Log Cabin Republicans' Romney Endorsement: It's Worse Than You Think

A lot of reaction to the Log Cabin Republicans' endorsement of Mitt Romney has centered around major disconnect of a supposedly pro-LGBT group endorsing the most anti-equality party. And those are all valid criticisms. But there is a more painful reality at play here, and it isn't just about marriage and gay servicemembers in the military. We know why Romney shouldn't be the candidate of any pro-LGBT group. The truth is that their given reasons for supporting Mr. Romney is far more cynical and hurtful to LGBT Americans than their excuses for Romney's mishaps. From the Log Cabin endorsement message:
We believe that President Obama has broken his promises to our country. Rather than focusing on job creation, he pushed through an extremely partisan, expensive and intrusive healthcare bill, presided over a United States credit downgrade, and has made no credible attempt to cut spending as our national debt has topped $16 trillion. Our nation is in a financial crisis, and we are in desperate need of a change in course.

If LGBT issues are a voter's highest or only priority, then Governor Romney may not be that voter's choice. However, Log Cabin Republicans is an organization representing multifaceted individuals with diverse priorities. Having closely reviewed the candidate’s history and observed the campaign, we believe Governor Romney will make cutting spending and job creation his priorities, and, as his record as Governor of Massachusetts suggests, will not waste his precious time in office with legislative attacks on LGBT Americans.
Other than the job creation meme for Romney being an out-and-out lie, let's focus on the only reason the Log Cabins have given for endorsing Mitt Romney (as opposed to all the reasons they have given to make excuses for this ridiculous act). They are endorsing Mitt Romney because they want Obamacare repealed, blame the president for the Republican credit downgrade, and because they believe that Mr. Romney will cut spending - presumably, cut domestic spending massively enough to make his plans for huge tax giveaways and military spending increases work.

Fine. Let's look at these things and see what they mean for LGBT Americans, our families, and yes, our children.

Health Care

In most states, employers are under no obligation to include same sex partners even if they do offer health insurance for families of their employees (that is, in addition to them being able to fire employees just for being gay in most states). With health care reform, when the exchanges come online in 2014, same-sex spouses and partners of people whose employers do not provide family coverage for them will be able to buy affordable health insurance in the market, with a subsidy if they are under 400% of poverty. If they are on the low end of the income ladder, this uninsured partner may even qualify for Medicaid under Obamacare. The Log Cabin Republicans are advocating for these families to live in fear every day of a health emergency wiping off everything they have worked for throughout their lives.

The whole LGBT community, but especially transgender Americans are less likely to have health insurance due to economic conditions. The exchanges, combined with the Medicaid expansion, will somewhat level that field, and the Log Cabin Republicans stand squarely against it through their endorsement of Mitt Romney.

Gay Americans are also more prone to be denied health insurance coverage due to pre-existing conditions, including being HIV positive - a health calamity brought upon our community in large part by Ronald Regan's ignorance of the epidemic in the 1980s, economic disadvantage and desperation, and lack of comprehensive sex education - something the party of the Log Cabin Republicans vociferously opposes.

Health disparities among the LGBT youth are a cause for major concern, stemming from a lack of support, depression, shame, and once again, a lack of comprehensive sex education, which sometimes turns into desperate outbursts in the forms of substance abuse, suicidal tendencies and more. The Affordable Care Act makes the first serious federal efforts in reducing these disparities for the children in our communities, and the Log Cabins oppose that.

Through their endorsement of Mitt Romney, the Log Cabin Republicans are saying something to LGBT people who either cannot afford health insurance or cannot obtain it because of a health condition, as well as to gay teens: fuck you.

Cutting the Budget

We already know that Mitt Romney's $8 trillion additional debt gap ($5 trillion from his tax cuts, $1 trillion from renewing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, and $2 trillion in additional defense spending) has to be made up somehow, and there aren't nearly enough loopholes he's willing to eliminate (he won't even eliminate his own) to even make a small dent to paying for it. So, if he's going to achieve that end by cutting the budget, where can it possibly come from?

It comes from all the necessary programs to give a hand-up to ordinary Americans. Romney would have to eliminate 53% of all domestic discretionary spending by 2012. Assuming that's an across the board cut, it would:
  • Throw out 14-19 million people out of Medicaid, many of them children, and disproportionately LGBT teens.
  • 14 million people cut from food stamps - once again, disproportionately children.
  • A devastating cut in the funding of the Ryan White Act - a fund of last resort for many living with HIV AIDS.
  • More than likely a severe cut in American assistance in foreign - especially African countries - to stop the AIDS epidemic there.
  • Cuts in job training and job retraining programs that are especially crucial for gay youth who often are forced to flee their families and relocate.
  • Severely weakening the federal prosecution resources to be used to prosecute hate crimes.
If this is a reason to endorse a candidate by an ostensibly LGBT group, that group has surely lost their right to be called an LGBT group. They are Republicans, but it's time they stopped the pretense that they represent the interests of the LGBT community.

I am infuriated, not because of the sad excuses they gave to endorse Mitt Romney, but the reasons they gave in his favor show their utter failure to even understand the issues our communities face in this country and across the globe, let alone represent our interests.

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