Why Did Gay Republicans Pit Two Anti-Gay Candidates Against Each Other?

During the 2004 presidential election, South Park aired an episode in which students had to elect either a giant douche or a turd sandwich for their new school mascot. That basically illustrates yesterday’s Virginia Republican congressional matchup between GOProud’s pick Matthew Berry, a gay lawyer, and the Log Cabin Republicans’ choice Patrick Murray. Berry opposes the immediate repeal of DADT and think states should be allowed to ban gay marriage. Murray wants to overturn Roe v. Wade and thinks marriage should be between one man and one woman. It was a contest between a douche or the turd sandwich.

As we know, Murray won (wait, is he the douche or the turd sandwich? Politics can be so confusing). And while that might seem like a bummer because Berry was the openly gay candidate in this race, what’s more disconcerting is that two so-called gay organizations both supported anti-gay candidates to begin with.

Oh sure, it’s “just politics” and any Repugnican candidate has to act anti-gay for play, but were GOProud and LCR so focused on showing each other up they each just chose one of the two Republican primary challengers left and called it a day for Virginia’s 8th congressional district? It makes sense in a twisted way, by siding with a candidate each group got their name out there and hopefully their hand in the pocket of a slightly sympathetic (albeit bigoted) congressional rep. After their candidate was done condoning gay marriage bans, they could go gay-for-pay for another election season.

Polls showed Berry’s chance of unseating the nine-year Democratic incumbent Rep. Jim Moran Jr. at 40-to-44 percent. Murray could fare better, but the LCRs gotta be insane if they think Murray will help them accomplish their stated mission “to advocate equal rights for all Americans, including gays and lesbians.” Seeing that his definition of marriage is essentially anti-gay, fat chance.

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    I hear the Log Cabin Repugnaticans next week are contemplating endorsing a Jewish nazi candidate in the general election…….

  • Dennis

    I live in this district. Doesn’t matter who the GOP nominated. No republican is going to take that seat. Solidly Democratic district. I’m gay and didn’t even know there was a gay GOP candidate in the race.

  • Cam

    Once again, it just shows how morally bankrupt the groups are. I’ve said this before, but at least when Log Cabin was run by Patrick Guarino (Guarrinno?) I remember he refused to give the groups endorsement to anti-gay GOP candidates. Whether I agreed with them politically I can respect that. But for a gay group to endorse condidates advocating an anti-gay position just leaves me completely mystified. Are they ALL trying to get jobs on campaigns or something!?

  • David Ehrenstein

    Why? Because Gay Republicans are Psychopaths –that’s why!

  • ksu499

    It’s basically just a chance to pick which Republican ship is going to crash upon the rocks of the Moran campaign. Moran is currently serving in his 10th term and isn’t going anywhere. It is disappointing that Berry does not support marriage equality, especially given that he has a long-term partner.

  • Tom in Lazybrook

    Has GOProud! endorsed ANY candidate the supports (while in office as a Congressman or Senator) the repeal of DADT? I’m not aware of any of them.

    That appears to be the only Gay rights legislation that they ostensibly support, but they don’t seem to care about it enough to actually support anyone that supports them.

    They don’t seem to support non-discrimination laws including Gays. They don’t seem to have a problem with existing non-discrimination laws that protect Mormons and Baptists. They don’t appear to support marriage equality.

  • David

    The only turd sandwich is this article. Matthew Berry supported both gay marriage and DADT repeal. That he supported choosing it at a state level had to do with his being a federalist, not anti-gay. And yeah, he wanted to wait until the DOD report on DADT came out before voting on it… this makes him anti-gay how? You’d have to be an inperceptive purist to think that the guy’s self-hating because he wants the same gay rights all gay organizations want, but using a different method to get there.

    As for why any gay organization would endorse either of them. Maybe it’s because the Democratic incumbent makes a turd sandwich look like fine dining, for reasons that have nothing to do with gay issues. And yeah, the head of the LCR was a hypocritical idiot for supporting Murray over Berry… that at least we can agree on.

  • Zach

    @Tom in Lazybrook:

    The GoProud/GayPatriot crowd doesn’t care about marriage equality, or advancing any other gay rights for that matter. At least not at the expense of obtaining tax cuts and eradicating every other government expenditure besides the military.

    The thing about being gay and Republican is that it’s kind of fun. Yes, you’re surrounded by people who make all sorts of nasty comments about you in public. Yes, you’ll never obtain equality. But in private parties and circles, you’re given all the respect of the token minority, the person to point to and say ‘See, we’re not bigots. We let gays exist! In our party, even!’

    And chances are, you arrived at your Republicanism because you resent having to give away any of your money away to the evil government. And you think your country needs to continue spending more on its military than almost every other country on earth combined. And you actually think that being Republican means being for less government. And you think that gays who don’t share your point of view are sluttish, limp-wristed hippies. So you’d rather share a scotch with a bunch of guys who’d throw you in prison if they could.

  • Robert

    R. Clarke Cooper (in his biography on Log Cabin Republicans and on his Linked profile online) says that he is currently in the Army Reserve. Since he is a gay man, and now is the head of a gay Republican (but still gay) organization, would he be discharged from the military because of “Don’t Ask, Don’t tell”? He has effectively “told” by taking the position with Log Cabin.

  • AndrewW


  • FlopsyMopsyCT

    I am with David here. I think something people need to remember is that there is a big distinction between political conservatism and social conservatism, or, if you will, country club republicans and religious republicans. From reading the comments, I think people make vast, over-encompassing generalizations about republicans (or right leaning moderates) that are incorrect. There are gay people out there that don’t wish to see gay marriage forced upon the country via some mandate from a federal court, or even a state court. Those people’s reasons for thinking so have nothing to do with anti-homosexual rhetoric. Indeed their reluctance to see gay marriage initiated in such a way is more grounded in fear of legal retaliation from anti-homosexual groups (much like what happened in CA with Prop. 8). Part of why gay conservatives want to see marriage come through the state legislatures is because it would have a great deal more permanency.

    There is a really great law professor at the University of MN. He is a political conservative. However, he is openly gay and is a major proponent for gay rights and same-sex marriage. It was seeing him in debate that really solidified my interest in republican politics. He was the one that really made me realize that being a republican (perhaps more so academically) has not so much to do with lower taxes, conservative religious values, or supporting international war, but with how a government is supposed to get things done and, more accurately, how a society is supposed to change.

    As for DADT, I really should probably keep my mouth shut because I have very little experience with that issue of gay rights. But again, there are people that have no ill-will towards gay people, it’s just that they fear what might happen as a result of a broad, undeliberated change in something as important to America as its military. I am not saying their right, but they’re addressing concerns that are valid and worthy of discussion.

    Wow! That was convoluted, sorry. So what anyone reading this should take from it is that I don’t agree with this article’s assertions.

  • Rob Moore

    The question you ask is easy enough to answer, but really hard to understand. It is because gay Republicans have a fundamental need to fit in. They want to pretend that if they associate with swine, no one will notice they are guinea pigs and laugh at them. They are pathetic in that sense. If Tibetans used that same logic, they would act like Chinese in hopes that the Chinese government will recognise their sovereignty and grant them independence.

    I don’t understand gay people who support the Republican party. In the past, LCR donated money that was returned to them because they were gay, yet, they continued to support the candidates who returned their money. Now, we have GOProud that believes LCR has failed, and they believe they will succeed even though they are doing the same thing as LCR but expect a different result. It is baffling to understand such a twisted worldview.

  • Rob Moore

    @FlopsyMopsyCT: Interesting, but the reality is that the Republican party is concerned with religion and is controlled by social conservatives. As to the assertion that gay marriage should come through the legislature in order to avoid a backlash, how do you explain Maine? It was the legislature that enacted gay marriage not the courts, yet, a public referendum took it away, and it had nothing to do with legitimacy coming from the legislature and everything to do with religious conservatives.

    On the other hand, Massachusetts and Iowa had it imposed by court ruling and in neither state has there been the backlash seen in Maine. All of the conservative law professor’s hairsplitting amounts to nothing more than conjecture. Like so many, he mistakenly believes that conservatives are like him, when in fact, they are primarily luddites with strongly held, irrational beliefs that have nothing whatsoever to do with constitutional legalism. The Constitution of the United States and the state constitution do not figure into the calculations of most Republicans.

    Be conservative if you want, but don’t pretend your type of conservatism has anything to do with the Republican party. When it comes to their religious beliefs, the Constitution be damned.

  • Zach


    “Part of why gay conservatives want to see marriage come through the state legislatures is because it would have a great deal more permanency.”

    That’s simply not true. The reason gay conservatives push for legislative action is because few have an understanding or respect for how the court system actually works. Ironically, I think most conservatives would gladly replace law with palm tree justice.

    “He was the one that really made me realize that being a republican (perhaps more so academically) has not so much to do with lower taxes, conservative religious values, or supporting international war, but with how a government is supposed to get things done and, more accurately, how a society is supposed to change.”

    You’re confusing Republicanism (at least in its current iteration) with conservatism. For more than thirty years now, Republicanism has been defined by lower taxes, conservative religious values, and aggressive foreign interventions. And there’s simply too much money and too many demagogues to let it ever slip out of that mode, just as the Democratic Party never trends as left as its base wants it to.

  • FlopsyMopsyCT

    To Rob: You know, I forgot about Maine, so I stand corrected there. Thanks.

  • David Ehrenstein

    @FlopsyMopsyCT: ”
    There are gay people out there that don’t wish to see gay marriage forced upon the country via some mandate from a federal court, or even a state court.”

    What the fuck are you talking about? If gay marriage were made legal antionwide tomorrow do you seriously believe it would mean all gays and lesbians would be forced to marry same-sex spouses?

    Of course you don’t. You’re just another KAPO who conflates voting Repulican with keeping my money” — which is So much more important to you than the righs of the LGBT communities.

  • FlopsyMopsyCT

    To Rob: I was also wondering if the laws would have been overturned in Cali and Maine had there not been such a great push by NOM and Gallagher to do so. I am just guessing, but I am thinking that part of the reason why gay marriage laws still remain in tact in Iowa and Mass and other places is not because they were mandated by courts, but rather because there was never the huge campaign against retaining those laws. Thus I don’t really view Maine as being conclusive proof that legislative action is less permanent (or even more permanent for that matter) simply because, but for NOM, it probably wouldn’t have happened. I think it also depends greatly on each state’s political climate and tone. I think some states are more inclined to accept court decisions, some not.

    David, ummmm, no, that is not what I meant in the least and I think the statement of mine that you quoted doesn’t support your interpretation of it at all. Unless I am just not getting your meaning.

  • AxelDC

    Jim Moran is a crook, but Arlington, Alexandria and Reston, VA are solidly Democratic.

    The only way Republicans could have won is if they nominated another Connie Morella. These teabaggers will turn off NOVA residents.

  • Jesse Helms

    Republicans have no chance of winning this district. The GOProud people are rearranging chairs on the Titanic whilst wearing khakis and sipping Mimosas, pretending not to be desperate.

  • Tim

    GOProud website may help explain – bu.tt/GOProud

  • brucemajors

    Such hilariously stupid articles on your website, matched only by your moronic readers.

    If a President or Congress can impose gay marriage on all states the next one can also ban it in all states. Why do you feel the need to lie and claim Matthew Berry, who IS coupled and owns a house with another man, opposes gay marriage, when he simply opposes the federal government defining the issue for everyone? I don’t even necessarily agree with his position (I would prefer to either denationalize marriage and have only marriage contracts and not state licensing of marriage, or as a second best, to have a SCOTUS decision that states cannot deny licenses to gay couples). But why must you lie about his position and the reason for it?

    And to the chorus of Leftovers who always post here: should you really be on line anyway. Surely you haven’t rounded up your quota of poor black kids yet today, to put in a bus to those segregated brick warehouses you defend and sell for those educrat union campaign contributions your party depends on.

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