Carpinteria resident Gregory Gandrud has been elected to the California Republican Assembly and is reportedly the first openly gay man to serve on the board, the SF Chronicle's Joe Garofoli reports:
Gandrud thought it was a positive that the uber-conservative California Republican Assembly — while it didn't endorse him — didn't actively oppose him or fund a rival candidate to run against him. He's not married to his partner of four years, but they have been registered domestic partners for three.
We know what you non-Republicans are saying now. How can any LGBT person support a party that opposes same-sex marriage and other gay-friendly legislation and isn't exactly on the holiday card list of of the folks at Equality California.
Because Gandrud says he doesn't define himself merely by the fact that he's gay. He's a fiscal conservative. (Even left the GOP for a while in the 1990's and chaired the Libertarian Party in Santa Barbara Co.) And he's opposed his party on some issues like Proposition 8, joining a group called Republicans Against Prop 8 and says he has donated money to Equality California.
"Being gay is only one aspect of us," said Charles Moran, a vice chair for the California Log Cabiners. "We are not single-issue voters. You can be a good conservative and support an equality agenda.
Right Wing Watch reports that not everyone on the board is so thrilled that Gandrud was elected:
Celeste Greig, president of the volunteer California Republican Assembly, says many Republicans did not know of Gandrud's sexual orientation until recently. But she adds that her conservative group will stand its ground, both fiscally and socially.
"I hope that he doesn't bring his personal lifestyle within the party," says Greig. "Of course everyone is welcome to be members, to be productive. If they try to bring up more of their issues and promote more of their lifestyle, I'm sure that's not going to go well at all with members of the California Republican Assembly and with me."