Activists differ on election's outcome

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com November 08 2002 12:00 AM ET

As pundits everywhere made predictions Wednesday regarding what the new Republican-controlled Congress means for politics in America, three of the gay and lesbian groups most active in Washington, D.C., politics issued statements with dramatically different assessments of the November 5 election results. The Human Rights Campaign, which had endorsed two winning U.S. Senate Republicans--Maine's Susan Collins and Oregon's Gordon Smith--said it is "preparing for the challenges that lie ahead while evaluating the new, rocky political terrain on Capitol Hill."

"The Human Rights Campaign worked extremely hard in this election season," HRC executive director Elizabeth Birch said. "Over the years we have built a strong bipartisan approach, and this will serve not only as a bulwark against harm but will ensure some key Republican members will continue to push forward on issues of concern to GLBT Americans."

The Log Cabin Republicans, meanwhile, called the election an "indictment of the gay community's reliance on the one-party political strategy."

"It's time the gay community reexamined its blind allegiance to the Democratic Party and builds a truly bipartisan movement," said Log Cabin executive director Rich Tafel. "The 2002 elections have finally exposed it as a complete failure."

Lorri Jean, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, said the outcome Tuesday will allow "the party of the 'compassionate conservative' to show how truly compassionate they are.... NGLTF calls on both House and Senate Republicans to work toward eliminating discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity."