Gay GOP picks less gay-loving guy in House race

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The Georgia Log Cabin Republicans weighed in on a key state House race and picked the less gay-friendly guy who shies away from rejecting the same anti-gay legislation the gay GOPers are fighting against. 

No one said partisan politics isn't confusing or the least bit ironic. 

The gay GOP group on Saturday issued a statement endorsing attorney and former Brookhaven Mayor J. Max Davis (photo), an embattled Republican, against attorney Taylor Bennett, a Democrat. The two face off Tuesday in a runoff for the state House District 80 seat. The men hope to replace former state Rep. Mike Jacobs, a gay-friendly Democrat turned Republican who was appointed to a DeKalb judgeship by Gov. Nathan Deal.

Georgia Log Cabin Chair Allen Fox called Davis a “voice for freedom and equality”:

The Georgia Log Cabin Republicans are proud to endorse former Brookhaven Mayor J. Max Davis for State Representative – District 80.

Electing another Democrat will just be adding another voiceless cog in the Democratic controlled and corrupt DeKalb political machine that has been a national embarrassment. With our friend and ally, former Rep. Mike Jacobs, gone from the legislature we're lacking a strong Republican voice for freedom and equality and J. Max Davis will fill that void.

J. Max Davis is that fair-minded Republican who we can depend on to prevent anti-gay legislation in Georgia.

Please vote for J. Max Davis for State Representative – District 80 this Tuesday, August 11th.

Except that Davis hasn't voiced a strong voice for LGBT equality. Nevermind the sexual harassment allegations facing the former mayor. Davis shies away from discussing gay marriage or the anti-gay “religious freedom” legislation from state Sen. Josh McKoon that gay Republicans, including Fox, fought at the Georgia Legislature. It's all the more interesting that Jacobs, the former state lawmaker, was the Republican that helped kill the bill during a House hearing.

Via the AJC:

When he decided to leave the Legislature, Jacobs called Davis — then still the mayor of Brookhaven — to ask whether he was interested in the seat. Given that, I pressed Davis on whether he agreed with Jacobs’ decision to deep-six SB 129.

“Mike did what he did. He was representing the wishes of his constituency. I’m not going to disagree with what Mike did,” Davis said. But the Republican candidate said he would pursue a “fresh approach from a different angle.”

That angle might be the “pastor protection” legislation that House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, introduced this week. The limited measure would simply make clear that no member of the clergy could be forced to preside over a gay couple’s nuptials.

But Davis would prefer not to address the gay marriage issue at all. When he knocks on doors, the candidate said he intends to focus on his two primary initiatives: A cap on local property taxes and an independent school district for the city of Brookhaven.

Compare that to Bennett, who has a lesbian mom and said he jumped into the race to help fight the “religious freedom” legislation. The statewide LGBT group Georgia Equality endorsed Bennett. 

“My mother is gay and she's been with her spouse now for 10 years. They got married in March in Arizona. And I'm sitting here in Georgia watching our legislature waste time, resources and energy trying to figure out ways to discriminate,” Bennett told WSB. 

“And as a discrimination attorney and a personal connection to that very issue, I sat back and was thinking to myself why am I going to sit idle by and watch this unfold in front of me. We live in 2015 and we are finding ways to discriminate. There are no shades of gray in discrimination – it either is or it isn't,” he added.

The Log Cabin endorsement came Saturday as Fox attended RedState, a love fest of anti-gay conservatives in a Buckhead hotel organized by anti-gay WSB pundit Erick Erickson. Fox was there as part of Georgia Republicans for the Future, a coalition opposing the “religious freedom” legislation. 


Yet Fox and gay Republicans endorse Davis, who notably also received a nod of approval from Deal on Monday. That's the same governor whose record on LGBT issues is, well, messy.


So gay Republicans backed a candidate along party lines instead of their positions on LGBT equality. OK. But also consider this: If a Democrat wins on Tuesday, that will break the chokehold of a Republican supermajority in the state House.

Via Atlanta magazine:

Should Bennett beat Davis, Georgia House Republicans would lose their effective supermajority (state Rep. Rusty Kidd, I-Milledgeville, tends to vote with the GOP). Why’s that important? Charles Bullock, political science professor at the University of Georgia, says Democratic lawmakers would be able to block GOP-backed constitutional amendments that now sail past them untouched. If that happens, he says, House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, D-Atlanta, would need to unify her entire caucus to make the 60-representative block work to her party’s advantage.

And think back to what Republicans in Georgia can do with constitutional amendments and LGBT issues. Ban marriage? Yep, they did that in 2004 and it took 11 years and a U.S. Supreme Court decision to undo it.


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