Pennsylvania state Rep. Mike Fleck (R-Huntingdon) came out Saturday. “I’m still the exact same person and I’m still a Republican and, most importantly, I’m still a person of faith trying to live life as a servant of God and the public. The only difference now is that I will also be doing so as honestly as I know how,” Fleck said,according to Politics PA. The Huntingdon Daily News, a subscription-based news service, first reported the story. Fleck, who was married to a woman for almost a decade, said his Christian faith kept him from coming out for years. “I wanted to live a ‘normal’ life and raise a family,” Fleck said. “I also believed that by marrying, I was fulfilling God’s will and I thought my same-sex attraction would simply go away.” Fleck was also actively involved with the Boy Scouts of America — an anti-gay organization — as an Eagle Scout and then as a district executive for the group. Despite the GOP’s resistance to same-sex marriage, Fleck said he would remain with the party because he’s not “a one-issue person.” “The Republican party is all about the government needing to stay out of people’s lives,” Fleck said. “I’m not a one-issue person and it’s not a one-issue party.”
Indiana: GOP Intend To Move Forward With Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment
Marriage equality’s electoral wins in this month’s election haven’t deterred Indiana State Rep. Eric Turner and his GOP allies from their anti-gay marriage mission. 1010 WCSIreports that Turner plans on moving forward with a proposed amendment that would amend the state’s constitution to define marriage as being between one man and one woman, even though same-sex marriage is already illegal in Indiana and that state’s GOP made a show ofmoving away from homophobic politicking.
Same-sex marriage is already illegal in Indiana, but legislatorsoverwhelmingly voted last yearto put that ban in the constitution. It has to pass the House and Senate again in 2013 or 2014 — but this month‘s election brought the first suggestion public opinion on the issue could be shifting.
Minnesota voted this month to reject a constitutional ban, while Maine and Maryland became the first states to legalize same-sex marriage by referendum. Representative Eric Turner (R-Marion), who authored the amendment, says Hoosiers have more in common with the 30 states which have approved constitutional bans. But Turner says a House leadership meeting next month will discuss when and whether to resubmit the amendment.
Rick Sutton, executive director of Indiana Equality Action told WCSI they’re going to let the vote go through as is expected and instead concentrate efforts on fighting conservative forces during the proposed amendment’s final test: a public vote in 2014.
Over at the Washington Blade, Chris Johnson reports that Mitt Romney met with Log Cabin head R. Clark Cooper last week in a Virginia farmhouse.
R. Clarke Cooper, Log Cabin’s executive director, said workplace non-discrimination protections were the focus of the meeting, which took place Oct. 17 at Greenwood Farm in Leesburg, Va., which was a precursor the organization’s endorsement of the candidate announced on Tuesday. The Log Cabin chief was non-commital when asked if he gathered from the meeting that Romney would sign a version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act if it reached his desk. “I can say with confidence that the Romney administration would work on desirable outcomes for workplace non-discrimination,” Cooper said. “I’m going to leave it broad like that because I think there’s room for administrative action as well as legislative. I also think it’s probably fair to say that legislation in a form of an ENDA or an ENDA-like legislation is certainly realistic.”
In the photo above, the man on the right is former GOP House Rep. Jim Kolbe, who was outed by activists in 1996 after he voted in favor of DOMA. According to the above-linked story, Kolbe complained to Romney about the potential deportation of his foreign-born partner. Romney reportedly nodded but offered no response.
After careful consideration and consultation with our members and chapters, as well as communication with Mitt Romney and his campaign team, the National Board of Directors of the Log Cabin Republicans has elected to endorse Governor Romney for president. “The decision to endorse is the right one for our members, our community, and for the nation as a whole,” said Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director, R. Clarke Cooper. “Despite our disagreement with Governor Romney on the issue of marriage, on balance it is clear that in today’s economic climate, concern for the future of our country must be the highest priority. We are Republicans, and we agree with Governor Romney’s vision for America in which success is a virtue, equal opportunity is ensured, and leaders recognize that it is the American people, not government, that build our nation and fuel its prosperity. On issues of particular concern to the LGBT community, we believe Governor Romney will move the ball forward compared to past Republican presidents. No matter who is in the White House, it is crucial our community always has a credible voice speaking out on behalf of LGBT Americans. Log Cabin Republicans will be that voice to President Mitt Romney.”
From the day Governor Romney signed this pledge, Log Cabin has been outspoken in our opposition to this exercise in an outdated politics of division. Even with this endorsement, we will continue to voice our disagreement with any call for a constitutional amendment federalizing a definition of marriage that excludes LGBT families. While even the suggestion of enshrining discrimination in our nation’s most precious document is deeply offensive, there is a significant difference between a valid threat and an empty promise made to a vocal but shrinking constituency. In our judgment, the NOM pledge is ultimately merely symbolic and thus should not be the basis of a decision to withhold an endorsement from an otherwise qualified candidate, particularly given the gravity of the economic and national security issues currently at stake.
RELATED: Both Rep. Barney Frank and GOProud’s Chris Barron are pissed:
GOP’s Vice-Presidential Nominee Paul Ryan Says Reversing DADT Repeal Would Be “Step In The Wrong Direction”
The Huffington Post reports:
GOP vice-presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said that the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy should not be reinstated in aninterview with West Palm Beach NBC affiliate WPTV that aired on Sunday. Ryan voted in 2010 — along with most Republicans and several Democrats — against the repeal of the policy that prohibited gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military. “I talked to a lot of good friends of mine who are combat leaders in the theater, and they just didn’t think the timing of this was right to do this when our troops were in the middle of harm’s way in combat,” said Ryan. “Now that it’s done, we should not reverse it. I think that would be a step in the wrong direction because people have already disclosed themselves.” “I think this issue is past us. It’s done. And I think we need to move on,” he said. Romney in December 2011 articulated a similar position. “That’s already occurred. I’m not planning on reversing that at this stage,” he told theDes Moines Registereditorial board. “I was not comfortable making the change during a period of conflict, due to the complicating features of a new program in the middle of two wars going on, but those wars are winding down, and moving in that direction at this stage no longer presents that problem.”
A study by the Palm Center, a research institute devoted to studying the impact of sexual minorities on the military,found no negative consequenceson military readiness, unit cohesion, recruitment, retention or morale one year after the policy was repealed.
Mitt Romney’s Son Tagg Signed “Abortion” Clause In Surrogate Birth Contract Of His Twins
TMZ has learned Mitt Romney’s son Tagg — who had twins this year through a surrogate — signed an agreement that gave the surrogate, as well as Tagg and his wife, the right to abort the fetuses in non-life threatening situations … and Mitt Romney covered some of the expenses connected with the arrangement … and it may boil down to an incredibly stupid mistake.
The twin boys -- David Mitt and William Ryder — were born on May 4, 2012. We’ve learned Tagg and his wife Jen, along with the surrogate and her husband, signed aGestational Carrier Agreement dated July 28, 2011. Paragraph 13 of the agreement reads as follows: “If in the opinion of the treating physician or her independent obstetrician there is potential physical harm to the surrogate, the decision to abort or not abort is to be made by the surrogate.”
Translation: Tagg and Jen gave the surrogate the right to abort the fetuses even if her life wasn’t in danger. All the surrogate has to show is “potential physical harm,” which could be something like preeclampsia — a type of high blood pressure that could damage the mother’s liver, kidney or brain, but is not necessarily life-threatening.
Paragraph 13 goes on:
“In the event the child is determined to be physiologically, genetically or chromosomally abnormal, the decision to abort or not to abort is to be made by the intended parents. In such a case the surrogate agrees to abort, or not to abort, in accordance with the intended parents’ decision.”
And there’s another relevant provision in Paragraph 13:
“Any decision to abort because of potential harm to the child, or to reduce the number of fetuses, is to be made by the intended parents.”
Translation: Tagg and his wife, Jen, had the right to abort the fetuses if they felt they would not be healthy.
Sources connected with Mitt Romney tell TMZ, Mitt was involved in the surrogate arrangement because he paid some of the expenses connected with the agreement. We do not know if Mitt Romney read the contract or knew the terms.
Mitt has said, “I’m in favor of abortion being legal in the case of rape and incest and the health and life of the mother.” Otherwise, Romney is against abortion.
Now for the stupid mistake. We’ve learned Tagg chose the same surrogate in 2009, who gave birth to a boy. Attorney Bill Handel — a nationally-known expert in surrogacy law who put the deal together between Tagg and the surrogate — tells TMZ when the 2009 contract was drafted there was no Paragraph 13 providing for abortion because Tagg and his wife didn’t want it.
Handel says in 2011, when the second contract was being drafted, everyone involved “just forgot” to remove Paragraph 13. Handel says, “No one noticed. What can I say?”
GOP Rep. Jim Jordan Supports Reinstating DADT If Romney Wins In November
Via Think Progress reports:
A leading House Republican wants to re-instate the military’s former ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy if his party takes control in November. In an interview with ThinkProgress at the Values Voters Summit on Friday, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) said he “certainly” supports “going back to the previous policy” of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. He left open the possibility that those service-members who have already come out of the closet, likeBrig. General Tammy Smith, would be discharged from the military if Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is reinstated.KEYES:Is [Don’t Ask Don’t Tell] something that you think the GOP will pursue reinstating starting in 2013 if they take control?JORDAN: I wasn’t for making the change that was made last few years ago in the lame duck session. I was certainly opposed to that, the change that the Obama administration made. We’ll look at guidance from our military,but I’m certainly supportive of going back to the previous policy.KEYES: What about those service-members who have already announced their sexual orientation? Are they going to get kicked out?JORDAN: That’s a military question. I’d have to think about how that would work in practice.Watch it: Though first elected in 2006, Jordan is no back-bencher. He chairs the conservativeRepublican Study Committee, a group of more than 160 Republican congressmen dedicated to pushing conservative causes that wields major influence within the GOP caucus.If Jordan were to ask the military about reinstating DADT as he suggests, he would learn that the Pentagonbelievesthat last year’s repeal was actually beneficial for unit morale, and that none of the concerns expressed by opponents of the decision have come to fruition. In addition, there wasconsiderable supportfor lifting the ban on openly gay and lesbian people serving in the military from the heads of three of the four branches of the military even before DADT was repealed.
Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA) haspreviously indicatedthat he would not like to see Republicans bring up Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, but his opposition may not be enough to stop Jordan and the Republican Study Committee from reinstating the policy if the GOP prevails in November.
NEW YORK: Marriage Supporter And NOM Arch Enemy Wins State Senate GOP Battle
New York state Sen. Mark Grisanti, one of the four Republicans who tipped marriage equality into the win column,has won his GOP primary despite ferocious opposition from the anti-gay hate group NOM, who earlier this year pledged $2 million to unseat every one of those four GOP state Senators.
Senator Mark J. Grisanti, a Buffalo Republican who had also supported same-sex marriage, comfortably fended off a challenge from Kevin T. Stocker, a Republican lawyer who accused Mr. Grisanti of breaking his word when he did so. But Mr. Grisanti’s troubles are not over. He represents a district that is heavily Democratic, and Democrats see him as vulnerable in November: he attracted unflattering attention this year when he took part in a bar brawl in an American Indian casino in Niagara Falls.
“For people that know me, I stand by my beliefs and my convictions,” Mr. Grisanti told his supporters, adding, “There are so many issues that we have done in this year. And unfortunately, you know, my opponent focused on a few. But the people spoke.” The fate of the Senate Republicans is being closely watched nationally, because New York was the first state in which same-sex marriage became legal with the support of a Republican-controlled legislative chamber.
Gay-rights advocates say they believe they will need support from Republican legislators in other states to legalize same-sex marriage, and they have been concerned that if the New York senators were defeated, Republicans elsewhere would be more reluctant to take the electoral risk of voting to allow gay men and lesbians to wed.
Earlier this week Grisanti was attacked by an anti-gay group with a flyer that was described as the “ugliest anti-gay mailer of the 2012 election.”UPDATE: NOM concedes but vows revenge with the Democrat.RELATED: One of the four GOP state senators mentioned above did not run for reelection. The other two primary races remain too close to call at this writing.
USA: GOP Introduces Senate Bill To Ban Same-Sex Weddings On Military Bases
Two GOP Senators yesterday introduced a bill than would ban military bases from hosting same-sex weddings.
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe hasn’t given up his resistance to the acceptance of gays and lesbians in the military or same-sex marriage. On Tuesday, Inhofe and fellow Republican Roger Wicker of Mississippi introduced a measure that would ban same-sex marriages on military bases and protect military chaplains from “pressure” to perform such ceremonies. The two senators described the Military Religious Freedom Act as an effort to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act, known as DOMA, on the Defense Department in the wake of the December 2010 repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which ended the official ban on gay men and lesbians serving openly in the military. “President Obama and his administration are dismissing their responsibility to uphold the law of the land by unilaterally deeming DOMA unworthy of enforcement,” Inhofe said.
Military chaplains, of course, are already completely free to refuse to perform any ceremony for any reason.
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