But then, the Log Cabins turned right around and stomped all over their own victory for equality by awarding their "Barry Goldwater Award" to two homophobes from Texas: Sen. John Cornyn and Rep. Pete Sessions, the respective heads of the Republican Senatorial and Congressional campaign committees. As recently as Tuesday, Sen. Cornyn joined a Republican filibuster against a Senate defense authorization bill that would have striken Don't Ask Don't Tell from the books. Rep. Sessions voted against the same measure in the House -- he voted both against the amendment striking DADT, as well as the full defense authorization bill that contained it.
The Log Cabin Republicans on Wednesday honored Cornyn, chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, as well as Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas, the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, with the Barry Goldwater Award. The award, according to the group, "recognizes leaders in the Republican Party who have served their nation with distinction in the model of the late Senator Barry Goldwater."And what was the Log Cabins' response to the vote in the Senate striking down DADT that was filibustered by every single Republican and had the support of 57 of 59 Democratic Senators? Obviously, it was the Democrats' fault. They are very "disappointed" at Senate Majority Leader Reid, not their own party for unanimously blocking the measure.
Cornyn has a zero percent rating (out of 100) from the Human Rights Campaign, a GLBT rights group, when it comes to supporting gay rights issues. Sessions has a 6 percent rating.
Sessions and Cornyn are also, interestingly, Texas Republicans. And here is what the Texas Republican party platform has to say about homosexuality in their party platform, in addition to proposing that issuing marriage license to same sex couples be made a crime and that sodomy be re-criminalized.
Homosexuality – We believe that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society, contributes to the breakdown of the family unit, and leads to the spread of dangerous, communicable diseases. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans. Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable “alternative” lifestyle in our public education and policy, nor should “family” be redefined to include homosexual “couples.” We are opposed to any granting of special legal entitlements, refuse to recognize, or grant special privileges including, but not limited to: marriage between persons of the same sex (regardless of state of origin), custody of children by homosexuals, homosexual partner insurance or retirement benefits. We oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values.Cornyn and Sessions are both listed in the "Leadership Directory" of the Texas GOP. Yet, neither of them made a peep as the Texas GOP adopted this arcane platform with acquiescence (at the least silent acquiescence) from both of these homophobes. Leading in the tradition of Barry Goldwater? I think not.
At 85, after a life in politics spanning five decades (he retired from the Senate in 1987), Mr. Conservative has found himself an unlikely new career: as a gay rights activist. While that's not his sole pursuit ... in recent years he's championed homosexuals serving in the military and has worked locally to stop businesses in Phoenix from hiring on the basis of sexual orientation. This month he signed on as honorary co-chairman of a drive to pass a federal law preventing job discrimination against homosexuals. The effort, dubbed Americans Against Discrimination, is being spearheaded by the Human Rights Campaign Fund, the influential gay lobbying organization.Conservative as he is, homophobia has no place in the Goldwater mold. Still, the Log Cabin Republicans insisted on giving an award named after him to two homophobes from Texas. They gave this award to supporters of amending the US Constitution to ban same sex marriage, and as Rachel Maddow explains below, Congressman Sessions voted to ban adoptions by gay couples in Washington, DC, as well as against banning job discrimination based on sexual orientation.
I don't get it. Why are the Log Cabins insisting on honoring two of the worst homophobes in Congress? Why honor two individuals - with the Barry Goldwater award no less - that have amassed an anti-gay voting record second to none? From what I can tell, party loyalty - even for homophobes within the party (not that the Republican leadership isn't full of homophobes) - is driving this, over their commitment to non-discrimination. I guess they want electoral victory in November. But they have probably never thought of the consequences. If they win, what will they have won? They will have won a permanent block against repealing DADT, another push for the federal marriage amendment, and if the Texas Republicans get their way, attempts to criminalize homosexuality. I do wish they'd be careful what they wished for.