By Gary Glenn, President American Family Association of Michigan
Friends, for whatever you may or may not conclude they’re worth, some personal thoughts… it would be simply intolerable if the GOP presidential primary actually comes down to the race the mainstream media is starting to portray — Mitt Romney vs. Jon Huntsman vs. Mitch Daniels. But it very well could if we — the pro-family movement — fail to publicly tell the truth about them.
All three of these establishment “front runners” (according to the media, assuming they run) would be on record supporting either homosexual “civil unions” or Barney Frank prototype policies establishing special “protected class” status on the basis of so-called “sexual orientation” and “gender identity,” thus undercutting, marginalizing, and delegitimizing our opposition to such policies even among some conservatives.
(If Mitt Romney really is “conservative across the board,” for example, as Tony Perkins repeatedly insisted last cycle (http://bit.ly/liupN5), and Romney nonetheless demonstrably disagrees with our stand on various pro-family issues — as he does — that inevitably will cause even some in our own constituency to either start wondering if our stand is right on a given issue, or if maybe we are the ones not telling the truth about a candidate’s record, or if that given issue is even all that important. How can it not result in one of those outcomes? And if we fail to speak out about it, surely some will wonder if it’s really even all that important…to us.)
Romney’s record on the homosexual issue is well-established and voluminous:
Unless he’s changed his stand (again), Romney to this day opposes the Boy Scout policy on homosexual Scoutsmasters.
Sioux City Journal, Sioux City, Iowa, July 23, 2007
He issued the executive orders that actually implemented so-called homosexual “marriage” in Massachusetts.
And unless his position has changed (again), his latest statement is that while reversing his earlier pledge to cosponsor ENDA if elected to the U.S. Senate, he still supports passage of “sexual orientation” laws “at the state level.” (Meet the Press, Dec. 2007) http://on.msnbc.com/jOeci1
Huntsman was praised by the Human Rights Campaign for his endorsement of formal government recognition of homosexual “civil unions.” http://www.hrc.org/12112.htm
Daniels actually implemented in Indiana what Barney Frank and Obama haven’t yet been able to force onto the entire nation. He issued an executive order adding “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the state’s nondiscrimination policy, and not just to the laundry list of characteristics already found in the policy, but highlighted in a separate paragraph all their own. http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?ID=21357 (To their credit, AFA and AFA-Indiana publicly criticized Daniels’ executive order. Indiana’s Focus affiliate, naturally, criticized Micah and assured Christians how “conservative” and “pro-family” Daniels is.)
According to the July-August 2004 newsletter of the Indiana Transgender Rights Advocacy Alliance, Daniels’s 2004 gubernatorial campaign not only endorsed the “gender identity” construct but actually donated money to the state’s most prominent homosexual activist group: ”Our efforts are paying off in very tangible ways. On May 10th, Republican gubernatorial candidate, Mitch Daniels, added gender identity as a protected characteristic in his campaign’s employment policy. On May 19th, a representative from the Mitch Daniels Campaign attended the INTRAA fundraiser benefiting Indiana Equality and made a financial contribution to our efforts while being able to meet and talk with transgender constituents and allies from Indiana Equality.”
Any number of us, myself included, have the goods on Romney and will keep pitching them. The reason I got as much traction in the 2008 cycle with Romney was geographical: I’m in Michigan and was thus perceived and portrayed by the media as a hometown, backyard critic. My critical comments about other candidates got far less coverage. (In the interim, however, I’ve also generated national coverage laying wood to Huntsman when he trawled his lines through Michigan and a county GOP organization very publicly cancelled his scheduled appearance when the Grand Rapids paper reported his support of “civil unions.”) http://bit.ly/Z1jmm
AFA Indiana’s Micah Clark has the same backyard opportunity with Daniels (if he runs) that I had with Romney. In fact, if Micah and the rest of us start talking about Daniels’ executive order right now, before he decides, we might actually impact his decision whether to enter the race and save ourselves lots of time and trouble. But it shouldn’t be left entirely to Micah. We should both encourage him, back him up, and act ourselves when and if he can’t or doesn’t. The point and principle being, if we want fewer politicians to endorse “sexual orientation” or “civil unions” policies, we must constantly teach them that there’s a price to be paid for doing so. There’s no better lesson for current or hopeful city councilmen and state legislators and congressmen and governors than to watch a candidate or candidates for president being aggressively and publicly held accountable for doing so. (What AFA did to those justices in Iowa is an incomparable example, but given the attention span of politicians, we have to keep teaching the lesson.) http://bit.ly/9b5seB
Our failure to aggressively hold them accountable is also a teaching message, though an entirely different one: “I have nothing to fear from the pro-family movement. I can support the homosexual agenda in whatever office I hold now, and if I run for higher office, they won’t say a thing.” (Thus, we are going to teach politicians who watch our actions one lesson or the other. Not teaching a lesson is not one of the options.)
But regardless of who does it, we cannot stand silently by and allow the Republican primary process — at least not without our protests — to come down to a Hobson’s Choice of which pro-homosexual agenda politician is nominated. If both parties’ presidential nominees endorse the foundational “sexual orientation” construct of the homosexual movement, and we’re silent — or worse, actually support one of them just because he’s a Republican — how do we credibly and with integrity hold lesser politicians accountable on the same issue in the future? Our stand on these issues will be marginalized and, at least to some, discredited in any case.
We should also start this presidential cycle by making clear to others among us that there’s also a price to pay in terms of continued credibility and leadership in the pro-family movement for those who deceive our shared constituency, as some did the last cycle, with repeated falsehoods about how “conservative” such and such a candidate is.
It’d be a luxury to have a candidate in the race we could enthusiastically support. But whether we do or don’t is irrelevant to our duty to hold publicly accountable those whose record and positions are opposed to the values we profess to champion, even if it’s every single one of them. We don’t have to support any candidate for public office, but what those who look to us for leadership do expect us to do is tell them the truth and warn them about candidates whose records don’t reflect our values.
And to be faithful to the trust those millions of Americans put in us collectively, we should also — from the beginning this time — tell them the truth when and if others they might trust cover up or falsely characterize the record and positions of such politicians.
Photo Credit : Gage Skidmore Creative Commons
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