Sunday, April 18, 2004
Talking Points: Why It's Okay Being A Gay Republican

To some people, being a gay Republican seems like an oxymoron. We disagree. The Republican Party's founding principles and core beliefs represent a powerful tool that should be used to defend liberty-not attack it as the radical right has done. Their dogged campaign to block gay and lesbian civil rights goes against the party's core principles of smaller government and personal freedom. They use values as a veil for hate. The radical right's influence on the GOP can be diminished one voter at a time, by making the case for fairness. That is what motivates the Log Cabin Republicans to lead today's most important battle for the civil rights of gay and lesbian Americans. Even those in the gay community who disagree with our politics should realize our value. Here is why it is okay being a gay Republican:

1. Gay and lesbian Americans who believe in limited government, strong national defense, lower taxes, personal responsibility, and free markets belong in the Republican Party. Democrats who favor big government, higher taxes and more regulation don't represent our values and beliefs. That means leaving the GOP is not an option for gay Republicans. We can be true to our conservative principles while working to make the GOP more inclusive and tolerant.

2. Defeating the radical right and transforming the GOP will allow gay and lesbian Americans to achieve full equality much sooner-decades sooner. The radical right represents the last obstacle on the path to full equality. Defeat them in the grassroots of the GOP and all of us can enjoy the benefits of liberty much sooner.

3. The party will change only from the inside. Pressure from the outside, from the far left won't work. The GOP must be transformed one person at a time, across America on the grassroots level by gay Republicans and their fair-minded allies. Across America, gay Republicans are shattering stereotypes and educating rank-and-file Republicans about the importance of fairness and equality for gay and lesbian Americans. This is the right path to progress.

4. Achieving total equality will take decades longer unless our community has strong allies in both parties. There aren't enough votes in the Democratic Party to achieve sustained legislative victories. Even if all gay Republicans left the party, the GOP would still be there. That is why we reach out to fair-minded Republicans-making the case for fairness.

5. We are doing important work to the transform the GOP, bringing about the same grassroots change that happened in the Democratic Party over the last three decades. We applaud the gay and lesbian activists who worked so hard to change the Democratic Party-making it more inclusive and tolerant. 25 years ago, had gay and lesbian members left the party, then the Democrats would not be where they are today on issues of equality and fairness. We are now doing similar work in the GOP.

6. The history of the Republican Party makes it a natural ally of equality. In 2004, the Republican Party marks the 150th anniversary of its first national convention. Looking toward history can help the GOP chart its future course. The Republican Party rose to power because it embraced the ideals of equality imagined by our nation's founding fathers. When President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, he created a new birth of freedom. So it can be again. Nearly 150 years later-the GOP has another chance to choose fairness over discrimination, equality over bigotry, freedom over fear.
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