Kevin And Don Respond To Being Self Loathing

Looking back at their journey from the Stonewall Democratic Club to Log Cabin Republicans, they claim it was one that was actually started by the democrats. After being told that marriage as not a priority on the agenda in 1995, they became disillusioned with the DEMS. For a decade they felt like they did not belong until they met the republicans of the Log Cabin Republican Club and discovered they too shared a dream of marriage equality. This blog is now a digital time capsule of their time as Republicans and moderated by a friend and supporter.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

LOG CABIN ASKS SEN. TOM HARMAN “WWRD – WHAT WOULD REAGAN DO?”

Sacramento – Log Cabin Republicans challenged Sen. Tom Harman for his vote yesterday on SB 559 in the Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee. Sen. Harman voted against AB 559, a bill to lower property taxes unfairly assessed on domestic partners, including senior citizens, after the death of a loved one. In a letter to Sen. Harman, Log Cabin asked him to consider the question WWRD – What Would Reagan Do” when it came voting on cutting taxes.

In its letter, Log Cabin noted that Sen. Harman is the most pro-gay Republican in the state and noted that his vote was not anti-gay but wondered if it had more to do with his “disturbing trend in favor of higher taxes.” Log Cabin has consistently supported the Senator with contributions and volunteers for his views in support of homosexuality.

“This concerns us, because more important than gay issues these days, we are more concerned about higher taxes.”

Despite the criticism raised in his recent campaign for his proposals to tax disposable diapers, support adding $3,500 in smog fees to the cost of SUVs, increasing the gas tax and eroding the two-thirds vote requirement for raising taxes, Log Cabin had retained faith in him. Now that support could be in danger. Not because he isn’t gay supportive enough, but because he may not be conservative enough on tax issues.

SB 559 would restore the property tax rates for senior and other domestic partners whose property taxes may have gone up between 2002 and 2005. Under Prop 13, spouses were exempted from a reassessment of property taxes in the event of the death of a spouse. That exemption was extended to domestic partners in 2005 by legislation passed by the California legislature and signed into law by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Unlike Prop 13, that bill was not retroactive. SB 559 by Senator Christine Kehoe (D-Dan Diego), will make that exemption apply back to 2002 when domestic partnerships were first established. If during that time one member of a domestic partnership died and the property was reassessed due to the change in ownership and the property taxes were increased, then under this bill the surviving member could apply to have the property tax rate restored to the level at the time of death of the partner.

Domestic Partnerships were created in 2002 for same sex couples and for heterosexual senior citizens over the age of 55 who could not get married for fear of losing pensions and other benefits. Domestic partnerships allow these couples to legally designate someone to act in their behalf in the event of injury, illness or death to handle medical and financial decisions. One benefit added was to grant the property tax reassessment exemption to protect partners from facing dramatic property tax increases at a time of financial and emotional hardship.

Log Cabin Republicans met with Senator Harman’s staff on April 11 to educate him about the importance of cutting property taxes for seniors and other domestic partners. As fiscally conservative Republicans, SB 559 is one of Log Cabin’s main legislative priorities.

In their letter, Log Cabin also noted that gays and lesbians have won the battle on every issue in California but the battle for same sex marriage. Log Cabin is moving beyond the social battles in California and focusing more on core Republican issues.

“It seems our job has expanded to include educating Republicans about core Republican beliefs as well as gays and lesbian issues, “ said Vaughn.

UPDATE-FROM HARMAN WEBSITE: Senate Bill 11 was heard Tuesday, April 24 th in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Under current law, same-sex couples and heterosexual couples over the age of 62 with a common residence may establish a domestic partnership by filing with the Secretary of State. SB 11 would delete the same-sex and age requirements for domestic partnership. To grant domestic partnership rights to everyone is degrading to the invaluable institution of traditional marriage. With domestic partnership, couples will receive all the benefits of marriage without actually be married. This "faux marriage" does not encourage couples to get married and raise a healthy family. Therefore, as I have done each and every year, I cast a “no” vote against this measure.
As the lead Republican in the Senate Judiciary Committee, I am committed to protect the will of the voters who unanimously passed Prop 22 in 2000.

Log Cabin Asks Sen. Dave Godgill, "WWRD?".