Frum Forum’s Jeb Gonklin wrote a great post a while back on the differences between the two gay conservative groups: Log Cabin Republicans and GOProud. Since I’ve been involved with Log Cabin for almost a decade, my sympathies lie with them. Gonklin does a good job of describing what both groups have done in the last year, and Gonklin seems to have little good to say about GOProud. Regarding the latest controversy regarding the Conservative Political Action Conference and GOProud’s role, Gonklin has this to say:
Conservatives tolerate GOproud precisely because they know the group won’t actually push them to address substantive issues involving gay rights. GOProud’s motto might as well be: “Gays should not ask what the Republican Party can do for them. Gays should ask what they can do for the Republican Party.” But for those gay conservatives who would like their organization to speak for their own interests too, little is to be gained at an event like CPAC. LCR realizes, I suspect, that it doesn’t need to fight such public wars as the tides of progress flow in a pro-gay direction. LCR’S absence from CPAC is a sign of LCR’s strength. GOProud may have provoked social conservatives into a petulant and self-destructive display, but CPAC remains as hostile as ever to a gay civil rights agenda. GOProud’s participation does nothing to correct that offense.
Gonklin’s post might come off as a bit strong, but I also think he’s on to something here. GOProud has done a lot of big, spalshy events, like Homocon, but they have done little when it comes to advancing gay rights. On the other hand, Log Cabin was very involved with trying to get “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Repealed.
In a 2009 column, I had this to say about the inception of GOProud:
Does Log Cabin have problems? Yes. I disagree with the support for Hate Crimes legislation, which I disagree with on philosophical grounds. I also think they should have spoken more forcefully when gay GOP staffers were being outed. But that said, on the whole, this group has been a good organization showing that one can be gay and conservative.
As for all this talk about how Log Cabin has become “liberal?” Pure bunk. Please tell me, what is “liberal” about wanting the right to civil marriage, or the right to not be fired from your job because you are gay? What is “liberal” about wanting to serve in our military? The “liberal” term is used by those who are more interested in a “small tent” GOP, than in creating a movement and working to make the party that we love a more tolerant and welcoming party. Just because I believe in that doesn’t make me accept single-payer health care…
I could be wrong since the group’s purposes have not been released yet, but I fear that GOProud will be a group of gay Republicans not so interested in making society and our own party, more tolerant of gays, than it is about preserving the status quo. It’s interested in rallying around the GOP as it currently is and adding a dash of gayness to it. So they will promote the current GOP agenda, but do very little to change it. If that is there agenda, they are welcome to it, but I will remain with Log Cabin, imperfect as it is. My African American heritage and my upbringing in the Black church remind me that one must fight for their rights and that is what Log Cabin does.
It seems that my predictions came true. GOProud has really done little to advance gay rights. Last year during the California primary for Senate, they decided to attack gay-friendly candidate Tom Campbell, who they deemed as too liberal, and supported Carly Fiorina, who was supported by the anti-gay marriage National Organization for Marriage.
I know I’m biased, but I think Log Cabin will have a more lasting impact on gay rights and in making conservatism more inclusive than GOProud ever will.