That's the question that Kerry Eleveld asks in this month Advocate, but not in so many words. It's an interesting conversation, but it's pretty much like comparing the merits of various exurban McMansions: I'm never going to want one and they're all pretty much the same.
Eleveld's argument is built around the idea that Giuliani is somehow materially better than the rest of the Republican candidates on LGBT issues. That would mean that he would push the Democrat to speak out more to distinguish herself from him and maybe cause those Religious Right leaders split off and go third-party.
But Rudy is pretty much the same man who was mayor of New York, only this time without an electorate that cares as much about textual queer equality. On gaystream issues besides marriage, he's the same as all the other Republican candidates. He won't talk about ENDA, he's against repealing DADT, and fat chance on getting him to back nationalized health care. Throw in there that he's said he'd nominate judges along the lines of Scalia, who mocked Lawrence as making up a "right to sodomy", and a Rudy presidency would just unravel the biggest gain we've made at the federal level since, well, ever.
This is all the same as the other Republicans. On couplehood issues, Eleveld points to Rudy's website that gives vague support to some kind of domestic partnerships. But you really can't ignore his statements that civil unions go too far and the fact that we're still waiting for him to dispute claims that he's privately promised to support the Federal Marriage Amendment.
Now, the other Republicans have parsed words all around about just what they're going to do when they get in office when it comes to two dudes or two ladies marrying. Fred Thompson supports an FMA that lets states legalize same-sex marriage, John McCain has a vague "leave it to the states" plan, and Romney supports the FMA as it stands. All of this would be quite interesting if the president had any ability to legislate on marriage or amend the Constitution.
But she doesn't. Amendments to the Constitution are passed by Congress and then the states, and if Freddie's spending enough time in Congress trying to make sure every nuance of his FMA gets in there and gets passed by a Democratic Congress, I'd tell him that there's a war over there in Iraq that he'd better try and manage. And no one's talking about domestic partnerships or civil unions at the federal level, so Rudy's vague DP talk is just that: talk.
The only issue that really matter for them is would they sign a bill that came before them to repeal the DOMA. And since none of them has talked about it and they'd all be up for reelection in 2012, I'd say no. Rudy's just the same all the rest on same sex couplehood issues, no matter who his friends in NYC are.
The only thing that'd be slightly different would be the tone of the election season. Romney has shown that time and time again he's willing to demonize us to try to get votes, while Rudy would avoid the issue all together. But Rudy wouldn't push the Democrat to distinguish herself on that issue, he'd just march on with more 9/11 talk, maybe telling people who he'd like to bomb this time around.
And a third-party jump by the Religious Right? Oh, please. When 26% of white evangelicals support Rudy, more than any other candidate, Doc Dobson bloviating about leaving the party doesn't mean anything. The leaders of the Religious Right don't have the same sort of pull they did even four years ago, never had the kind of pull the media hyped them up to have had in the first place. And now evangelicals are seeing through this mean-spirited politics to look at the issues that actually affect them, like the war against Iraq and health care.
I'd eat my hat if Rudy's campaign forced same-sex couplehood issues (not any other ones!) in an attempt to steal away gay voters. It'd alienate members of the Right and wouldn't win him any points when he'd be forced to come out and say that he supports DOMA. It's just a mask to get people who see the mean-spiritedness of Romney-esque politics on his team as he promises to nominate judges that make Sam Brownback happy, and, like any masks, will do nothing to advance any agenda.