It’s not often you hear about a group making a qualified endorsement. But Log Cabin Republicans, a pro-equality group in support of LGBT rights, issued a qualified endorsement for Mitt Romney yesterday:
If LGBT issues are a voter’s highest or only priority, then Gov. Romney may not be that voter’s choice. … We believe Gov. Romney will make cutting spending and job creation his priorities, and, as his record as governor of Massachusetts suggests, will not waste his precious time in office with legislative attacks on LGBT Americans.
Considering Log Cabin Republicans’ self-proclaimed libertarian leanings, it’s a little odd that they chose to endorse Romney rather than libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson, whose platform couples economic reform with equal marriage rights for heterosexual and homosexual couples alike.
For New York Times editor Andrew Rosenthal, Log Cabin Republicans’ decision to endorse Romney is, at heart, a compromise of their principles: “But the bottom line is that this group of gay Republicans endorsed a candidate who supports denying gay men and lesbians equal rights.” Rosenthal ends his editorial blog with a harsh dismissal of Log Cabin Republicans, saying: “They’ve proven that they won’t challenge the party when it’s necessary.”
What I find admirable about Log Cabin Republicans is that they have a comprehensive agenda as a conservative group. They are unique in their support of equality in marriage, but this is only one component of their agenda. So, yes, the group is going against its principles with their endorsement, as Rosenthal points out. But who of us is able to vote in this (or any) election without compromising her or his values on some issue or other? The reality is that we must either abstain from voting or cast our ballot for a candidate with whom we most likely do not agree on everything.