.

Tucker further goes on to try and excuse McCain's pandering to anti-gay evangelicals when McCain spoke at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University by bringing up the Donnie McClurkin mistake that the Barack Obama campaign made. The key difference is that Obama has strongly and consistently supported GLBT civil rights and when called on the carpet by gay Democrats for allowing McClurkin to speak at a campaign event he acknowledged the situation and Obama made amends. Obama has continued to speak about his support for GLBT rights often while McCain avoids talking about our issues at every turn.

It can't be easy being gay and Republican. The majority of the Republican leaderships wants you to disappear and some gay Democrats call you an oxymoron. But, Log Cabin needs to make a choice. Are they really about building support for GLBT civil rights in the GOP, or are they simply about pimping Republican politicians with questionable records on gay issues to GLBT voters?

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Well, the latter.

I think the thing that bothered me the most about the LCR's campaign against Romney, besides the implication that the other GOP candidates were any better (hi, Huck!), was that it never mentioned gay issues. Of course it couldn't, because selling "Romney's bad on gay issues" to Republicans would have probably driven more to him. But it's hard not to see a smidgen of just accepting inferior status in using that strat, but Tucker mentions that as a strength in his op-ed!

And that McClurkin attack was the most idiotic thing ever. Um, yeah, Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson and Donnie McC are all equivalents on queer issues. Because building an enormously successful career off gay bashing and pushing specific pieces of anti-gay legislation while writing books about how we're out to kill children is totally the equivalent of someone most queers had never heard of singing gospel.

Yeah, defending McCain on gay issues, like defending Rudy G on them, is lame-o. I'm sorry that there isn't even a mildly pro-gay Republican candidate, but that doesn't mean we have to shut off our frontal-lobes to support one of them.

to attempt to defend John McCain's weak record on GLBT issues must be some sort of sick joke

Amen, Michael. At least there was argument for Guilliani -- sorta.

Michael Bedwell | March 4, 2008 4:59 PM

Obama made excuses not "amends" re McClurkingate and, for the nine-thousandth time I am still waiting for any empirical proof that he has spoken EXPLICITLY about his "support for GLBT rights" except when he has been explicitly asked. If anyone needs greater clarification—I am far more interested in LGBT rights to marry, adopt, serve in the military, not be legally vulnerable to job, housing, public accommodation, public facilities, and credit discrimination, etc., than I am the "right" not to be “scapegoated,” “blamed,” or to be "embraced." His specific reference to “discrimination” in a recent Texas rally was admirable but the first I’m aware of and, again, in response to a question.

HOWEVER, none of that makes him anywhere near the immoral equivalent, as the latest Loghead Head Cheese asserts, of John “What does LGBT stand for?” McCain. While 9/11 Flight 93 hero Mark Bingham was a gay Republican I doubt very much if he would make such a comparison even though McCain spoke at a memorial service for him. I think, rather, he would say, “Shame on you, Sen. McCain. Do I and my gay brothers and sisters not deserve more?”

ALEX: We fear you’re suffering today from a tiny tinge of Young White Boy solipsism. That McClurkin is not the moral equivalent of Falwell or Robertson in terms of how much more time they have invested over their longer years on earth in gay bashing does not erase the fact that in mindset, intent, and historical record and reputation he is the same. He trashed being gay in his autobiography, and has insisted that that “homosexuality is a curse” and a “choice” that can be “overcome.” That “there are countless people who are discontent in this lifestyle and want to be freed from it. They were thrust into homosexuality by neglect, abuse and molestation." Not only is this the exact kind of thing Falwell/Robertson have said, but McClurkin has claims to credibility that they never had—he claims that—as he screeched at the Obama rally—“God delivered me from homosexuality!” In the church this is known as “witnessing” and carries far more weight than what thunders down from the never personally involved demagogue in the pulpit.

He has talked about it in numerous evangelical publications, and wrote for the “conversion” charlatans, Exodus International, “There are countless people who are discontent in this lifestyle and want to be freed from it. They were thrust into homosexuality by neglect, abuse and molestation. They desperately want to live differently. For them, I write this without apology, knowing that I have been through this and have experienced God’s power to change my lifestyle.” He also wrote of how women in the church helped remold his “masculinity”—telling him not to sing falsetto, to walk “like a man,” and literally slapping his hands whenever he held them in a “feminine way.” Like Jerry and similar theocratic thugs, McClurking, too, has cast it all in terms of a holy war against sin and dangerous evil: "The gloves are off and if there's going to be a war, there's going to be a war. But it will be a war with a purpose? I'm not in the mood to play with those who are trying to kill our children."

Still, I could rattle off the names of a dozen people more directly active on a continual basis in the Antigay Industry than McClurkin that “most queers [have] never heard of” but that’s beside the point of the very reason that Obama chose him—many of the voters he was sent to seduce already knew exactly who he was, including his alleged conversion from homosexuality. So soon you forget Irene Monroe’s eloquent essay published on Bilerico denouncing Obama just for that reason:

“McClurkin is the poster boy for African-American ex-gay ministries. In the highly competitive race for black evangelical votes in South Carolina, McClurkin just might give Obama the needed edge.... McClurkin is not the only singer on the gospel tour who has publicly spewed vitriolic statements against LGBTQ people. But he is the biggest one Obama can use to try to win over black evangelical voters.”

Pam Spaulding wrote, “Donnie McClurkin has become prominent among a shamefully large number of hetero-fascists who are active in Black Protestantism,” and that, According to the ‘New York Times’, he's begun offering therapy to young boys who feel homosexual desire.” Danger, Will Robinson, DANGER!

Obama's association with McClurkin, his only "disagreeing" with him while he has explicity denounced the anti-Semitic beliefs of Farrakahn, remain inexcusable and reprehensible. HOWEVER, as for the original premise that McCain is just as good or no worse than Obama on LGBT equality—in a gay Repug pig’s eye!

Vote Democratic. EVERYtime!

Yes, yes, MB, Obama's just as bad as McCain. There's no difference between them at all. So I'll just vote third party. Isn't Nader running this time? I just can't see any differences between Obama and McCain!

Michael Bedwell | March 4, 2008 6:42 PM

Alex, again, with all due respect, try READING what someone writes before kneejerking online after the first thing you disagree with.

You would have found it in the next to last and last paragraphs:

"HOWEVER, as for the original premise that McCain is just as good or no worse than Obama on LGBT equality—in a gay Repug pig’s eye!

Vote Democratic. EVERYtime!"

Good point, Michael B., I didn't read your comment. It was way long and the part that responded to me started by playing a race card... kinda felt like being in Vegas.

Michael Bedwell | March 4, 2008 7:56 PM

"Race card"? Oh, Alex, please. Doesn't the great French health care system treat hemophilia? Or haven't you figured out how to say "thin skin" in French?

Had you continued reading you might have discovered not just that I think Obama is far superior to McCain but a little about yourself and the danger of presuming to speak for "most queers" and subcultures that don't interest Le Grand Alex.

Most white "queers" probably hadn't heard of Donnie McClurkin pre Obama McClurkingate, but I'm white, will match my "queer" credentials next to yours anytime you say and I had heard of Donnie McClurkin before. I've known plenty of "queers," white and black, who like gospel music. You go totally off the tracks about Obama's SC rally motivations, you generalize about all "queers," you snark about gospel music, and you got caught with your hand in the solipsism jar and your only defense is to accuse ME of playing a race card?

Now now, each side shake hands, go to their respective corners, and when the bell rings come out fighting!

MB, Obama spoke specifically on behalf of GLBT people when he spoke to the African-American church audience at Mt. Ebenezer Church in Atlanta on MLK Jr. day.

He has spoken out in favor of GLBT issues and on our behalf WAY more than Hillary has. Hillary may have mentioned us once, in passing among a list of minorities, when talking to a non-gay audience. She simply doesn't include us in any of her speeches when the audience isn't specifically gay.

I realize that you are extremely biased for your girl Hill but even you have to admit that you give Hillary passes on things that you nail Obama to the wall for.

I honestly don't understand why you are so personally invested in Hillary that you are willing to be so aggressive and insulting to anyone who doesn't show her absolute allegiance. I sometimes think you forget that Obama supporters and Hillary supporters are on the same team.