Press

Gays And Lesbians Blast Kemp

Date: 
August 11, 1996

The following statement on Jack Kemp and the hard right's influence on the 1996 GOP Convention is by Kerry Lobel, Deputy Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF). ***

Former Senator Dole's selection of Jack Kemp as his running mate is one more attempt to pacify the Christian Coalition and the ultra-right-wing Council for National Policy.

Kemp is a Trojan Horse candidate. While he appears to be a mainstream conservative that offers the ticket a focus on conservative economic policies, Kemp is, in fact, an extremist out of step with mainstream America.

Over the last fifteen years, Kemp has been part of the leadership of the hard Right, whose agenda is antithetical to democracy. His voting record brands him as a right-winger on such issues as abortion, discrimination against gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders, and people living with HIV and AIDS.

Even Kemp's arguably moderate views on affirmative action and immigration can be called moderate only in the context of the Republican extremism that surrounds him.

We must judge this ticket by its platform, its record and its leaders.

The convention platform provides a clue: a Pat Buchanan inspired platform that scapegoats poor people, people of color and immigrants. The platform re-writes the GOP's checkered history related to AIDS and AIDS funding by falsely claiming its traditional support for funding for AIDS research and prevention. It was this GOP that placed serious limits on the efforts of AIDS educators to speak plainly about sex and sexuality. This is a platform that, while it claims to support equal opportunity for all, continues to perpetuate discrimination against the gay community in the areas of same-gender marriage and service in the military.

Leadership of the Republican Party is so far to the right that it is chilling. The convention's speaker line-up includes some of the right-wing's most notorious spokespeople: militia advocate Helen Chenowith, anti-gay and AIDS-phobic Congressmember Robert Dornan, and Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed.

Jack Kemp is the Trojan Horse and America is Troy. Let's not open the gates of the country for the Trojan Horse to enter. We must keep ourselves defended from the forces of the Right.

–30–

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.