Gay Marriage Makes Strange Bedfellows

Class, pop quiz. Only one question: When is a Republican for all practical purposes, a Democrat? If you said, when the someone is a Log Cabin Republican, then you ace the quiz.

So how is a Log Cabin Republican (LCR) like the Democratic party? Mention the issue of gay marriage and lo and behold, the LCRs will partner with anyone, including the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and the Massachusetts’ Democratic party. Recently, these three groups joined up to oppose the proposed amendment to the Massachusetts constitution barring gay marriage. Further, the LCRs and the HRC collaborated to produce ads in Massachusetts’ newspapers urging voters to do the conservative thing and leave the state constitution alone. The LCR/HRC message will be the same in fighting against the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment: conservatives don’t let conservatives amend the constitution.

To read the HRC counseling conservatives on how to be conservative is a hoot. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is one of the more successful gay lobbying organizations in Washington. Among HRC’s missions according to its website is to “invest strategically to elect a fair-minded Congress.” Toward that end, the HRC publishes a voter’s guide as do many such groups. A quick perusal of the HRC guide will inform as to the definition of a “fair-minded Congress.” Members of Congress are rated from zero to 100 percent adherence with HRC policy, with 100 being a perfect HRC legislator and I assume quite fair-minded. Those lower on the rating scale apparently have minds that were pretty unfair. Guess which party has the most zeros? If you said Republicans, then give yourself some bonus points. In fact, the average rating for Republican senators is 13% while the average Democratic senator voted 89% of the time with the HRC agenda. As we say in research, that is a significant difference.

So what is a so-called Republican group doing cavorting with those who will invest to elect a Democratic Congress? I suppose you could say it is a marriage of convenience. The LCRs have a quixotic mission to transform socially conservative Republicans into supporters of gay marriage. However, philandering with those who will soon be spending big bucks to unseat a popular Republican President does not seem a smart way to do it. But the LCRs are serious. Witness this message from LCR head Patrick Guerriero after President Bush’s state of the union address: “Log Cabin Republicans warn the President that engaging in a culture war is a recipe for defeat. Log Cabin will not stand by while anyone attempts to write discrimination into the Constitution…The mission of Log Cabin is greater than one President or one issue.”

That certainly sounds like an ultimatum to me. Either drop this silly idea of one man-one woman marriage or face the Log Cabin as a foe in November. So now a twist on our opening question: when is a Republican not a Republican? This election year it appears it is when someone comes out of the Log Cabin.