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Saturday, March 7, 2015

Log Cabin or Bust?




Is the GOP “Big Tent” getting bigger? In a historic move, the California Republican Party, on Sunday, March 1st 2015, officially recognized a gay GOP group, formally known as the ‘Log Cabin Republicans.’ The 38-year old organization, had unsuccessfully sought a charter from the state party in recent years. They received the formal imprimatur on a 861-293 vote at the ‘CRA convention’ in Sacramento. This move left many social conservatives upset. However, not for the simple fact of the majority of Log Cabin members being gay, (don’t get me wrong, there are some who are equally upset about their being gay.) but at the fact of the organization’s stance on certain issues relating to the LGBT community. Comments flared on Facebook group pages like, “Republican of California (Statewide)” in that it has nothing to do with being gay, but that the organization does not align with that of the Republican Party platform, particularly on the issue of same-sex marriage, as followed:

FAMILY
The California Republican Party affirms the family as the natural and indispensable institution for human development. A strong and healthy family unit is the heart of the home – a safe surrounding where family decisions are made, children are raised, and morality is taught. The family is a foundation upon which American society has grown and prospered for over 200 years. We support the two parent family as the best environment for raising children, and therefore believe that it is important to define marriage as being between one man and one woman. 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. (link)

Log Cabin Republicans have been extremely vocal about building an “inclusive” Republican Party, and openly promote same-sex marriage:
  
Log Cabin Republicans is a coalition partner with the Republican National Committee and is on the front lines of today’s most important battles for gay and lesbian civil rights.  Log Cabin’s grassroots chapters work with local and state party organizations to build and expand a more inclusive Republican Party.  Coordination and assistance from Log Cabin’s national staff in Washington, D.C. is similar to the organizational relationship between the state parties and the Republican National Committee.


On other issues like limited government, foreign policy, lower taxes, the Log Cabin Republicans are aligned with the party platform.

There was a recent poll that showed the majority of young Republicans support gay marriage.  Moreover, even [some] social conservatives, like Governor Scott Walker, a potential Presidential candidate in 2016 recently suggested that opposition to gay marriage was “generational,” and that it was wiser for Republicans to focus on economic issues. At the 2015 CPAC, Tea Party favorite, Ted Cruz changed his usual words of “Marriage is between one man and one woman” to “Marriage should be left to the States.” (Yea… That didn’t go unnoticed, Teddy.) This could indeed be the path to a more inclusive party, ultimately leaving the issue of same-sex marriage, a constant ‘wedge issue’ easier for future potential Republican candidates and/or politicians. I don’t believe the intentions of LCR being chartered was an attempt to degrade the social conservative base. However, I don’t think they (social cons) will be making out any contribution checks to the CRA anytime soon.

~ Ben Chapman