One advocate for “protecting marriage” departs

Herman Cain

It was one week after Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain told The Hill newspaper, “I think marriage should be protected at the federal level,” that allegations began emerging to suggest Cain himself had not been protecting marriage at the personal level.

Cain “suspended” his presidential campaign Saturday (December 4), following the latest allegation of sexual improprieties with women other than his wife. His support had dropped precipitously in the polls—from frontrunner with 25 percent or more to back-of-the-pack with only 8 percent in the latest Iowa polling.

The Des Moines Register reported Saturday that Rep. Ron Paul has now moved up to second place in polls of likely participants in next month’s Republican caucuses. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich continues leading the field, with 25 percent; Paul has 18 percent; and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has 16 percent.

Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, who has yet to register even one percent in any poll, told an online LGBT Republican forum December 1 that he “simply cannot find a legitimate justification” for the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and that marriage should be defined by “religions and individuals, not government.” He also said he thinks denying marriage rights and benefits to same-sex couples is “discrimination, plain and simple.”

Republican hopeful Michele Bachmann did not know what a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) was when a high school student attending a town hall meeting in Waverly, Iowa, November 30 identified herself to ask a question. The student, Jane Schmidt of Waverly-Shell Rock High School, asked what Bachmann would do “to protect GSAs in high schools and support the LGBT community?” Bachmann did not answer that question but said “there shouldn’t be any special rights…based on people’s preferences,” a comment that some people attending the event applauded. Bachmann then stuck the microphone back in front of Schmidt’s face. Schmidt used the opportunity to ask why same-sex couples can’t get married. Bachmann said “they can, but they abide by the same law as everyone else,” which Bachmann said means “they can marry a man if they’re a woman or they can marry a woman if they’re a man.”

Iowa Pastor Cary Gordon, an evangelical leader who helped lead the ouster of three state supreme court justices because they ruled the state constitution requires treating same-sex couples the same as straight couples when it comes to marriage licenses, endorsed Republican long-shot presidential hopeful Rick Santorum December 2. Gordon said he was torn between Santorum and Michele Bachmann but is endorsing Santorum because Santorum has said he would include Bachmann in his administration.

Meanwhile, President Obama, who is running for a second term in 2012, used the occasion of World AIDS Day, December 1, to urge the nation to “do more” to help “young black gay men” believe “their lives matter.” In at speech at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., Obama noted that the rate of HIV infections among some populations continues to rise dramatically.

“There are communities in this country being devastated by this disease,” said the president. “When new infections among young, black, gay men increase by nearly fifty percent in three years, we need to do more to show them that their lives matter. When Latinos are dying sooner than other groups; when black women feel forgotten even though they account for most of the new cases among women, we need to do more.”

President Obama also issued a statement November 28, in reaction to news that Rep. Barney Frank would retire at the end of his current term. The president called Frank “a fierce advocate” for his constituents in Massachusetts, as well as “Americans everywhere who needed a voice.”

“He has stood up for the rights of LGBT Americans,” said the statement, “and fought to end discrimination against them.”

2 Responses to One advocate for “protecting marriage” departs

  1. DRH says:

    Too bad; he’s a good guy.

  2. Arouete says:

    Ah yes. The “sanctity of marriage” and the responsibility for our “choices.”

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