Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Gingrich's Advice to GLBT Voters: Vote for Obama (Updated!)

I know it seems like I'm a big anti-Republican on this blog, but I'm really not.  Most of my family, including my husband, are Republicans.  I don't always agree with them, but I also don't disagree with them all of the time.  Heck, I voted for Republican Jim Leach several times when he represented our Congressional district.  I'm not a guy who thinks that "gay conservative" is an oxymoron and I hold a certain amount of respect for those who are willing to stand in the Republican trenches -- particularly the Log Cabin Republicans.

Anyway, a gay man from Oskaloosa, IA, approached Newt Gingrich earlier this week and wanted to know more about his plans to engage GLBT voters:
Newt Gingrich told a gay man and longtime resident of Oskaloosa here today that he should vote for President Obama.

I asked him if he’s elected, how does he plan to engage gay Americans. How are we to support him? And he told me to support Obama,” said Scott Arnold, an associate professor of writing at William Penn University. Arnold, a Democrat, said he came to the event at Smokey Row coffee house with an open mind. But he wanted to ask Gingrich about how he would represent him as president after reading past comments the former U.S. House Speaker as made about gay and lesbians.

When you ask somebody a question and you expect them to support all Americans and have everyone’s general interest,” Arnold said. “It’s a little bit frustrating and disheartening when you’re told to support the other side. That he doesn’t’ need your support... It doesn’t inspire hope at all,” Arnold said of Gingrich’s statements. “And if that’s what he’s trying to do and that’s what he’s trying to say, that this is a collective effort if he’s elected president, yet he tells me to support the other side?
I already planned on voting for President Obama during the coming election, but it's good to hear that Gingrich supports my choice of candidates.  Frankly, I would have thought that he wanted people to vote for him.  But who am I to argue with the guy?

Update (12/21/11): Since I originally posted this article earlier this morning, a transcript has been released that further fleshed out Gingrich's voting recommendations for GLBT Americans:
Gingrich: I think those for whom the only issue that really matters is the definition of marriage, I won’t get their support. I accept that as reality. On the other hand, for those to whom it’s not the central issue in their life, if they care about job creation, if they care about national security, if they care about a better future for the country at large, then I think I’ll get their support.

Q: So what if it is the biggest issue?

Gingrich: Then I won’t get their support.

Q: How do we engage if you’re elected. Then what, what does that mean?

Gingrich: Well then you engage in every topic except that.

Q: Except it’s most important (some crosstalk).

Gingrich: Well, if that’s most important to you then you should be for Obama.

Q: I am, thank you (The two men shake hands).

Gingrich: It’s perfectly legitimate. I think it’s perfectly legitimate.
Since then, representatives from both the Log Cabin Republicans and GOProud have come out in support of Gingrich and accused media sources of misrepresenting his position.  Meanwhile, the National Stonewall Democrats have accused the two latter groups of pandering to Gingrich and their soft-peddling of his anti-gay family positions.

No comments: