I came across this article last week, and thought that I would pass it along to you. This is the first half of an article titled "Two Major benchmarks in LGBT history." You can read the rest of the article by clicking the link below. I hope that you will read it, and let me know what you think.
Major benchmarks in LGBT historyby Mark SegalBay Windows contributorWith Newt Gingrich's win in South Carolina yesterday, is this really "the dying gasps of the anti-equality Republican rhetoric?" I honestly do not think so. The Republicans have had three Primaries and three different winners, Santorum (after a recount in Iowa), Romney (NH), and Gingrich (SC). Trends show that since no Democrat has won in South Carolina since Jimmy Carter in 1976, that it is the trend setter for the Republican nomination. Since 1980, the winner of the South Carolina Republican Primary has soldiered ahead and captured the Republican Presidential nomination. So I have three questions for you:
If you sneezed last week, you might have missed them. Two major changes in the fight for LGBT equality took place -- and they literally will change the playing field forever.
During the Republican presidential debate last Sunday on NBC’s "Meet the Press," before the New Hampshire primary, a new benchmark in LGBT equality -- at least for Republicans -- was christened. And the surprise was who set it and who shrugged it off. The frontrunner, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, did the honors.
Here’s the thumbnail version. One of the moderators quoted a pro-gay equality statement from Romney that was published in Boston’s LGBT newspaper Bay Windows, then asked Romney what he will do for nondiscrimination. (A well-phrased question, journalists should note.) Romney, who, it seems during this nomination process has cast aside his previous limited LGBT equality record, stated very clearly that he supports nondiscrimination and that, as governor, he appointed LGBT people to his administration and as judges. He then said clearly that he does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. So he answered the question and you’d think that was it, but the journalist -- this guy was good -- then asked: "But what will you do to further the rights of LGBT people?" (Again, journalists please note the phrasing of the question.) Romney clearly says, "I just did that." Applause. He adds that the only difference he has with the gay community is that he believes "marriage" is solely between a man and a woman. Applause from the audience again.
Here’s the surprise, and why this is a moment that will be marked as the beginning of the long road to reality for Republicans: They then went to Santorum with the question. He attempted to make a joke but it was obvious that the audience was not amused, so he sidestepped the question that has been a hallmark of his campaign. It was his chance to stand out and he knew that disparaging gays would no longer work. And so did every candidate standing up there, since no one took Romney on.
How serious of a change is this? The Obama campaign was quick to send out a press release Monday morning suggesting that Romney was stepping away from comments made at the debate, but that was based on a 2002 flyer that Romney’s team had disavowed. Point is, the handwriting is on the wall and Republicans see the inevitable. Americans are tired of them trashing the gay community. So the frontrunner has drawn a new line in the sand: We believe in nondiscrimination up to the issue of marriage.
So enjoy the next few months and watch the dying gasps of the anti-equality Republican rhetoric, since this is the last presidential race you’ll hear it. They won’t go quietly, but Romney’s statements, if he’s nominated, make that change inevitable.
Mark Segal, PGN publisher, is the nation’s most-award-winning commentator in LGBT media. He can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Do you think that Romney's comments in the debate mentioned above really was "the dying gasps of the anti-equality Republican rhetoric"?
- Do you think that winning the Republican Primary in South Carolina will give Gingrich the push to win the nomination?
- How can the religious right and family values Republicans support a candidate, i.e. Gingrich, who has had two failed marriages because of infidelity and is currently on his third marriage?