By MARC PAIGE
In just days, this seemingly endless election will be over. In swing state Florida, we can’t turn on the TV, listen to the radio, or drive on our roads without being inundated with campaign propaganda. Nevertheless, barring any “hanging chad” disasters, we will know the name of our next president by early Wednesday morning.
On LGBT rights, the difference between the presidential candidates has never been starker. In President Obama, we have an incumbent who is the most pro-gay president ever; in Gov. Romney, the most ideologically anti-gay nominee of a major party in U.S. history (even George W. Bush supported civil unions for same-sex couples).
Everyone concerned about gay rights is closely watching this election, including those who want to turn back the clock on LGBT equality. Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council and the author of the exceptionally-vicious anti-gay language in this year’s Republican Party platform, tells Christians who supported Obama in 2008 they should be “repenting” by voting for Romney in 2012.
An October 26 email from Focus On the Family warns that the conservative edge on the Supreme Court could be lost if Obama wins: “That means future cases concerning the protection of innocent human life, the definition of marriage, and our religious freedom all hang in the balance right now.”
On its Website, the president of the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage (NOM), Brian Brown, blogged that the election is a referendum on marriage equality: “Americans will choose between Mitt Romney, a pro-marriage candidate for President who will defend the Defense of Marriage Act…or the openly pro-gay marriage incumbent Barack Obama…who will have the power to position a fifth vote on the Supreme Court to invent a right to gay marriage and insert it in our founding document.”
Candidate Romney signed on early to NOM’s presidential pledge. As President, Romney promises to: Support a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman; nominate judges and appoint an Attorney General committed to rejecting gay marriage; defend DOMA; establish a religious liberty commission to investigate reports of marriage equality advocates harassing and threatening Christian conservatives; and push legislation allowing District of Columbia voters to end marriage equality.
The LGBT community has come too far for Brian Brown, Maggie Gallagher, Tony Perkins, and all those voices of hate and division to win on November 6. Under Obama, our nation is moving forward on LGBT equality, and on so many other issues vital to the health of our nation.
The economy is improving, though as Bill Clinton put it, “no president could have repaired the damage [after Bush] in just four years.” Colin Powell cites President Obama’s responsible stewardship of domestic and foreign affairs in earning his endorsement, while calling Romney’s foreign policy “a moving target”—an assessment that could be applied to many of the Governor’s positions.
But on the issue of LGBT equality, Romney’s positions are consistent, and bad, and a grateful right wing is energized. We must spoil their retrograde plans. Vote to give President Obama the second term he has earned, and our nation needs.
Marc Paige is a writer and HIV/AIDS prevention educator.
LGBT Americans Have Many Reasons to Vote Romney
Gay men and women have plenty of reasons to vote for Mitt Romney. But to make an honest choice, LGBT voters deserve to have the facts rather than the myths and exaggerations about Romney.
First, Mitt Romney is the most pro-gay Republican presidential candidate in history. Both parties have come a long way in embracing gay equality and there’s no doubt that more progress must be made. But Romney’s stance on gay rights echoes Candidate Obama’s stances—until his recent “evolution” several months ago. If gays could stand happily before with President Clinton and Obama more recently, what’s so scary about Romney now? Gay voters who want serious bipartisan support for equality cannot tune out good Republicans like Mitt Romney. Political support is a two-way street.
As I have stated before, President Obama’s positions are hollow. His progress on gay issues is only due to a bipartisan will to move forward, or at least to move on. Single-issue LGBT voters are being taken for a ride on the “U.S.S. Barack,” but it is a sinking ship. And big-picture, President Obama’s anti-coattails will sweep in a Republican House, and Senate to boot. Fortunately, Romney is the most pro-gay Republican presidential nominee—in record, if not always in rhetoric—that America has ever seen. There is no need for gays to fret the coming change in the White House.
In addition to rights, gay voters need a prosperous country with economic growth for all. That’s what Mitt Romney will bring us. A known turnaround agent, Romney will be the pinch-hitter that America so desperately needs after four years of economic malaise and explosive deficits. Mitt has a proven history of inclusion and coalition-building to get the job done. Do you know what he doesn’t have a history of? Anti-gay discrimination.
With Mitt Romney in the White House, gays will have access to newly created jobs. They will be able to serve in a strengthened military. They will sleep better at night in a safer world. And when the time comes to pay the bill, they will have an easier burden because Mitt will also slash deficit spending. With President Romney, Americans from all walks of life will be measurably better off than they are now. That’s change we can believe in.
Nick Stone is Vice President of the Broward County Young Republicans, the former Vice President of Sunshine Republicans GOProud and campaign manager for Scott R. Herman for State Representative, District 94.