Log Cabin Republicans confuse me.
Their booths are at gay events, I’ve even became friends with one or two, but still, the idea of voting for a party that works against your equal rights amazed me. So I looked them up.
According to their website, Log Cabin Republicans have a, “firm belief in the principles of limited government, individual liberty, individual responsibility, free markets and a strong national defense.” Moreover, they believe in working within the Republican Party to bring about equal treatment for gays and lesbians. Perhaps a foolhardy effort, but then again, working within the United States government for equal rights for Black people or immigrants seemed pretty ridiculous at a time in history too. So let’s take them at their word: they are fiscal conservatives who perhaps believe in a strict construction of the constitution and a cap on judicial activism. They also feel that the best way to achieve equal rights is to work with those who wish to oppose them. I still have one problem. The next election may choose four years of economic and social policy, but it will also make one other important choice that will affect the rights of gays and lesbians for at least three generations to come: Supreme Court appointments. Today, the Court has four liberal justices, Ginsburg, Stevens, Souter and Breyer. And four conservative appointments who tow the party line, Alito, Roberts, Scalia and Thomas. Kennedy, a conservative appointment who waffles, has often been the necessary vote to tip the balance in the liberals’ favor. He was in the most recent Roe v. Wade challenge and again inLawrence v. Texas. This is important to understand, Lawrence v. Texas is the same decision that allowed Log Cabin Republicans to have sex at all, legally, in many of their home states. The problem is that these judges age, and two of them, Stevens and Ginsburg, are aching to retire (literally). If Obama becomes president he would, at least, be able to maintain the status quo, maybe put a woman or two up there, and create a few more years of an even fight for those hoping for progressive judgments. If McCain wins, two conservative appointments would shift the majority, leave us with six conservative votes, and little hope for the rights of gay men to engage in sexual intercourse legally. It’s not just gay men who will suffer. The right of women to enforce theViolence Against Women Act will be in jeopardy. As well, habeas corpus, that age old right to know what crime you are charged with committing, is also at risk. Not to mention abortion. We would have a conservative majority in all the unforeseen legal challenges the Court may choose to adjudicate in the future. This president can do whatever temporary decision making it wants and nothing will have such a lasting effect as the choice of the next two justices of the Supreme Court. Log Cabin Republicans may advocate gradual legislative change, but when the very act of love that defines your personal identity (and membership in your group, I assume) is threatened, perhaps sacrificing a few years of small government is worth it.