There are few instances of partisan rhetoric which surprise me anymore, but last weekend's New York City Pride march grabbed my attention in an unsavory way.
Gregory T. Angelo | All Articles
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Gregory T. Angelo
Gregory T. Angelo is the president of Log Cabin Republicans.
For years, activists in the gay community have been waging a war to end the decades-long ban on blood donations from any man who has had sexual relations with another man at any time since 1977. Last month, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it would be taking steps to replace the policy with a one-year abstinence requirement — a move that has done little to appease opponents of the ban who want it overturned altogether.
How can you be gay and a Republican? It’s a question I’m often asked by Democrats, and one I’m always happy to retort. Gay Republicans exist: deal with it. Similarly, liberals sneer at the notion that Republicans support the environment. Well, we do — but unlike the breathless doomsday predictions of blowhards like Al Gore, conservative conservation policy is rooted in practical reality. As Earth Day is today, a rundown of the GOP’s history supporting sound sustainable policy is apropos.
In the case of this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), the old chestnut that “those ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it” has never been more applicable. That’s why Log Cabin Republicans is not participating in this year’s CPAC, and why, as an organization, it was necessary to explain to our members and supporters the truth as to why we are not.
For weeks now the Log Cabin Republicans National Office has been receiving calls from members of the press and our grassroots supporters asking, “Why aren’t you attending CPAC this year?” For weeks our answer was short, to the point, and truthful: “We chose to direct our resources elsewhere.” The longer answer is, “We don’t want to support an event that doesn’t officially represent the best ideals of the big-tent philosophy, so we chose to direct our resources elsewhere.”
Just for a moment, let’s put aside former Nebraska senator and current defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel’s history of opposing gay rights. Let’s put aside his comments about the “legitimate” government of Iran. Let’s even put aside his comments about the influence of the “Jewish lobby” in the United States. Even with all of that off the table, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who could say with a straight face that Chuck Hagel’s performance at his confirmation hearings was anything short of disastrous. Rather than being assured of his bona fides, members of the United States Senate — and Americans everywhere — were left with more questions than answers.