Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 28, No. 34, Ed. 1 Friday, January 6, 2012 Page: 16 of 40
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And they're off!
The horse race for the Republican
presidential nomination is officially
under way with the Iowa caucuses.
Who will pull up lame, and who will
win it down the home stretch?
Watching the press.coverage of the Jan. 3
Iowa Caucus was like watching a horse
race: Announcers, breathlessly telling
viewers the latest insults; charts and graphics that
looked more like the screens of a
sports-book in Las Vegas than politi-
In reality, Iowa chooses only about
I percent of the total delegates to the
national conventions. So focusing so
much attention on this process is
more about the hoopla than the im-
What Iowa does, do is weed out
the also-rans and focus attention of a
few frontrunners. And unlike ahorse
race, the winners in Iowa are less im-
portant than the losers.
Already Michelle Bachmann has dropped
from the field and I expect John Huntsman to
soon do the same. Texas Gov. Rick Perry proba-
bly should have dropped out, but he insists on
plugging on despite his dismal showing in Iowa.
That leaves four contenders for the Republican
nomination in the field — and none of them are
even remotely LGBT friendly. In fact, Rick Santo-
rum's strong finish in Iowa will almost guarantee
a tougher line of anti-LGBT rhetoric from the re-
maining candidates. Each one will be trying to
out-conservative the other and the "family val-
ues" canard will rank high in their strategy.
Santorum, pushing his socially conservative
views, managed to bubble up through other can-
didates like Gingrich, Bachmann and Perry and
strike a note with evangelical voters. According
to some polls it is because of his "strong moral
character," code for being anti-LGBT and anti-
choice. But the truth is, those two issues are not
enough to carry him to the White House. And I
suspect the GOP knows that.
A lot of Santorum's success was due to his very
effective ground campaign in Iowa. He spent a
lot of time in the state and focused on his key con-
stituency — and that falls outside the mainstream
Meanwhile, Texas Congressman Ron Paul sur-
prised everyone with his third place
finish in Iowa. Personally I hope he
decides to run on a third party ticket.
He might split so many votes away
from the Republicans that President
Obama will have a clear path to re-
And then there is former Massa-
chusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
The biggest problem for the GOP
is that Romney is just so, well, Mitt
Romney. It seems that everyone
wants someone with more charisma
and momentum than Mitt, but they
just can't figure out who that might be.
For now, it looks like Romney will be strong in
New Hampshire and South Carolina. His organ-
ization is well funded and has a great infrastruc-
ture in the remaining states, whereas Santorum
will have to scramble to keep up.
I suspect Romney's biggest challenge will be
Newt Gingrich, the man who came in fourth in
Iowa. While he most likely doesn't have the stay-
ing power to win the nomination, Gingrich does
have a grudge — and that can go a long way.
The Romney campaign and Ron Paul heaped
negative ads on former House Speaker Gingrich,
and it really showed at the caucuses. Now the
question is. whether Newt and his super-PAC
Republican hopeful Mitt Romney
money will fire back with equal vehemence.
Of course, we all know the Super-PACs do not
coordinate with the campaigns (nudge, nudge,
wink, wink), so that remains a mystery.
So, what does all this mean for LGBT Ameri-
cans? Well in my opinion, it's probably a good
As the GOP candidates try to "out-socially-
conservative" each other, their real feelings about
LGBT rights will become clear. There are no
friends among this group of candidates, and con-
sidering how much LGBT Americans have
gained in the past few years, I seriously doubt
much of our votes or money will go to anyone as
far to the right as this field of contenders looks.
As this horse race comes down to the wire in
November, the real question is: Can the Obama
campaign do enough to remind LGBT citizens
why they should support his reflection? Will
President Obama's opinions finally evolve to the
point where he can actively support issues like
marriage equality? Will LGBT voters be willing
to risk losing the gains of the past four years, like
the repeal of DADT?
Personally, I think the smart money will bet on
President Obama in the home stretch. ■
Hardy Haberman isa longittte local LGBT activist
and a board member of the Woodhull Freedom Al-
liance. His blogis at DungeonDiaryblogspot.com.
A look at the history of Lawrence v.
Texas shows why the two men who
fought the sodomy law, both now
deceased, deserve our respect
Former Houston residents John Lawrence and
Tyron Garner, both now deceased, couldn't
possibly have realized 13 years ago that one
of the most mortifying events of their lives would
wind up changing the course of history for an en-
tire society of people.
The two gay men, who arguably |
were the unlikeliest pair of gay ad-
vocates to ever play high-profile I
roles in the U.S. LGBT rights move-
ment, turned out to be the catalysts
for striking down centuries of op-
pressive American law and estab-
lishing same-sex relations as a basic I
civil right. Prior to the filing of a
landmark LGBT rights lawsuit on
their behalf, the men had no involve-
ment with gay rights organizations.
In June 2003, the U.S. Supreme
Court overruled the 1973 Texas Homosexual Con
The Rare Reporter
tween consenting adults of the same
sex- In doing so the high court re-
versed its 1986 decision in Bowers v.
Hardwick, which had upheld Geor-
gia's sodomy law.
In rendering the decision the jus-
tices wrote that gay men and lesbians
were entitled to privacy, and that
states had no right to restrict their
personal sexual lives, a startling con-
trast from the ruling in the Georgia
lawsuit that maintained there was no
fundamental right to homosexual re-
duct Law in its review of Lawrence v. Texas, effec-
tively striking down the 14 remaining state
sodomy laws that prohibited sexual relations be-
Even Justice Antonin Scalia, a dissenting voice
in the court's (>-3 vote, acknowledged that the
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Nash, Tammye. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 28, No. 34, Ed. 1 Friday, January 6, 2012, newspaper, January 6, 2012; Dallas, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth239201/m1/16/: accessed May 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.