In a move that drew comparisons to Rosa Parks and the fall of the Berlin Wall, the California Republican Party voted this weekend to officially recognize the Log Cabin Republicans.
The Los Angeles Times reports:
The Log Cabin Republicans, a 38-year-old organization that had unsuccessfully sought a charter from the state party several times in the past, received the formal imprimatur on a 861-293 vote at the party’s biannual convention in Sacramento.
It is among the first gay groups officially sanctioned by a state Republican Party.
Brandon Gesicki, a delegate from Carmel who supported the effort, said the vote showed how much the party in California has changed in recent years.
“It would have been the complete opposite 15 years ago,” said Gesicki, who also turned in a proxy vote from former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado supporting the recognition. “The fringe does not control the party anymore. We truly are a big tent once again.”
The victory for Log Cabin in California comes on the heels of the national group's exclusion (then re-admittance) as Conservative Political Action Conference sponsor this year.
The LA Times reports that despite the decision to charter Log Cabin, the California GOP platform still includes anti-LGBT language:
John Briscoe, president of the socially conservative California Republican Assembly, pointed to Log Cabin’s support of same-sex marriage.
“I have a hard time understanding how we’re going to charter an organization that’s in opposition to our platform,” he said during the debate.
The party’s official platform says homosexuality is unacceptable.
“We believe public policy and education should not be exploited to present or teach homosexuality as an acceptable ‘alternative’ lifestyle. We oppose same-sex partner benefits, child custody, and adoption,” the platform says.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that while some social conservatives like Briscoe voiced strong opposition to the decision, the vast majority of those attending the state GOP convention supported it.
And, many said, their inclusion was long overdue.
“We’re Republicans,” said Brandon Gesicki, a longtime GOP strategist. “We’re not East Germany.”
“Get out of the back of the bus,” said Scott Wilk, Republican Assembly Caucus chair to the Log Cabin group at the close of the debate. “You deserve a seat.”
Watch the announcement of the group's charter, AFTER THE JUMP ...