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Called 'self loathing,' Log Cabin Republicans struggle for respect in the LGBT community

BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com

Miami-Dade political activist Miriam “Mimi” Planas says it’s easier to tell her Republican friends she’s gay than to tell gay friends she’s a Republican.

“It’s got such a bad image and we’re trying to undo that,” said Planas, Miami chapter co-chair with Eddie Sierra of Log Cabin Republicans, a Washington, D.C.-based gay political group holding its national board meeting Saturday in Miami.

The meeting comes at the same time that the nation’s attention is focused on Florida’s presidential primary. Voters go to the polls Tuesday.

Log Cabin Republicans claim 22,000 members nationwide. About two dozen from 42 chapters will participate in the Miami board meeting, said national Executive Director R. Clarke Cooper, an Army veteran from Tallahassee who later worked for U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Miami; Florida Gov. Jeb Bush; and his brother, President George W. Bush.

Cooper affirms the difficulties of being a gay member of the GOP: “I laugh about this with fellow Republican colleagues, that walking into the Republican National Committee, I feel much more comfortable than walking into other gay organizations.”

He says gay Democrats often mock the Republicans. “The thing that is quite disturbing — they say we’re not thinking, that we’ve been lobotomized. Or we’re self-hating or self-loathing.”

Michael Emanual Rajner, legislative director of the Florida GLBT Democratic Caucus, puts it bluntly:

“If you want to identify as a gay constituency to a political party that doesn’t want you, that actually uses you as a ploy to mobilize ultra Christian conservative voters, to further marginalize us as Americans, you have to scratch your head and wonder,” Rajner said. “They’re continually outcasts and shunned in their system.”

Gay rights have been front and center this Republican presidential campaign. Front-runners Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have all enthusiastically spoken against gay marriage, adding fuel to the gay Democrats’ fire.

“That is nothing more than going after their base. I believe they are saying what needs to be said,” said Scott Herman, a gay Republican state House candidate in Broward County.

When gay Democrats attack Herman’s political affiliation, he reminds them “you have extremists on both sides in both parties.”

“We have heard of ultra conservative judges on the Democratic side and liberal judges on the Republican side,” Herman said.

Herman points out that Log Cabin Republicans sued the United States to end the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which prevented gays and lesbians from openly serving. Bipartisan support in the U.S. House and Senate led to the policy being repealed in 2010.

“I believe the Republican Party is showing, even today, that its being more inclusive than excluding,” said Heman, a disabled Desert Storm and Desert Shield veteran who formerly held office in Cabarrus County, N.C.

“I was the first openly gay Republican elected in North Carolina history,” said Herman, who moved to Wilton Manors just over two years ago.

Broward has had an active Log Cabin club dating back to 1991, chapter member A. Jay “Andy” Eddy said.

Eddy, a Republican for more than 40 years, said he supports the party because “I like the whole fiscal approach of the platform, the whole concept of fiscal responsibility.”

“When I've dealt with Republicans in the past I felt more attuned to ethical responsibility and accountability,” he said. “I don’t support runaway taxes. I like that you don‘t make yourself subservient to entitlements. It robs you of the riches that America has to offer.”

The Miami club is 4 years old. Planas, a former Miami-Dade Commission candidate, said she and Sierra are working hard to build membership.

“We want to reach people and let them know they don’t have to be Democrats if they’re gay,” Planas said. “I believe in what we do. And I believe that there are a lot more gay Republicans out there who don’t want it to be known they are Republicans.”

Two years ago, Planas worked a Log Cabin booth at the Miami Beach Gay Pride festival.

“We had a little interest. Not much at all. We had a few people come to the booth and ask what it was about. When they heard we were Republicans, they ran off.”

Some Log Cabin members that day reported being abused by angry gay Democrats, Planas said.

“They got spit on. They got called names,” she said. “It’s really, really rough to be a Republican.”

IF YOU GO

Log Cabin Republicans’ Florida “cocktail caucus” will be 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday at City Hall the Restaurant, 2004 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. For more information, call Miriam “Mimi” Planas at 786-443-9875.

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To Rick Santorum The whole line that marriage existed before governments is utter bullshitt. You know what marriage was then, it was a contract between a man and the woman's father.It used to be about owning a woman and joining families together for power and property.

Gay Republicans are like people in an abusive relationship.

You will find people lacking cognition in every group, even among gays and lesbians. The pathtic membership numbers speaks volumes as to thier political significance.

Gay Rights is about civil rights. The Republicans turned away from Civil Rights expansion in 1965 (and long before), as the South gave up being Republican. Where is the Log Cabin thinking coming from--to fight from within? Good luck to them!

Roy Cohn, Senator McCarthy's prosecutor, was openly gay IN THE 50'S.

Planas is a cubanista and she is lying that people spat on her, its typical republican lies, Republicans attitude towards miniroties are repulsive, and their rhetoric affects peoples lives indirectly all over the country, some people are even killed becasue of it, you should spend your time and effort on changing that within your party first instead if attacking another party.

Perhaps Planas, not being the sharpest tool in the shed, didn't realize that those whom she claimed spit at her, were straight Republicans who are repulsed by her sexual orientation.

G. Ellison is an idiot. Martin Luther King Jr. was a Republican. Why? Because it was the Republicans who were fighting for civil rights. The Democrats were completely opposed to it. The KKK was an offshoot of the Democratic Party. Read some history. We can accept you politically without accepting your lifestyle.

No, actually you have your history wrong. It was at the time of the Civil Rights Act that the Democrats and Republicans switched their support for minorities. Democrats began to support Civil Rights while the Republicans co-opted the racist Dixiecrats. We all know now which party embraces minorities, human rights and compassion and that is not the Republican party.

Gay republicans are like black KKK members.

Richard Nixon you are absolutely wrong!! The Republicans did not support civil rights and the KKK was very much a part of the Republican party! Martin Luther King being a Republican is laughable. You may want to brush up on your history.

Gay Republicans is an oxymoron just like intelligent Republicans or non racist Republicans or even with the exception of the half that are Cuban sheep Latino Republicans. Fact is you and your kind are not welcome in their ever shrinking pup tent of a rube white men party. Justvwatchbthe candidates when they are in places like South Carolina throw all these groups under the bus. No worries though except for the self haters who want to one day be like Mittens th magic underwear man none I'll vote except for our great current President Obama! Funniest of all was Michelle Bachmann throwing gays under the bus all the while being married to a gay man herself who actually runs a government paid for clinic that thinks they can pray away th gay. Tough to be more hypocritical and funny than all the R clowns. Obamanos!

Lyndon Baines Johnson is the Democratic President who signed the civil rights ct into law. Right after hevid it he told his advisors our party I'll lose the Southern States for a generation.. He knew which states were filled with ignorant racists now didn't he. Richard Nicon the poster is an idiotic liar with zippo integrity. Read at your peril. Obama 2012 vote for the winner.

I thou that this is a free country and that people can choose what ever they like to due, not a totalitarian country where people that dont think and act like you are ridicule and possibly punish, that is what it looks like from the gay left. if they ever get it to power get ready to leave the country if you dont think like them, this is not new to this world, it happens before.

Mimi is in this country because people like you, intolerant of others opinions.
Down with totalitarianism.
I wanna think however the F*** I like.
Thank you America, we still a free country.

I understand how a gay person might prefer Repubican positions towards the economy, national defense, or some other issue. I suppose there were a few German Jews in the early 30s who liked the Nazi party values on the family and national strength too. But to deny that the Republican party as an entity uses gay people as a scapegoat for what they perceive as the problems in America today, similarly to the Nazis towards Jews and others, one must be blind. Gays are clearly unwelcome and often vilified by the Republican party and to think otherwise is a distortion of reality.

Republicans will never embrace Gay lifestyle. Keep fooling yourselves, they are counting on your vote.

I simply don't understand how the GOP thinks that dividing the country over hot button social issues will ever expand their base. They've been doing the same thing over and over again for decades now, and still expecting a different result. That's the definition of insanity per Einstein. The GOP is insane.

A gay person voting for a Republican is like a Jew voting for a Nazi.

Pastor at Santorum rally: Americans won’t vote for Mormon president, Mormon church is racist
by Andrew Abramson | January 22nd, 2012
Rev. O’Neal Dozier, the conservative pastor of Pompano Beach’s Worldwide Christian Center, told the Palm Beach Post Sunday that Mitt Romney cannot win the presidency because Americans won’t vote for a Mormon president.
Following his third place finish in South Carolina, Rick Santorum made his first Florida campaign stop at Dozier’s church, where he gave a faith-based sermon. Dozier has been an outspoken critic of homosexuality and radical Islam. In November, former presidential candidate Herman Cain decided minutes before a speech not to have Dozier deliver his invocation, as was originally planned.
“You can look at the June Gallup poll that shows the people have already spoken – 22 percent of the electorate will not vote for a Mormon,” Dozier said. “The American people will not vote for a Mormon to be president of the United States.”
Dozier, who is black, said a Republican will need at least 10 percent of the black vote to win the presidency.
“Blacks are not going to vote for anyone of the Mormon faith,” Dozier said. “The book of Mormon says the Negro skin is cursed.”

I don't get why GOProud and LCRs don't withhold their endorsements until AFTER the Republican primaries. I don't begrudge anyone the right to differing opinions, but do they really believe their endorsement does anything but harm a candidate with Republican base voters. If they endorse Romney, his opponents get to say, "SEE, he's soft on gays! Save your endorsements until the general election, where more moderates who are concerned about gay rights may be swayed. If Mitt is your guy, then endorse Newt, and vice versa. NEWSFLASH gay Republicans, most in your own party think you're revolting and should suffer in under apartheid conditions, so while Dems may be more verbally insulting, at least they don't codify their insults into law. Call me every name in the book, but deny me my rights, and sorry, that is far more offensive. Why can't these folks make that distinction?

Too bad the entire life of a homosexual is centered around homosexuality. Like why can't they just be "Republicans?" No, they have to be something special, and they need special attention for their special needs and issues. Jesus Christ, please God, give these homosexuals everything they want, and maybe for one day in their miserable lives they will SHUT THE F UP!!

Too bad the entire life of a christian is centered around christianity. Like why can't they just be "Republicans?" No, they have to be something special, and they need special attention for their special needs and issues. Jesus Christ, please God, give these christians everything they want, and maybe for one day in their miserable lives they will SHUT THE F UP!!

The ugly head of intolerance, exclusion, and hostility has again reared its voice in a number of the posted responses to the subject article about Log Cabin Republicans.
While some wave the rainbow banner in celebration of a community that espouses inclusion and equality other naysayers tear that vision apart with a mean-spirited vengeance typical of those enabling hate.
Regardless of the expressed hostilities, Log Cabin activists cannot back off from the high ground on a battlefield where the struggle against exclusion and a denial of equality of rights rages.
All such righteous activists must win the common ground regardless of their political affiliation and/or any deep-seeded intolerance faced even in a politically arena where common-ground social objectives are a targeted goal on a pathway to victory.

There are gay republicans and pro-life democrats.

It is possible to actually have political views that don't fit exactly into 2 boxes. This is why we end up with a big group in the middle we usually call "independents." But, some independents lean left - some right.

I certainly don't mandate that anyone fit into any predetermined box... or that parties have litmus tests for EACH and EVERY political or social category. People should be able to identify themselves as they wish. "I'm a progressive republican" or a "blue-dog democrat" or whatever.

Enough with the discrimination against gay republicans. What a waste of time to start pointing fingers and saying that gays all have to be democrats, etc, etc. We need to grow up and realize each person has a right to identify themselves in a way that best describes THEIR political beliefs. Forcing people into either of two identical boxes is pretty lame and one reason why we end up with gridlock and a lack of people in DC working together to accomplish much.

I applaud republicans that cross the line to vote for gay-rights. I applaud democrats that cross the line to vote with republicans on other issues.

Follow your conscience before being sold out to a particular party.

Log Cabin Republicans? What's the log cabin for?

From the group's website:

http://www.logcabin.org/site/c.nsKSL7PMLpF/b.6417383/k.B012/Our_History.htm

The name of the organization is a reference to the first Republican President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, who was born in a Log Cabin. President Lincoln built the Republican Party on the principles of liberty and equality. The party should return to its roots. When the organization was founded, the name, "Lincoln Club" was already taken by another GOP group, so organizers settled on the name Log Cabin Republicans.

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