On Saturday morning, NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday found news in Dallas. Substitute anchor Linda Wertheimer proclaimed: "This weekend, the Log Cabin Republicans are holding their annual convention in Dallas, Texas. The group bills itself as the nation's only organization of Republicans which supports gay and lesbian rights." Wertheimer and NPR somehow completely missed the group GOProud -- which split off because the LCRs were too liberal -- despite their high-profile gay activism at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
Wertheimer awarded an interview to LCR executive director Clarke Cooper, but never mentioned that the Log Cabin "Republicans" refused to endorse Republican President George W. Bush in 2004. Any conservative rebuttal would insist that the LCRs are far more interested in litigating gay rights (as they are with "Don't Ask Don't Tell" for gays in the military) than in Republican victories or party-building. Wertheimer noted they were working with Andrew Cuomo, and wondered why they wouldn't just switch parties:
WERTHEIMER: Let me ask you this: I understand the New York chapter of the Log Cabin Republicans is working with the democratic governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, to pass same-sex marriage legislation. Are you finding that in this period it's more effective to work at the state level or somehow more appropriate to work at the state level on some of these issues?
COOPER: Well, these are the dual tracks. We have 42 chapters across the United States that not only work on getting people elected - not only just gay and lesbian Republicans, pro-equality Republicans - but to work on initiatives at a state level, be it a ballot initiative or be it legislation.
WERTHEIMER: But in this case, you were working with the democratic governor, Andrew Cuomo. I assume you hear this question often: Since these are very important issues for you, why if you find that the Democrats are more accepting, why don't you just switch over?
COOPER: Ah, that's a question that all Log Cabin Republicans get. And the one thing is the huge delta or difference, and not only for me personally but for my fellow gay and lesbian Republicans, is that we don't see eye-to-eye with most Democrats or of any Democrats on things like government spending, issues around national defense, on U.S. foreign policy, on tax reforms.
So, we have said because we're gay we should not be precluded from the broader conservative movement. Fortunately, in 2011, there are more of those in the conservative movement who have said, yes, you're right. You shouldn't be precluded; you should be included. And in fact, if anything, it makes the conservative movement stronger, more credible.
Cooper also unloaded the slogan "We are proud members of the Republican Party who believe inclusion wins." But they couldn't even include themselves in supporting President Bush. As for "inclusion," where will the social and religious conservatives go when "inclusion wins"?