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|Romney promises ENDA support in secret Log Cabin endorsement deal?|
|by Ryan Watkins|
|October 24, 2012 11:50|
Yesterday, gay conservative group Log Cabin Republicans officially endorsed Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney.
Left-leaning gay rights groups blasted the endorsement, saying the LCR had turned its back on the fight for LGBT equality. Out-going U.S. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) also criticized the endorsement in a video posted to Youtube Tuesday. In it, Frank lays out the records of both Romney and his VP pick Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) on gay issues to poke holes in the LCR endorsement.
Ben Adler from The Nation did a little digging and speculates that LCR Executive Director R. Clarke Cooper was given assurances by the Romney campaign that the candidate would support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) as president. Such assurances helped convince LCR to endorse, Adler suggests.
Romney’s greatest asset as a politician is his total lack of integrity, honesty or consistency. He is perfectly willing to go before the religious right one day and pledge fealty to them, and the Log Cabin Republicans the next day to do the same. And, apparently, that is what he has done, in private. Cooper asserted repeatedly that, “With a President Romney we’re confident we can work with him [on ENDA].”
As I continued to press this point and suggested that LCR may be factually wrong about Romney's position, Cooper blurted out, rhetorically, “Have you met with Romney’s domestic policy team?” Cooper's implication was abundantly clear: Romney's domestic policy team has privately told LCR what they wanted to hear. And therein lies the answer to how Romney secured LCR’s endorsement. But Romney so fears the wrath of the religious right that he will not adopt this position in public, (Although ENDA polls very well, major social conservative groups, such as the American Family Association, continue to oppose it and demand that Romney do the same.)
Our friends at the Washington Blade also spoke with Cooper, who was more candid with the Blade's Chris Johnson:
"I can say with confidence that the Romney administration would work on desirable outcomes for workplace non-discrimination,” Cooper said. “I’m going to leave it broad like that because I think there’s room for administrative action as well as legislative. I also think it’s probably fair to say that legislation in a form of an ENDA or an ENDA-like legislation is certainly realistic."
Cooper goes on to say that LCR has met with the Romney campaign over the last year, but the most extensive meeting between the parties came Oct. 17. Romney has stayed largely silent on ENDA in this campaign cycle.
For a candidate who once promised to be “better on gay rights” than Mass. Sen. Ted Kennedy, Romney has to do a lot more than just support ENDA to live up to that vow. I just can't see Romney sitting down with ABC News' Robin Roberts for an in-depth interview on his "evolution" with regard to employment protections, however hilarious such an interview would be.
In no universe does Romney compete with President Barack Obama's record on LGBT rights.
This change in position, if true, simply reaffirms my belief that Romney will say whatever he needs to say to win an election.
Top photo: GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney (via Facebook)
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