lame ducks

Why Aren’t GOProud + Log Cabin Republicans Going After Roy Ashburn?

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Charles Moran, the babyfaced head of the Log Cabin Republicans, won’t be among those criticizing California State Sen. Roy Ashburn. And neither will GOProud’s Jimmy LaSalvia. That’s because these two organizations put their political affiliations first, gay Americans second, and common sense in the incinerator.

Nevermind that Moran, a gay man, used the no-no word “admit” when discussing Ashburn’s coming out. (“Admitting” something implies there was something shameful to hide; sexual orientation does not qualify. Then again, even the gay blog Towleroad used the word.)

But both organizations, whether through public statements (LCR) or noticeable silence (GOProud) are refusing to go after a Republican that actively endorsed discriminatory measures against a community they both claim to represent.

Perhaps we should expect as much from this pair of bumbling entities, which are really nothing more than “spokesmen” issuing “press releases.” After all, it was LCR that endorsed Sen. John McCain for president in 2008, despite his horrific record on LGBT equality. Moran blames “the culture in public politics that really forces people on the left and the right that they need to hide their sexual orientation to be successful in politics.” This is certainly partly to blame. But none of it excuses a politician, gay or straight, from voting against equality. That alone is enough to warrant criticism. Ashburn’s sexuality is not even a factor in deciding whether to criticize him; his voting record is. And yet Moran won’t demand this guy step down.


Neither will GOProud’s LaSalvia. Thus far, we haven’t seen any public statements from LaSalvia about Ashburn. Meanwhile, LaSalvia is just fine going after former Rep. Eric Massa, the maybe-gay Democrat, in insulting terms. On Thursday he tweeted, “Just wondering when Eric Massa is going to have his ‘I’m a gay alcoholic’ news conference?,” which we assume is in reference to Chuck Klosterman.

Indeed, Massa appears to be guilty of predatory behavior, while Ashburn is merely responsible for that oh-so-harmless crime of drunk driving. But Massa’s voting record doesn’t include supporting Prop 8, refusing to recognize out-of-state gay marriages, and banning sexual orientation discrimination in insurance policies Ashburn’s does.

Shamefully, both LCR and GOProud act as cover for anti-gay Republicans. As evidenced at CPAC, conservatives get to say they’re open to listening to queer views by letting these organizations in the door, without actually doing anything for this community. And now, even anti-gay gay Republicans have someone to make excuses for them.