Log Cabin Republicans, the largest GOP group representing LGBT interests, has endorsed Mitt Romney for president despite his opposition to gay marriage. "It is clear that in today’s economic climate, concern for the future of our country must be the highest priority," says the group's executive director. "On issues of particular concern to the LGBT community, we believe Governor Romney will move the ball forward compared to past Republican presidents." The full endorsement notes that the group's support comes with qualifications, and only after much consideration and discussion. Even so, "Mitt Romney is not Rick Santorum, and Paul Ryan is not Michele Bachmann. Otherwise, our decision would have been different."
The "qualified" endorsement means that the group will be most active in working to elect the House and Senate candidates it endorses, the Advocate explains, noting that questions of how the Log Cabin Republicans would handle the endorsement have swirled for months. In 2004, the group did not endorse George W. Bush, since he backed a federal marriage amendment keeping states from recognizing same-sex marriages. Romney supports the same. But "2012 is not 2004," the group says. "The Federal Marriage Amendment has been voted on twice, and each time has failed with bipartisan opposition. … Particularly in today's economic climate, there is simply no appetite to pass or even seriously consider any such amendment." (Read more gay marriage stories.)