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Big Tent Sale? Log Cabin Republicans Remodel the Campaign

It's a coming out of a whole different variety: gay Republicans (sometimes known as Log Cabin Republicans, the gay and lesbian Republican grassroots organization) coming clean about their party affiliation. It's a tricky sell for the average homosexual who is for strong national defense, limited spending and other Republican party favors. It's a pairing of identities that leaves some feeling like, "you're not liked by either side."

One Log Cabin Republican in Texas says, "Some people think it's more difficult to come out as Republican to a gay friend, than to come out as gay to a straight friend." This could be especially true as the official Texas Republican Party platform says that homosexuality "tears at the fabric" of society, and blames diseases on the gay community. The Texan, gay GOP-er acknowledges, "There's a lot of hurtful and hateful language that we'd like to get stripped out of that platform." His partner knows the election day bottom line will eventually win over detractors saying, "They know our votes and our money [is] significant."

To see how the Log Cabin Republicans play into the current election,


It's worth noting that the national Republican Party platform doesn't contain the same language that the Texas platform does, and in fact, the McCain campaign has realized the value of this group of voters. At the convention this month, senior strategist Steve Schmidt met with the Log Cabin Republicans saying, “I just wanted to take a second to come by and pay my respect and the campaign’s respect to your organization and to your group. Your organization is an important one in the fabric of our party.”

This event was the first time in history that the Log Cabin Republicans has been fully credentialed guests of the GOP host committee. This bigger tent of inclusion could be behind their endorsement of John McCain for president, four years after refusing to endorse George W. Bush. During the endorsement, Log Cabin President Patrick Sammon said, “Sen. McCain showed courage by bucking his own party’s leadership and the president—twice voting against the [federal marriage] amendment. He gave an impassioned speech on the Senate floor, calling the amendment ‘antithetical in every way to the core philosophy of Republicans.’ He paid a political price for his vote.”

Given language like that which is included in the Texas platform, does being a gay Republican make sense? Is the Republican party on its way to more inclusion and a bigger tent?

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