Gay Republican group GOProud said today that “Speaker Gingrich said absolutely nothing wrong” when he told a gay voter he’d be better off supporting President Obama’s reelection. Both GOProud and the Log Cabin Republicans insist that the liberal press is misrepresenting Gingrich’s comments, but in doing so they’ve conceded that supporting LGBT equality is not among their top priorities:
GOPROUD: The liberal press is at it again, attempting to mischaracterize the words of a Republican Presidential candidate. Speaker Gingrich said absolutely nothing wrong in his exchange with the gay Iowa voter… Speaker Gingrich handled himself with class and dignity in this discussion with the gay voter and the press reports that have reported otherwise have done a real disservice to the truth.
LOG CABIN REPUBLICANS: In this political climate, the door is wide open for a strong Republican candidate to win the support of conservatives, independents and disillusioned Democrats — and there are those who are working hard to paint any and all Republicans as bigoted in a fear-mongering effort to shore up the president’s base. That is unfair and highly unfortunate for our community.
Gingrich’s point was that it’s “perfectly legitimate” that voters who are primarily concerned with LGBT equality should support Obama, not Gingrich or one of the other Republican candidates. By rushing to defend his positions on “job creation, national security and a better future,” these groups are admitting that the dignity of LGBT people is not their primary concern. If it were, they might have made at least one reference to Gingrich’s numerous anti-gay positions, proposals, and statements that should more than justify concern from all voters, conservative or otherwise. Apparently, voters who care about their own ability to live, love, and work without fear of discrimination do “a real disservice to the truth” by refusing to “judge each character fairly.”
Watch the exchange between Gingrich and the voter:
The National Stonewall Democrats have issued a reaction to the Log Cabin Republicans and GOProud. Interim Executive Director Jerame Davis responds:
Yesterday, Newt Gingrich told a gay voter in Iowa he’d be better off voting for Obama if same-sex marriage is an important issue to him. Today, conservative gay groups are trying to spin away the truth. The problem they have is that this fits perfectly with Gingrich’s past statements regarding LGBT Americans. Earlier this year, Gingrich called same-sex marriage ‘a temporary aberration’ and in 2008 he referred to LGBT equality efforts as ‘secular fascism.’
Perhaps these groups would be better served by recruiting and grooming better candidates than making excuses and spinning fairy tales.