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September 18, 2008


Wayne Besen is an accomplished author, activist, columnist and public speaker. He is the founder and driving force behind the TruthWinsOut.org website and was a national spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign.

He has appeared on numerous television shows from NBC Nightly News to Fox's O'Reilly Factor to Hard Copy, MSNBC News and numerous others. He has also spoken at many leading universities, including Vanderbilt, Harvard Law School, John Hopkins, and the University of Florida.

The totality of his accomplishments leaves no doubt that he is one of the strongest, most articulate and best known voices for the GLBT community.

That being said, I find myself in strong disagreement with a suggestion he made in a recent posting at WayneBesen.com.

In that article, he calls for the Log Cabin Republicans to disband. His reasoning is absolutely spot-on and I totally agree with his logic.

A few paragraphs before the end, he said:

It is obvious, however, that this organization has outlived its usefulness and has been soundly defeated by much larger, wealthier and influential anti-gay forces. The party is now rotten to the core and thrives on homophobic bigotry, anti-immigrant sentiment, small-minded populism and foolishly mocking our foreign allies at the expense of our long-term national security (remember freedom fries?).

A couple of paragraphs later, Wayne goes on to say:
The only chance for gay Republicans to be legitimate players in the GOP is to have the party suffer a string of crushing losses. The defeats have to be so painful and substantial, that they lead to realignment, where the role of social conservatives is significantly diminished. Clearly, the Log Cabin Republicans can only save their party by helping to defeat it.

I wholeheartedly agree with this logic. Ironically, that is precisely why I so strongly disagree with his call for the Log Cabin Republicans to disband.

I firmly believe that the most effective and most startling tactic that LCR could use in this mind-numbingly important election is to NOT DISBAND. Instead, they should come out very publicly and withdraw their support for the McCain/Palin ticket. They should then turn right around and strongly endorse Obama and Biden.

This kind of action could send shock waves throughout much of the Republican Party. More importantly, if they explained that they were doing it out of conscience, a deep love for the Party and the hope that it would help bring about much needed change within it, it would definitely garner huge international publicity. That kind of public spotlight could even help persuade enough gay and straight voters to follow suit, in elections from the White House to City Councils, and possibly bring about Wayne's scenario of devastating the republican party to the point of forcing a realignment within it.

I would call upon President Patrick Sammon and the other leaders of the Log Cabin Republicans to consider this kind of history making action. It could not only restore your weakened credibility but it would also put you squarely in the center of a worldwide public spotlight. If you truly believe in what was once the republican principles and you honestly want to work within that system to change it, then there really is no other option - except to quit.

Wayne Besen is right. The republican party is never going to change unless it undergoes a major, transformative shake-up.

To use a somewhat worn but still true cliche...drastic times call for drastic measures.