DADT Win Can't Save Log Cabin Republicans


Anyone who believes in equality and also had to sit through John McCain rhapsodizing about heterosexual marriage and family values during the last election, cringes at the thought of Log Cabin Republicans.

They support a party that doesn't support their equal treatment under the law. Despite claims to work within the party for socially progressive change, lending any support to Republicans in this day and age simply undermines equal rights and constitutional protections in this country.

How interesting, then, that the very anti-equality group I just lambasted, has successfully brought a legal challenge to the arcane and offensive Don't Ask Don't Tell Policy. Not only did they win the case, they won the case as a facial challenge - a high legal standard that requires one demonstrate that, "no set of circumstances exist under which the act would be valid." (U.S. v. Salerno, [1987])

Can't have particular facts or one sympathetic plaintiff when you make this kind of challenge. Most importantly, all sorts of tricky issues about legislative history and motive come into play under this kind of challenge. It's hard to win.

Yet they won, on due process grounds, like in Lawrence v. Texas -- the idea that this Act threatens personal liberty -- and on First Amendment grounds -- DADT also limits freedom of speech because the speech in question is banned for its content.

The big question is, does this bold move save the Log Cabin Republicans?

Right now, the House has passed the repeal of DADT and is waiting for the Senate to get up and do the same. The only problem is, Republican opposition to the measure is permanently stalling all efforts. In response, the Log Cabin Republicans spend a lot of time on their website criticizing Obama for his broken promise to repeal DADT.

Excuse me? Did any of you Log Cabin Republicans vote for Obama?

Didn't think so. In fact, chances are, there are many gay Republicans who voted for representatives that served their economic interests and not their equality interests. Many of them likely voted for Republicans who opposed Obama in his push to repeal DADT. Your own website commits to electing Republicans for Congress.

So, if you wanted Obama to be more progressive on gay rights, you should have helped him win more support in Congress and the Senate. It's an easy equation. Obama is, by all accounts, gutless when it comes to equality measures, but he certainly is going to do more than any Republican candidate in office.

If you think this comment on Log Cabin Republicans is unfair, here is a challenge to you: get newly reformed hard right-wing Republican Senator Scott Brown to commit to voting for the repeal of DADT and I will withdraw all comments about your anti-equality effects. If you want to work within the party to change the party, we need to see some evidence of the effectiveness of that approach.

Otherwise, despite your legal win -- a well-deserved legal win -- you are still an affront to all equality seeking groups.