There is no easier way to make the left mad than being a gay Republican. This time, it’s the Stonewall Democratic Club that’s up in arms.
Stonewall is a group of LGBT Democrats who purport to champion “equality for all.” You wouldn’t know this from their record.
Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) during his first term. These acts outlawed gay marriage and military service for openly LGBT soldiers, respectively. It took 20 years to undo that codified discrimination. But Stonewall endorsed Clinton for reelection in 1996 anyway.
Barack Obama ran for president in 2008 opposing gay marriage. Stonewall endorsed him nonetheless. From 2008 to 2010, although Democrats controlled both the White House and Congress, Obama did nothing to advance LGBT equality. Stonewall endorsed him again in 2012.
Recently, the Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio terrorized a Hispanic gay Republican running for Congress in Texas, threatening “economic sanctions” against the gay nightclub he owns unless he leaves the race.
Despite this shameful history, Stonewall’s Ryan Basham recently wrote an article condemning the Log Cabin Republicans for endorsing Donald Trump. We at Log Cabin represent LGBT conservatives and allies. Our endorsement is the latest addition to a record that is actually far superior to Stonewall’s.
Log Cabin’s Better Record on Gay Issues
While Stonewall was cheerleading Obama’s do-nothing Democrats, Log Cabin sued the government to kill DADT. In 2010, Log Cabin won an injunction preventing the administration from enforcing DADT. Only after fighting that injunction, and losing, did Obama finally repeal the law.
Log Cabin has also withheld its endorsement from high-profile Republican candidates who opposed marriage equality — unlike Stonewall, we resist partisan groupthink, even when it costs us. We wouldn’t be endorsing President Trump in 2020 if he weren’t truly an ally.
Trump openly supported LGBT equality before any of Stonewall’s endorsees did. In 1999, while Democrats defended DADT, Trump opined that gays and lesbians serving openly was “not something that would disturb me.” In 2000, Trump proposed an amendment of civil rights law to ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, which would have rendered moot the employment discrimination case currently before the Supreme Court.
In 2015, though Trump needed religious conservative votes to win the Republican primary, he nevertheless stated publicly that religious freedom and LGBT rights are not “mutually exclusive.” He even rebuked his running mate-to-be, Mike Pence, for initially undervaluing LGBT interests in Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, on which Pence ultimately reversed. Today, President Trump still has our back.
Stonewall Incorrectly Attacks President Trump
Stonewall’s article censures Russia for orchestrating “an industrial-scale genocide of gay men” in Chechnya. Russia’s behavior is indeed alarming. So President Trump, collaborating with his (gay) Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, has launched a historic initiative to decriminalize homosexuality worldwide. Basham conveniently omits this fact. (Incidentally, our Los Angeles chapter dedicated Pride Month in 2018 to raising awareness and money for Rainbow Railroad, a nonprofit that rescues gay men from Chechnya. Stonewall used its Pride booth that year to promote itself.)
Stonewall calls Trump’s plan to reduce HIV/AIDS transmission by 90 percent within 10 years “lip service” because HIV+ immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border are separated from other immigrants. But this policy is intended to provide HIV+ immigrants, some of whom face untreated AIDS, with needed medical care. Stonewall also neglects to mention that Trump’s budget included $291 million to fight HIV in 2020 alone. Trump also convinced the antiviral research group Gilead to donate billions of dollars of HIV prevention medication for 200,000 people. That is hardly lip service.
Stonewall further insinuates, ludicrously, that Trump is bigoted for halting Obama-era attempts to tell public schools which bathroom transgender students can use. We say, good: The well-being of children who do not identify with their biological sex is vitally important, but it does not fall under the originally intended purview of Title IX and would thus be better explored at the state and local level without federal intervention. Executive overreach in the name of LGBT rights does nothing to recommend our cause.
Nor is attacking religious freedom, as Basham does, a good look for gays. We will get nowhere by forcing religious people to bake cakes for our weddings. The majority of LGBT people are religious themselves — Log Cabin therefore supports the First Amendment because religious rights are LGBT rights.
Many Trump Supporters Are LGBT
So Stonewall is wrong. But something more important is going on here. What really infuriates Basham is that Log Cabin has “given cover” for the president’s claim that “some of [his] biggest supporters” are LGBT. As if saying so were a crime Trump commits in secrecy while his fabulous gay accomplices at Log Cabin run interference. But it’s just a fact: Many of Trump’s most fervent supporters are LGBT people.
Left-wing gay activists, however, depend on creating the impression that all LGBT people are Democrats. Democrats then use this false narrative to consolidate unearned moral authority. That is why, when the prominent gay billionaire Peter Thiel expressed support for Trump, The Advocate promptly ran a piece arguing he isn’t actually gay — he just has sex with men. (Really. They did that. Look it up.)
The point of such chicanery is to insinuate that all Republicans are homophobes, and all homophobes are Republicans. That only works if Democrats speak for all gays. So just one prominent gay or trans Republican punctures the lie that the left has a monopoly on gay rights.
Log Cabin Republicans stand to disabuse the public of that lie. The Stonewall Democrats don’t want you to know we exist. But we do, our ideas are better than theirs, and we’re not going anywhere.