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California GOP Tells Log Cabin Republicans 'Get Out Of The Back Of The Bus,' Votes to Formally Recognize Gay Group

LCR

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 ... 

Continue reading "California GOP Tells Log Cabin Republicans 'Get Out Of The Back Of The Bus,' Votes to Formally Recognize Gay Group" »


Log Cabin Republicans Will Now Be Allowed To Participate In CPAC Alongside All the Anti-Gay Nuts

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Amazing what can change over a weekend. Just last Friday we were telling you how the Log Cabin Republicans had been denied participation - yet again - in the annual Conservative Political Action Conference. According to Edge Boston today, however, that stance has been reversed and not only have the LCRs been allowed to attend, but have even been invited to speak on a panel titled "Putin's Russia: A New Cold War?" and will take place this Saturday, February 28th at noon.

Edge snarks:

Among the many right-wing luminaries scheduled to speak at this year's CPAC are: Sam Brownback, the pig farmer turned governor of Kansas who recently stripped LGBT state workers of employment non-discrimination protections, Ben Carson, the neurosurgeon turned professional Obamacare basher who compares marriage equality advocates to supporters of bestiality and pedophiles, and half-term Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin who is well, Sarah Palin.

The only way the party will change is when that change starts coming from within. One has to offer a certain amount of respect to a group that's willing to meet with the fanatical dogmatic lunatics that comprise far too much of the Republican Party and threaten to rot it completely from the inside out when the rest of us would rather - and justifiably so - completely wash our hands of them.

GOProud was never, ever, ever - like, seriously? omgwtflolno - going to affect any kind of positive change within the Republican Party, so quixotic as it may be, here's hoping that LCR getting their foot in the door is something that helps eventually move the GOP to a party of educated politicians from the circus of crazy-eyed, dominionistic, hateful, paranoid nutbags that it has become.


CPAC Excludes Log Cabin Republicans As Sponsors For Third Year In a Row

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For the third year in a row, the Log Cabin Republicans have been excluded as sponsors for the Conservative Political Action Conference, arguably the year's biggest event for the Republican Party. Maybe they're still sore over that Politico ad from a few years ago asking the GOP to please not be so anti-gay, a sentiment repeated last summer by political strategists? 

Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union which is CPAC's sponsor, said that the reason that LCR was excluded was because they simply didn't apply to be sponsors. Also, that LCR is timid and insufficiently conservative, whatever that means.

AngeloLCR executive director Gregory T. Angelo (right) counters Schlapp's claim with a paper trail of emails from himself to ACU executive director Dan Schneider - all of which went unanswered - explicitly requesting to be sponsors of this year's CPAC.

Most likely, the reason for the exclusion is the very conclusion that Angelo has come to:

CPAC has a problem allowing any formal recognition for organizations affiliated with gay people. That is the only logical conclusion to come to.

 


NOM Takes Credit For Defeating Gay Republicans, Will Target Sen. Rob Portman in 2016

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The National Organization for Marriage is taking credit for the defeat of several openly gay and pro-marriage equality Republicans on Nov. 4. Not surprisingly, though, a closer examination of election results raises significant questions about the group's claims. NOM wrote in a press release Monday:

Through their Super PAC, the NOM Victory Fund, the nation's largest organization supporting natural marriage opposed the election of Republican US House candidates Carl DeMaio (CA52) and Richard Tisei (MA6) as well as Republican US Senate candidate Monica Wehby of Oregon. Tisei and Wehby were defeated on Election Day while DeMaio conceded defeat yesterday.

DemaioDeMaio and Tisei are openly gay, and Wehby campaigned in support of marriage equality. However, in his analysis of how same-sex marriage played in the mid-term elections, The Washington Blade's Chris Johnson notes that the candidates who defeated DeMaio, Tisei and Wehby all support LGBT rights:

One might argue conservatives were so disaffected in those races that they stayed home and didn’t provide the necessary support to overcome the Republican rivals of Democratic candidates, especially in close races like California’s 52nd congressional district, where DeMaio was ahead in the final tally and declared the loser only after the provisional ballots were counted.

But that wouldn’t explain other races in which Republican challengers who support marriage equality were able to unseat Democratic opponents in close contests. Robert Dold, a former Republican House member who came out for marriage equality after leaving office, won in his bid to unseat Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.), as did Carlos Curbelo, a Republican supporter of same-sex marriage who unseated Rep. Joe Garcia (D-Fla.).

Dold and Curbelo were backed by Log Cabin Republicans, which reported that 10 of its 16 endorsed federal candidates won their races. "Election night was a terrific night to be a Republican, and an especially good night to be a Log Cabin Republican," Executive Director Gregory T. Angelo said in a release. 

Angelo said losses by DeMaio and Tisei made the results "bittersweet," but suggested that anti-gay groups like NOM weren't any more of a factor in those races than "vitriolic Democrats who would stop at nothing to maintain the identity politics status quo that keeps them in power."

PortmanEven without Demaio and Tisei, the number of House Republicans who support marriage equality will increase to six in the 114th Congress. Meanwhile, the Senate will include at least four Republicans who support marriage equality, including Ohio's Rob Portman, who has been identified as a possible GOP presidential candidate. And that's precisely where NOM President Brian Brown says the group is now turning its attention.

"Rob Portman can forget about getting elected President of the United States," Brown said in the group's press release Monday. "If he runs we will make sure that GOP primary voters are aware of his desire to redefine marriage and his willingness to see federal judges set aside the votes of 50 million Americans who enacted marriage amendments across the country because his son is gay. Rob Portman's son has a right to live as he chooses, but that does not give his father the right to redefine marriage."

"Rob Portman can forget about getting elected President of the United States," said Brown. "If he runs we will make sure that GOP primary voters are aware of his desire to redefine marriage and his willingness to see federal judges set aside the votes of 50 million Americans who enacted marriage amendments across the country because his son is gay. Rob Portman's son has a right to live as he chooses, but that does not give his father the right to redefine marriage. - See more at: http://www.nomblog.com/39827/#sthash.hfNxvuQL.dpuf
"Rob Portman can forget about getting elected President of the United States," said Brown. "If he runs we will make sure that GOP primary voters are aware of his desire to redefine marriage and his willingness to see federal judges set aside the votes of 50 million Americans who enacted marriage amendments across the country because his son is gay. Rob Portman's son has a right to live as he chooses, but that does not give his father the right to redefine marriage. - See more at: http://www.nomblog.com/39827/#sthash.hfNxvuQL.dpuf

GOP Urged by Strategists to Drop Opposition to Gay Marriage

As the 2014 mid-term elections approach (ahead of the almighty 2016 presidential elections), more and more stories have emerged about Republican attempts to change their party’s stance against gay marriage.

The most recent one from The Hill notes that despite the national platform’s support of “‘traditional marriage’ between a man and a woman” and the “majority of Republicans in Congress [who] remain opposed to same-sex marriage,” there are “now eight Republicans in Congress who support same-sex marriage, split evenly between the House and Senate.”

LehmanThe article also mentions Kathryn Lehman (pictured), “a top GOP lobbyist and partner at Holland & Knight” who helped draft the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” that once served as a major impediment to nationwide marriage equality. Now working with the group Freedom to Marry, she regularly visits the offices of 40 to 50 congressional Republicans in an attempt to change their views on marriage equality.

Carl Thorsen — another GOP strategist working the Human Rights Campaign (pictured below) — encourages Republicans who might want to publicly announce their support for marriage equality by offering advice on how others have done it.

“These are human beings who view these issues on a deeply personal level,” Thorsen told The Hill, “but at the same time, they’re elected officials, and articulating those views may be — understandably — complicated by their political situation.”

CarlthorsenThe political situation includes the fact that most of  Republican party state platforms still oppose same-sex marriage and only 30 percent of Republican voters support same-sex marriage.

The article continues:

Organizations like Log Cabin Republicans and Project Right Side are also pushing Republicans by providing data about changes in public opinion and, like lobbyists, offering lawmakers and their offices a “safe space” to talk about the challenges facing LGBT individuals.

With an increasing number of national polls and court victories in favor of marriage equality, even Gregory Angelo — the executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans — has said that many of “the most rock-ribbed social conservatives in Washington… see the writing on the wall, they see the direction the country is headed,” and the political peril that will accompany an entrenched opposition to marriage rights.

Ken Mehlman — the infamous Republican National Committee chairperson turned pro-marriage supporter who orchestrated George W. Bush’s intensely homophobic 2004 re-election campaign — said, “As conservatives, we don’t have to ignore… a strong conservative argument for safe schools, for civil marriage, merit-based decisions at work.”

Nevertheless, a majority of Republicans continue to oppose employment non-discrimination legislations unless they allow religious exemptions allowing Christianist companies to continue firing LGBT people.


Texan GOP Chairman Against Gay Reparative Therapy

Texas GOP Chairman Steve Munisteri has come out condemning 'ex-gay 'therapy’s inclusion as a line item in The Republican Party of Texas’s 2014 platform. Munisteri says he’s not alone.

Munisteri“The Texas Republican Party has millions of people who vote for it and every individual Republican has their own views on issues,” The Chairman said this week.

Munisteri made headlines earlier this year after openly barring the Log Cabin Republicans of Texas from formal participation in the Texas State Republican Convention citing a difference in opinion on gay marriage.

LGBT reparative therapy, anti-vaccination, withdrawal from the UN, and reparations are but a few of the issues highlighted in the Texas GOP Platform that Munisteri says aren’t reflective of the state’s actual delegation. Rather, a platform committee is selected from members of the 31 state senatorial districts and charged with crafting the platform on its own.

“It’s false to represent that each one of those platform planks necessarily represents the view of the majority view of either the majority of the delegates let alone a majority of Republicans,” Munisteri said of the platform. 


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