Anti-gay advocates get exclusive meeting with White House on Miers, while LGBT Americans are ignored


A news release from the National Stonewall Democrats:

(Thursday, October 06, 2005)
Washington, DC – Today, the National Stonewall Democrats called on the White House and the Republican Party to meet with gay and lesbian families instead of only consulting with anti-gay activists on key issues such as judicial nominations and marriage equality. Reports this week have detailed the exclusive access granted by the White House to anti-gay activists while Republican appointees in New Hampshire yesterday pushed through a controversial anti-gay recommendation over Democratic objections.

“The Republican Party’s reliance on the corrupt counsel of anti-gay activists is poisoning American policy with toxic cronyism,” said Eric Stern, Executive Director. “President Bush, Ken Mehlman, and the entire Republican Party is callously out of touch with our community. In almost five years in office, the Bush Administration has failed to meet with one gay family over our concerns, yet they continue to push anti-gay policy as a reward for regular meetings with anti-gay activists.”

Earlier today, the Republican National Committee hosted a conference call with the White House and leading anti-gay activists to discuss the nomination of Harriet Miers. The call featured RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman, White House Political Director Sara Taylor, James Dobson, Chuck Colson and Pat Robertson protege Jay Sekulow, among others. White House Political Director Sara Taylor promised social conservatives listening in to the call that Miers “will make decisions not only based on what is in the Constitution, but based on what she believes strongly in.”

The moderators of the conference call noted Miers’ support of Texas sodomy statutes and that she was the chief advisor to President Bush on the anti-marriage constitutional amendment and on judicial nominees like Janice Rogers Brown. Moderators also excused Miers’ introduction of a resolution before the Texas Bar Association supporting same-sex adoption as the act of a “glorified mailman” who delivered the resolution while actually opposing it.

On Wednesday, anti-gay advocate James Dobson confirmed on his national radio program that he had been in regular consultation with both President Bush and Karl Rove over the nomination of Harriet Miers. “I can’t reveal it all,” Dobson told his listeners. “Because I do know things that I’m privy to that I can’t describe, because of confidentiality.”

This morning, The Washington Post reported on regular meetings between the White House and anti-gay advocates. The weekly meetings, designed to build support for judicial nominees from social conservatives, include senior White House staff, Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman, Republican Senators and representatives from anti-gay organizations such as the Eagle Forum, the Family Research Council and the Free Congress Foundation.

“The White House has already failed our community by leaving our families out of the process,” said Stern. “Our families should have the same access and input as James Dobson and Phyllis Schlafly.”

Also on Wednesday, Republican appointees in New Hampshire pushed through a recommendation in favor of an anti-marriage state constitutional amendment over the loud objections of Democrats and family experts. The recommendation was made by a commission created last year to study all aspects of same-sex civil marriage and its legal equivalents, and gather testimony from citizens and experts. Republicans and Democrats had clashed early over charges of cronyism regarding the stacking of Republican appointees on the commission. Yesterday, Republican members of the commission, appointed by the Republican-controlled legislature, ignored the majority of public testimony when it suddenly chose to recommend the adoption of the anti-marriage amendment.

“In over 40 hours of public testimony, I do not recall a single person advocating for a constitutional amendment to bar marriage equality,” said Ray Buckley, NSD Board Member and a member of the commission. “In fact, the majority of citizens and experts spoke out in favor of allowing same-sex marriage. That’s why we were stunned when the Republican majority suddenly made this motion during a routine meeting. We hadn’t yet finished our report. Republicans are trying to make this a political wedge issue in an upcoming election year that looks favorable for Democrats.”

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National Stonewall Democrats is the only national organization of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Democrats, with more than 90 local chapters across the nation. NSD is committed to working through the Democratic Party to advance the rights of all people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

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