Thursday, February 11, 2016

Q Toon: Log Cabin Fever

At the risk of piling on Mrs. Clinton, here's this week's cartoon:

Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
✒Feb 11, 2016

Last month, The Log Cabin Republicans emerged from their hole in the ground to issue a political ad criticizing Hillary Clinton for being “wrong on gay rights when it mattered.” Their ad shows clips of Hillary Clinton making statements such as "I do not support gay marriage" in 2002 and 2004, followed by one of Bernie Sanders on Rachel Maddow's show last October in which he says, "It's great that people evolve... but it's important for people to stand up when the going is tough."

Now, whatever one thinks about Bernie Sanders' record on LGBT issues, it's hard to imagine that LGBTs who identify as Republican actually want to see the Vermont Socialist elected President of the United States. (The Log Cabin Boys do post a disclaimer at the end of the ad stating that they aren't endorsing either candidate. Whew! I'm glad they've cleared that up.)

Log Cabin president Gregory Angelo told the Washington Blade, "I personally think and Log Cabin Republicans thinks [sic] that voters should be aware of Hillary Clinton’s past, specifically on marriage equality. We felt that urgency to do so now ... because other LGBT organizations have not done due diligence regarding Hillary Clinton’s past, and we felt we were in a unique position to step up in that regard."

A decade ago, you'd have been very hard pressed to find any Democrat at the national level willing to vouch for marriage equality. Civil unions were as far as most of them were willing to venture.

You'd have had a hard time finding any Socialists at the national level pushing for marriage equality, either. Not included in the LCR ad is Sanders, in the same Rachel Maddow interview, defending having told the Rutland Herald in 2006, when asked whether Vermont should legalize same-sex marriage, “not right now.”

Nor do the Log Cabin Boys include anything from this 16-year-old column by the late Peter Freyne about Sanders' reaction after Vermont's Supreme Court ordered the state legislature to do something to afford same-sex couples equal rights with different-sex couples. I'll quote Freyne at length:
Obtaining Congressman Bernie Sanders’ position on the gay marriage issue was like pulling teeth...from a rhinoceros. Last month, shortly after the decision of the Amestoy Court was issued, Mr. Sanders publicly tried walking the tightrope — applauding the court’s decision and the cause of equal rights without supporting civil marriage for same-sex couples.
This week we were no more successful getting a straight answer. All we did get was a carefully crafted non-statement statement via e-mail from Washington D.C. And Bernie’s statement wins him the Vermont congressional delegation’s Wishy-Washy Award hands down.
Once more he “applauds” the court decision but won’t go anywhere near choosing between same-sex “marriage” and domestic partnership. “By all accounts the legislature is approaching this issue in a considered and appropriate manner and I support the current process.”
Supports the current process, does he? What a courageous radical!
That’s as far as Ol’ Bernardo would go. It’s an election year, yet despite the lack of a serious challenger, The Bern’s gut-level paranoia is acting up. He’s afraid to say something that might alienate his conservative, rebel-loving rural following out in the hills. Something that could be interpreted as “Bernie Loves Queers!”
As Freyne noted earlier in the column, however, the two Democrats running for Sanders' seat in Congress that year were both on the record in support of full marriage equality. Sanders easily won reelection in 2000, so I guess Sanders had the better read on those rebel-loving rural Vermonters.

To be perfectly honest, I tend to think the Democrats would be better off not nominating a guy who wasn't even a member of their party a year ago (and the Republicans would be better off not nominating a Donnie-Come-Lately, too, for that matter). But wherever the candidates stood on marriage equality in 1972, or 2000, or 2004, or 2006, I want to support a candidate who'll stand up for LGBT rights "when it matters."

Like when Ruth Bader Ginsburg retires.

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