Bush's betrayal

Wildman, Sarah
October 2004
Advocate;10/26/2004, Issue 925, p39
The article focuses on the decision of gay and lesbian Republicans not to vote for U.S. President George W. Bush during the 2004 elections. Four years ago, gay and lesbian Republicans met with presidential candidate Bush in Austin, Texas. He promised the 12 that he would appoint gay men and lesbians to his administration, give a speaking slot to openly gay Arizona congressman Jim Kolbe at the 2000 Republican National Convention, continue President Clinton's executive order that bans discrimination based on sexual orientation for federal workers, and finally, keep the lines of communication open with them. But then the Bush administration began politically bashing gay Americans in order to shore up conservative votes. The line of communication between gay Republicans and the White House was disconnected long ago. After Bush's announcement of support for an amendment to write antigay discrimination into the U.S. Constitution and a national convention this summer that underlined the party's opposition to any kind of equal rights for gay families, even gays and lesbians who have been loyal Republicans for decades deserted the president. While George H.W. Bush was president, initiatives to forbid any protection from antigay discrimination aim to a vote in Oregon and Colorado, and the 41st president told an NBC News interviewer that he did not consider homosexuality normal. Charles Cook, editor of The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan national publication based in Washington, D.C., recently told the conservative magazine The Weekly Standard he did not think antigay language and state ballot measures would affect overall turnout. But the same article cited a University of Akron political scientist who believed that the Republicans in Ohio could use their antigay ballot initiative and rhetoric to turn out an additional 200,000 voters who are likely to favor Bush--significant in a state where he had a narrow margin of victory in 2000.


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