GOProud touts ‘any one’ of Republicans

Tuesday night’s Republican debate was devoted exclusively to economic issues, so LGBT issues did not arise. But Rick Santorum did manage to put in a plug for heterosexual marriage and families (as his best bet for fixing the economy).

Focus on economic issues is exactly what the gay conservative group GOProud said it wants.

“We need to hear specifics on what candidates will do to improve retirement security, expand affordable healthcare, reduce the tax burden and create jobs for all Americans – including gay and lesbian Americans,” said Jimmy LaSalvia, GOProud executive director.

LaSalvia said he believes “any one of the Republicans on stage tonight would do a vastly superior job than the one that has been done by President Barack Obama.” He declined to say whether he would, in fact, support “any one of the Republicans.”

GOProud, like most of the Republican candidates, supports repeal of the Affordable Care Act, even though a large coalition of groups serving people with HIV says repeal would do “irreparable harm” to people with HIV.

GOProud agrees with candidate Rick Perry’s characterization of Social Security as a “ponzi scheme.”

“Under the current discriminatory social security system supported by President Obama and liberals in Congress,” said GOProud, in a press release, “gay people are prohibited from leaving their Social Security benefits to their partner. GOProud strongly supports the creation of optional personal savings accounts. Personal savings accounts would allow all Americans, including gay Americans, to control and invest a portion of their Social Security benefits. These optional, private, inheritable, individual accounts could be left to anyone.”

Tuesday night’s debate was hosted by Bloomberg TV and the Washington Post and was staged on the Dartmouth College campus in New Hampshire. It included eight announced candidates, but did not include openly gay announced candidate Fred Karger.

Most of the announced Republican presidential candidates also appeared over the weekend at the “Values Voters” conference of the anti-gay Family Research Council.

Herman Cain told the cheering audience: “I believe that marriage is between one man and one woman. And I would not have asked the Department of Justice to not enforce it. I would have asked the Department of Justice to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act.”

Santorum and Mitt Romney also used the Values Voters conference to attack President Obama over the decision to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in federal courts. Santorum called that decision was an “abomination.”

“And worse than that, just recently, he has instructed his military chaplains to marry people, in direct contravention …  to the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage in federal law as between a man and a woman. So not only did the president not defend the law, he has now instructed people in the military to break the law.”

Romney said “marriage is more than a personally rewarding social custom.”

“It is also critical for the well-being of a civilization,” said Romney. “That is why it’s so important to preserve traditional marriage – the joining together of one man and one woman. And that’s why I will appoint an Attorney General who will defend the bipartisan law passed by Congress and signed by Bill Clinton – the Defense of Marriage Act.”

Republican rival Michelle Bachmann bragged on pushing for passage of a ban on same-sex marriage in Minnesota.

“You won’t find me equivocating or hemming or hawing when I’m asked to define marriage as between one man and one woman.”

The latest polls show Romney leading, followed by Cain in most polls.

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