Press

Repsonse To Log Cabin’s Recommended Endorsement Of Dole And Kemp

Date: 
August 15, 1996

The following statement, denouncing the Log Cabin Gay and Lesbian Republican's recommended endorsement of the anti-gay ticket of Bob Dole and Jack Kemp, is attributable to Melinda Paras, NGLTF executive director.

Although we support the ongoing work of the Log Cabin Gay and Lesbian Republicans to increase their visibility in the GOP, we strongly disagree with their proposed endorsement of Bob Dole. A Dole/Kemp ticket is dangerous for America and dangerous for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Despite attempts to position the ticket and the convention as "moderate," political religious extremists still enjoy a firm command and unprecedented power in the GOP race for the presidency. Indeed, at every turn, from the divisive platform that reads like a Patrick Buchanan speech to the behind the scenes authority of Ralph Reed of the Christian Coalition, the hard Right continues to play a dominant role in the Republican party.

The Dole/Kemp campaign is a Trojan horse at the gates of American democracy. When the door of the horse opens, out will come not "moderates" but the leadership of the hard right, including the Christian Coalition, Focus on the Family, Council for National Policy, and other powerful hard right groups. Americans must guard the gate against the Trojan Horse threat of the Dole/Kemp campaign, not give it the keys to enter.

Dole's record on gay and AIDS issues is mixed at best, and Kemp's is dangerously far right wing. In his own words, Dole opposed the "special interest gay agenda that runs from gays in the military and reaches as far as to suggest special status for sexual orientation under federal civil rights statutes." Bob Dole and the 1996 GOP Platform believes gays should not be protected against discrimination on the job. Bob Dole is a lead sponsor of the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act.

Jack Kemp's record is worse. He opposes gay and lesbians as teachers and opposed the Supreme Court's recent decision to overturn Colorado's Amendment 2. Both Kemp and Dole have sided time and time again with arch-conservative, notorious anti-gay lawmakers Jesse Helms and William Dannemeyer on numerous hostile amendments, including one to cut off all funding to gay community health organizations, mandatory HIV reporting, and others. Kemp has made an about face on his more moderate opinions on affirmative action and immigration since being named to the ticket.

The Log Cabin members have made bold inroads in pushing their party, and we wish them ongoing success. Against all odds, they are attempting to wrestle control of the GOP away from political religious extremists. However, we disagree with the Log Cabin on what is needed to strengthen our democracy and ensure equality for all citizens, including women, people of color, immigrants, the poor, and the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender poeple. This proposed endorsement is wrong. The Dole/Kemp campaign is a danger to our struggle for justice.

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.