John Cornyn and Gay Republicans

Here’s something not many folks expected to see: Republican Texas Senator John Cornyn will speak in September at a national fundraiser for Log Cabin Republicans, an organization for gay GOP members.

John Cornyn? The same guy who opposes same-sex marriage and the repeal of the ban on gay and lesbian members in the military? Yeah, same guy. Also the same guy who said this a few years ago in support of a federal constitutional amendment to bar same-sex marriage:

“It does not affect your daily life very much if your neighbor marries a box turtle. But that does not mean it is right. . . . Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife.”

So has hell frozen over? Nah, says Sen. Cornyn:

“Some things we won’t agree on,” Cornyn, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said. “But I think it’s always better to talk and then try find those things we can agree on rather than just assume there’s no common ground whatsoever.”

Cornyn said same-sex mar­riage is “absolutely” one of those things he and LCR members don’t agree on, but he’s happy to talk to them.

“I don’t want people to misun­derstand and think that I don’t respect the dignity of every human being regardless of sexu­al orientation,” Cornyn said.

Respect the dignity of every human being? Is that before or after you equate their relationships to bestiality?

We suspect religious-righters will soon be foaming at the mouth and condemning Cornyn’s supposed apostasy. But Log Cabin officials, like executive director R. Clarke Cooper, are pleased:

“(O)ur role within the party is to help educate current elected leaders … and also educate candidates as to how they can be still true to themselves as far as issues, as far as core conservative, back-to-basics issues without using the gay and lesbian community as a target.”

Golly. Such high expectations, yes?

But surely Cooper knows that the Republican Party base today believes targeting the gay and lesbian community IS a “core conservative, back-to-basics issue.” Take a look at the Texas Republican Party platform, for example. Dominated by religious-righters, the party passed a 2010 platform that opposes not just same-sex marriage and even health insurance or retirement benefits for the same-sex partners of employees. It also condemns gay people as threats to family, public health and society. The platform also supports criminalizing consensual, intimate relationships of same-sex couples. And it opposes the right of gay and lesbian parents to adopt a child or even have custody of their own children.

Is it a good thing that a Republican like Sen. Cornyn has agreed to speak at a gay event? Of course. Change can begin with small moves. But he has some explaining to do. If Log Cabin Republicans respect their own dignity as human beings, they have a responsibility to insist that Sen. Cornyn do just that. And they should insist that the senator publicly reject the criticism he and Log Cabin will get from the religious right.

8 thoughts on “John Cornyn and Gay Republicans

  1. I agree. It is the height of something—not sure what. It would be appropriate for the Republican Party to thrash Cornyn within an inch of his life for selling out in this way. Cornyn apparently thinks there is some sort of gray area here, but as all good Christians know, there is no such thing as a gray area in the eyes of God. Things are either absolutely and totally wrong or absolutely and totally right. They are either sinful or pure. I hope all conservative Texans will get on their phones and e-mail right now to complain to the Republican Party leadership and their elected Republican representatives at all levels, including the U.S. Senate minority leader. This is an outrage I tell you—an absolute outrage.

    1. We’re waiting to see how long it takes for folks who aren’t familiar with Charles’ wonderful sarcasm to weigh in here…

  2. Personally, I have never understood the Log Cabin Republicans. I would think that with the GOP so fervently anti-gay the Log Cabin Republicans might do better siding with moderates/Independents and some Democrats.

    I believe their messages regarding fiscal policies and such would be better received by the rank and file of the Left than their message of gay-rights by the Right. Naturally, I could be wrong, but when a group (the GOP) so abhor homosexuals I simply cannot fathom why any gay/lesbian would want anything to do with the GOP.

  3. By KKK Democrats, do you mean folks like Orvil Faubus, George Wallace, the late Senator Robert Byrd?

  4. Mainstream, to answer your question:

    I don’t know that Gov. Orval Faubus was a member of the KKK but he was a defiant segregationist who took a stand against the integration of Arkansas public schools. However, he later moderated his views and even endorsed Rev. Jesse Jackson in his 1984 presidential campaign.

    Similarly, Gov George Wallace was a staunch segregationist (“….segregation now, segregation forever….”) Though I don’t find evidence that he was a KKK member, he did stand in the way to bar black students from entering Alabama schools. Likewise, later in life he apologized to black civil rights leaders and asked for their forgiveness. During his last term as governor (1983-1987), a record number of blacks were appointed to state government positions.

    Sen. Robert Byrd is definitely known to have been a member of the KKK. However, he too changed his views later in life, admitting many times that segregation and racial bigotry are wrong and have no place in America.

    I can’t know if any of these men were sincere in their changes of heart. Only they know that. But I can’t know that they were insincere either. Whatever the case, they are all dead, gone, and not representative of contemporary Democratic values.

    Does that address your question?

  5. The astonishing thing here is Republicans playing noting but identity politics. The sort of thing that they thrash the left for doing–the divide-and-conquer move. Is everyone a member of a fraternity? Are there no independents?

    I’m a gay conservative/libertarian. And I’m out in West Texas. And no one cares. I vote Republican because I hate them less than the Democrats, who have to my mind become in thrall to totalitarian ideas.

    I am myself. I am not a construct. I am not defined by any group that I’m supposed to belong in, because, and let’s all do this together now, I’m thinking for myself. Which means that I am perfectly capable of loathing statist Democrat policies while despising some far-right Christian sneers.

    But I’ll tell you something. I’m out, and known in the Midland, home of the dreaded Bushitler, and no one cares. And they’re big money Republicans.

    And no one cares.

    They don’t vote for statists. So I vote with them. After thinking of course about their reasons.

    What’s important here? That I can announce my sexuality (which I’ve done before) or live with someone (which I’ve done before), or that the nation which accords me this freedom is kept safe from the predations of progressives? These are people who so despise themselves that they are showing their soft underbellies to everyone, including Islam, which specifically wants a wall to fall on me. What’s important? Do you still have the baby or the bath water?

    This is an internecine fight, folks. Drop it. Let’s get on to the real threats.

  6. AS a life long republican I am ashamed of the Party and the position of the new pledge. We are in a disaster mode, hemmoraging and you putting little band aids on the propblem. It is time to stand up and ne counted. The people are sick of Washington. Spending is the problem. Let me suggest a few remedies that the American people will back.