September 20, 2011 5:07 pm ET - by Carlos Maza
Later today, the Log Cabin Republicans (LCR) will be presenting Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) with the organization’s highest honor — the “Spirit of Lincoln award — commemorating his vote in favor of repealing the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy last December. In a recent press release, Log Cabin president R. Clarke Cooper explained the decision to honor Brown:
Since his election to the United States Senate, Senator Scott Brown has been a principled advocate for the people of Massachusetts, a tremendous addition to the Congress and an insightful voice on the Senate Armed Services Committee… Senator Brown has proven himself to be an ally to our community whose service should be recognized, and Log Cabin Republicans are proud to call this warrior-citizen a friend.
Certainly, it’s important to thank Sen. Brown for joining the overwhelming majority of the American public and supporting an end to DADT. After all, the policy could not have been repealed without the support of handful of Senate Republicans. Still, calling Sen. Brown an “ally” to the LGBT community is, to put it lightly, a bit of a stretch.
Throughout his political career, Brown has proven himself to be a close and reliable ally to some of the country’s most vile anti-gay groups, opposing LGBT equality at nearly every turn.
Opposes Recognizing Same-Sex Relationships. Brown has voted against marriage equality and in favor of a state constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage. Brown claims to be in favor of civil unions, but he voted against a state constitutional amendment that would allow for civil unions in 2004. Last year, he voted in favor of allowing a referendum to overturn marriage equality in Washington, DC.
Opposes Supporting LGBT Youth. Brown was the only state senator to vote to uphold Governor Mitt Romney’s veto of the creation of a commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth in 2006. He co-sponsored the Massachusetts Parental Rights Bill, which would have allowed parents to pull their children out of any lesson relating to LGBT people. He was the only member of the Massachusetts congressional delegation not to appear in a recent video for the “It Gets Better” Project. As Think Progress’ Zack Ford pointed out, he hasn’t signed on to support either of the two major anti-bullying bills currently before Congress.
Opposes Same-Sex Couples Raising Children. In 2001, Brown argued that it was “just not normal” for his colleague, State Senator Cheryl Jacques, to raise children with her domestic partner, though he later clarified that he should have said “non-traditional” instead.
Opposes Non-Discrimination Legislation. Brown has consistently opposed legislation to prohibit discrimination against LGBT Americans. He is on the record as opposing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and did not support the Massachusetts Transgender Civil Rights bill or Hate Crimes bill.
Anti-Gay Hate Groups Love Him. Brown has benefited from the strong support of MassResistance, a group that has been labeled an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The group labeled him the “best pick” for Senate in 2009, explaining that Brown “does not support the homosexual agenda and is not afraid to go against the homosexual lobby.” Brown has accepted support from a number of anti-gay groups.
To be fair, the LCR are in a tough position. When it comes to highlighting pro-gay Republicans, their choices are few and far between.
Still, that’s no excuse for honoring someone who has spent his career campaigning against basic LGBT equality. If taking money from anti-gay hate groups, opposing non-discrimination laws, and refusing to participate in anti-youth suicide campaigns makes you an “ally” to the LGBT community, I’m curious what LCR’s enemies look like.
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