- (Photo: Reuters)
The Log Cabin Republicans, a gay group that aligns itself with the GOP and espouses conservative fiscal policies while supporting same-sex marriage and an anti-discrimination platform, has endorsed Mitt Romney for president.
"The decision to endorse is the right one for our members, our community, and for the nation as a whole," said Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director R. Clarke Cooper in a written statement Tuesday. "Despite our disagreement with Governor Romney on the issue of marriage, on balance it is clear that in today's economic climate, concern for the future of our country must be the highest priority.
The group becomes the second Republican organization that supports gay rights to endorse Romney. In June, GOProud extended its support to the Republican nominee before the party's August convention.
However, the group has come under attack from homosexual activists such as Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) who said last week the group is nothing more than an "Uncle Tom" of the GOP and he is not backing down from his strong statement.
"They are no more offended than I am by their campaigning in the name of LGBT rights, to elect the candidate and party who diametrically oppose our rights, against a President who has forcefully and effectively supported our rights," said Frank, one of four openly gay members of Congress in a 1,000-plus word column that has since been removed from his House website.
"I have been hearing the Log Cabin Republicans proclaim for years that they were improving the view of that party towards our legal equality," said Frank, adding that things have only gotten worse. "Most recently, on [the Defense of Marriage Act], when the House Republicans offered an amendment to reaffirm it, they voted 98 percent in favor of it, while Democrats voted more than 90 percent against the amendment."
Frank's tough words caught the attention of R. Clarke Cooper, the executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans, who defended the group's actions in supporting the politics of Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the vice presidential nominee.
Cooper referred to the retiring congressman as a "partisan hack."
The marriage issue, like abortion, are examples of two volatile issues where Romney has found himself on both sides of the fence.
When he was campaigning for the U.S. Senate against the late Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy (D) in 1994, Romney made statements supporting same-sex marriage and said he was pro-choice. He now says marriage should be "between a man and a woman," and that abortion should only be allowed in cases of rape, incest or when the mother's life is in danger.
A leading national evangelical leader who asked not to be identified and supports Romney, offered a pragmatic analysis of where he sees the former Massachusetts governor going if he is elected president on Nov. 6.
"I believe a President Romney will stand his ground on abortion absent the exceptions he supports," they said. "However, my prediction is that he will bend to social and political pressure when it comes to marriage and defending the Defense of Marriage Act and other related legislative bills. Again, this is my prediction, not my wish."
Republican legislators who support same-sex marriage such as Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida are excited about the Log Cabin endorsement. "Romney is the right man for our time," she said. "I am pleased that Log Cabin Republicans is endorsing Governor Romney. I know that all of us together will fight for equality for all Americans, regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation."