Back in June, GOProud, a gay pro-Republican group, defended the recipient of their endorsement, Hawaii special election winner Charles Djou, on his ridiculous reason he voted for repeal:
"The fact that any on the gay left would analyze why Charles Djou voted for DADT repeal, rather than the fact that he did, shows that they are more interested in affirmation and the group hug than actually delivering results for our community," he said.
Today, GOProud announced an endorsement of Republican Mary Bono Mack, who represents heavily gay Palm Springs. Bono Mack just voted against repeal of DADT. Her opponent, Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet, is even openly gay, to boot. I spoke with Pougnet on the phone a few months ago while learning about the race, and he told me at the time that Bono Mack says she's pro-LGBT, but never actually walks the walk. She said you don't "need social experimentation in the Armed Forces", then after the military leadership came out for it, refused to take a position. She refused to take a position on Prop 8 in her own state, calling it a "state" issue (something that also-presumed moderate Olympia Snowe did on No On 1/Protect Maine Equality). She is not a co-sponsor of ENDA. She's gotten a free pass from groups like GOProud desperate to find pro-LGBT Republicans, who defended her vote thusly:
"Congresswoman Bono Mack has made it clear that she is open to changing this policy, and unfortunately, we will never how Mary Bono Mack would have actually voted on repeal because Democrats created a process whereby they made it impossible for Republicans who may have wanted to vote for the bill to support it," said Barron.
"We're disappointed that Congresswoman Bono Mack didn't vote for the final bill, but we certainly understand how politically poisonous the process became," he said.
Of course, that didn't prevent five Republicans (Biggert, Cao, Djou, Paul, Ros-Lehtinen) in the House supporting it, nor Susan Collins in the Senate.
And even if they didn't, on the merits of Bono Mack's vote, there's no good reason for her not to support repeal. From Metro Weekly:
In GOProud's news release announcing the endorsement, executive director Jimmy LaSalvia said, ''The decision of organizations like the Human Rights Campaign to oppose Mary's re-election is a shameful reminder of just how slavishly the gay left is willing to do the bidding of Nancy Pelosi and the DCCC.''
Calling Bono-Mack ''a woman who has stood up under unbelievable pressure from her party year after year'' to support LGBT equality efforts,'' Barron said. ''My question would be: How do[es HRC] expect any Republican to be with them ever?
''And the answer is: At the end of the day, they don't care.''
HRC spokesman Michael Cole said that HRC believed the facts pointed a different direction.
''We remain a bipartisan organization and will endorse candidates of both parties, but Rep. Bono-Mack took a stand against equality and against our national security,'' he said. ''When Dick Cheney is for the repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' it's not too much to ask that Bono-Mack vote for open service.''
Absolutely right. I said the same about Dave Reichert- when everyone bends over backwards to make it possible for presumed "moderates" like yourself to support repeal with certifications and reviews and waiting periods and support from everyone from Mullen to Cheney to Powell, and still can't bring yourself to do so, don't come 'round here asking for LGBT support.
But then, who's to say GOProud is actually an organization that puts LGBT issues first?
''We would have preferred that Mary Bono-Mack voted for the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' repeal,'' Barron said, noting that repeal is only one of 10 policy priorities for GOProud. ''That one issue doesn't trump the nine others,'' including Social Security and tax reform and foreign policy goals.
Wow. GOProud is coming to the point at which I think it may be willing to endorse anyone who votes against pro-LGBT legislation, but as long as they say those magic phrases "I have gay friends" or "I have nothing against homosexuals", that's good enough.
Steve Pougnet for Congress.