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GOP leaders’ silence on homosexuality sends wrong message, family group says

WASHINGTON (BP)–Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore is to the left of the American public on the issue of homosexuality, a family advocacy group has said. By not talking publicly about the issue, the Republican leadership is giving Americans the false impression the issue is not important, they said.

“The homosexual issue is clearly important to the gay activists and it is very important to the pro-family activists. The difference is the pro-family activists have nobody to defend their position,” Peter LaBarbera, director of the Americans for Truth Project of Kerusso Ministries, told the Internet news site CNSNews.com.

“If an issue is truly important — as slavery was at one time, and abortion — then it is truly important that you talk about it. But by not talking about it, the Republican leadership is basically saying this issue is not important,” LaBarbera said.

LaBarbera commented on the occasion of a meeting Sept. 18 of representatives of the National Policy Roundtable, a national coalition of prominent groups of homosexual, bisexual and transgender organizations in Washington.

Job discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity is legal under federal law in nearly every state, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation said in a statement. Homosexuals also are vulnerable to hate crimes, the group said.

“This election year is shaping up to be a watershed year, both in terms of what is at stake for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community and in terms of the community’s potential to actually influence the outcome of the election,” they said.

If the Republican Party wants to win in November, it needs to articulate its core traditional principles, analysts say.

Of six “non-Republican” states that have held votes on homosexual-related issues in the last four or five years — California, Maine, Vermont, Colorado, Alaska and Hawaii — the homosexual rights agenda has not prevailed, they say. In battleground states in the Midwest — Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — the homosexual vote can help swing the election.

Pollsters also see trends in other states — like New Jersey, Washington and Oregon — that are going to be battleground states in this election where the homosexual vote can make a significant difference.

By not talking about the inroads homosexual activists are making in schools and in local government, the Republican presidential ticket of Texas Gov. George W Bush and his running mate, Dick Cheney, are giving a free pass to Gore, “who is definitely to the left of the American public on this issue,” LaBarbera told CNSNews.com.

The 2000 election campaign is “like a bad re-run of 1992,” when George Bush the elder didn’t raise the issue of homosexuals in the military with Bill Clinton, he said.

“If Bush had raised homosexuals in the military in 1992, he might have shown why it’s important that Bill Clinton not get elected. But he decided to be the good gentleman and not raise the issue and look what happened. Clinton introduced homosexuals to the military and immediately it touched off nationwide concern.

“These are the issues that draw a distinction between the candidates, but if you don’t debate the issue, you can’t draw the distinction,” LaBarbera said.

The Republican Party is seeking to capture some of the homosexual vote. Since 1992, about 33 percent of this vote has gone to the GOP in every election, according to pollsters. In 1998, 1 million homosexuals nationwide voted Republican. Homosexuals make up 5 percent of the total vote, about the same as the Hispanic voting bloc, which also voted 35 percent Republican in the last general election.
Morahan is a senior staff writer with CNSNews.com. Used by permission.

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  • Lawrence Morahan