HOUSTON VOICE • DECEMBER 10, 1999
VOICES AND ECHOES
Log Cabin Republicans play ihe civil rights doormat
by MICHAEL ALVEAR
Beating up on the Log
Cabin Republicans is
addictive. Like eating potato chips, you
can't just stop at one punch. I feel guilty,
though, because the organization does a
certain amount of good. In a lurching,
Frankenstein sort of way.
Recently, LCR's Georgia chapter was
instrumental in throwing a fund-raiser
for George W. Bush. Attendees estimated
that as much as 80 percent of the crowd
was gay. Yet the speakers, including U.S.
Sen. Paul Coverdell (R-Ga.), never once
acknowledged that fact; never once
uttered the word "gay"; and never once
addressed a single gay issue, pro or con.
Coverdell appeared again at Georgia
LCR's Dec. 1 meeting, and again he never
What kind of a loser do you have to be
to give your money to a candidate that
won't even acknowledge your existence?
What kind of doormat would sit at a
function and not ask the recipients of tens
of thousands of dollars to acknowledge
the contributor's presence? I've had
cheap tricks before, but never anyone
willing to bend over so quickly.
Well, not without dinner, anyway.
George W. Bush has gone on record
saying he won't even meet with Log
Cabin Republicans, and that he would
not appoint anyone to his administration
if he knew they were gay. So what does
LCR do? Throw a party for him.
A friend once told me that the
Republican philosophy can be summed
up in a two-sentence cheer—"Hooray for
me! Fuck you!" If that's true, the Log
Cabin cheer should be "Hooray for them!
LCR should be taken to the woodshed.
Or we could whack them right where
they are, since their pants are perpetually
around their ankles anyway.
Though I don't consider myself conservative or Republican, I actually
believe in LCR's mission. I've given them
money, supported their concept (if not its
execution), and I believe Rich Tafel, the
LCR national executive director, is one of
the most articulate spokesmen of the gay
movement, conservative or liberal.
In a way, LCR is poised to make more
important gains for gays than groups
on the Left. Republicans are in control of
the House and Senate. Loathing and
reviling them makes for good sport, but
Even if the Democrats win back both
houses, we're still left with a big problem—no relationship with half of the U.S.
power base. And that's where LCR
comes in. Common sense, which is a
completely foreign concept to the Left, is
an LCR tenet: The best way to stop your
enemy is to make him your friend.
But whatever horse sense Rich Tafel
and his well-intentioned band of neo-
cons started out with, they fritter it away
with some of the most asinine strategic
moves I've seen since the Left burdened
us with the weight of "LGBTQ."
The Left may be a bunch of disrespectful, back-biting PC mongers who prefer
perpetual victimhood over incremental
victory, but at least they've managed to
hold on to their dignity. Sort of.
Moderating the Republican party
through dialogue and influence is an
admirable goal. Giving up your dignity
in the process is not. LCR's preferred
strategy in the face of abuse and ingratitude is silence. It's their version of "Don't
Ask, Don't Tell." Don't ask the
Republicans to acknowledge you, and
they don't have to tell anyone they did.
It doesn't bother me that Sen.
Coverdell, who's never seen a gay issue
he didn't vote down, addressed an LCR
meeting. I applaud it. It's the beginning
of constructive dialogue.
What bothers me is that the LCR leadership doesn't pull him aside and say,
"Look, I know we're miles apart on many
issues but even Arafat acknowledged
Israel's right to exist. We don't expect you
to come out swinging for ENDA and
against DOMA, but we do expect you to
at least say the word 'gay' and express
some gratitude to the gay community for
its support of Republican causes."
It seems like such a pitiful thing to ask
for in exchange for the hundreds of thousands of dollars that gay Republicans
donate to the party. But LCR apparently
doesn't believe it can rise to the level of
Michael Alvear lives with his liberal
boyfriend, his libertarian Labrador and
republican Viszla, who refuses to
acknowledge him when he gets fed. He
can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
prosecute, not advocate
To the Editor:
We fervently disagree with the Houston
,Voice's editorial expressing displeasure
with the outcome of the Matthew Shepherd
trial ("The defense got it right in the
Shepard case," Nov. 12). The Houston Voice
unnecessarily criticized prosecutor Cal
Rerucha for making the trial more about "a
robbery gone bad" than thc fact that it was
an anti-gay hate crime. There was a logical
reason for this. A prosecutor's job is to prosecute and pursue justice, not be a gay rights
A guilty verdict that assures McKinney
will never leave prison and have the opportunity to terrorize another Matthew
Shepherd should not bother the Houston
Voice. McKinney was punished to the
fullest extent of the law, justice was served
and for this we are grateful. It is clear that
any would-be gay basher who saw the outcome would realize that there is a heavy
price to pay for his or her actions. This
point is incontrovertible.
Perhaps the most specious part of the
editorial is the section that accuses gay
organizations of "whitewashing" the hate
that killed Matthew Shepherd. HRC has
addressed this fact in every major media
outlet in the nation. We have produced two
television public service announcements
with Judy Shepard and have held numerous press conferences to lobby for hate
crime legislation where we discussed
Matthew Shepherd's sexual orientation.
HRC's outspokenness on the Shepard murder as an anti-gay hate crime is clearly doc
umented and should* have been more accurately reflected in this editorial.
Anabel E. Evora
Human Rights Campaign
Bradley bests Gore
but gets no respect
To the Editor:
Presidential candidate Bill Bradley has the
best stands on gay issues in this election and
possibly in the history of presidential politics.
Democratic rival AI Gore places a distant second. ("Gore, Bradley spar over gay rights,"
news, Nov. 26).
Bradley proposes non-discri mina Hon in
employment, housing, and public accommodations; Gore—employment only.
Bradley's health care program specifically
provides for gay and lesbian families; Gore's,
to the best of my research, does not.
Although, neither candidate supports gay
marriage, Bradley proposes "gay unions"
with all the benefits and rights of marriage;
Gore's DP plan is still being formulated.
With these stellar gay positions, you would
think Bradley would be welcomed with open
arms by our gay and lesbian leadership. It's
been quite the opposite, however.
Rep. Barney Frank publicly bashes
Bradley over differences on how to achieve
gay civil rights, our national organizations
simply ignore Bradley, and the Human
Rights Campaign misrepresents him in com-
parison to Gore on its web-site.
Just as our national organizations have not
informed us about the other gay civil rights
bill currently in Congress, even though it
would grant full civil rights, so too have they
kept rather mum about Bradley's existence
and his plans for comprehensive gay rights.
This silence contrasts sharply with previous
Democratic primaries, when the same
organizations made sure ever)' candidate's
pro-gay statements were publicized from
coast to coast.
Most disturbing however, HRC's web-site
comparing Y2K presidential candidates on
gay issues fails to mention most of Bradley's
pro-gay positions, and then suggests Gore is
the better candidate on gay issues.
Attacking a pro-gay candidate, inaccurately reporting his positions, silencing his message, or just plain pretending he doesn't exist
are all strategies we might expect from our
right-wing adversaries, but certainly not from
our friends and leaders.
Lesbian club opens its doors
To the Editor:
Recent criticism of a policy at Club
Rainbow has prompted my business partner
and I to offer an explanation of our intent to
ameliorate the misunderstanding.
We would like to clarify that we do not
hate men in any capacity. We strongly believe
in tlie concept of unity. It was never our
intention to discriminate or offend anyone in
Qub Rainbow's tagline "Exclusively for
Gay Women" was originated for two reasons:
Marketing. It w.as our intent to inform the lesbian community that there w.as an establishment that catered to their niche. Safety. From
the club's inception we wanted to ensure that
we provided a safe environment where lesbians could congregate and socialize without
fear of harassment from heterosexual males
who prey on lesbian women.
While our methodology in obtaining our
goals may seem insensitive, we assure vou it
was merely naivete. If we had the foresight to
comprehend the brouhaha that has ensued,
I assure you we would have conveyed
our message in a different manner.
Consequently, we have a taken steps to
accomplish our goals and maintain a
semblance of community unity.
Keep in mind that we are novices in the
realm of owning and operating a nightclub. It
is our first foray into the world of business.
-Although Club Rainbow is a lesbian establishment, we have retired our tagline because we
welcome any and all patrons who are willing
to respect the clientele of our establishment.
Let us know what you think
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