Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Saluting Log Cabin Republicans
Here are excerpts from the Log Cabin Republican website:
Who We Are
Log Cabin Republicans is the nation's only organization of Republicans who support fairness, freedom, and equality for gay and lesbian Americans. Log Cabin has state and local chapters nationwide, full-time staff in California and Washington, DC, a federal political action committee, and state political action committees.
What We Believe
We are loyal Republicans. We believe in limited government, strong national defense, free markets, low taxes, personal responsibility, and individual liberty. Log Cabin represents an important part of the American family—taxpaying, hard working people who proudly believe in this nation's greatness. We also believe all Americans have the right to liberty and equality. We believe equality for gay and lesbian people is in the finest tradition of the Republican Party. We educate our Party about why inclusion wins. Opposing gay and lesbian equality is inconsistent with the GOP's core principles of smaller government and personal freedom.
Why We Exist
Log Cabin Republicans work to make the Republican Party more inclusive, particularly on gay and lesbian issues. Equality will be impossible to achieve without Republican votes. Working from inside the Party—educating other Republicans about gay and lesbian issues—is the most effective way to gain new Republican allies for equality. Log Cabin also exists as a voice for GOP values among members of the gay and lesbian community.
We are first and foremost a grassroots organization. Thousands of members in dozens of chapters across the country work inside the GOP to change hearts and minds. One person at a time, we are building a stronger Republican party and a better America.
Aside from our growing membership base spread around the nation, Log Cabin boasts an experienced political staff in our nation's capital. The office serves as an important link to Republican Party leaders. We are gaining new allies for equality everyday in Washington and around the nation.
To achieve a more inclusive GOP, it is important for gay and lesbian Americans participate in the Republican Party, educating those who fail to understand the need for civil equality and equal protection under the law. LGBT Republicans are shattering stereotypes and educating the GOP's rank-and-file about the importance of fairness and equality for all Americans, including gay and lesbian Americans. We are on the path to progress.
Aside from working for change within the GOP, Log Cabin continues building new alliances in the gay and lesbian community. Both parties have an important role to play in advancing our civil rights. To attain substantial legislative progress, we need votes from both sides of the aisle—Republican and Democrat. Over the last three decades, many gay and lesbian activists worked hard to make the Democratic Party more inclusive on gay and lesbian issues. Log Cabin Republicans are doing the same important work to transform the GOP. Without more allies in the Republican Party, equality will be impossible to achieve. With your help (and that of your friends) we can achieve our goals in the near future.
A Proud Past & A Bright Future
Log Cabin got its start in California during the late 1970s when gay and lesbian Republicans banded together to help defeat an anti-gay ballot initiative. The so-called Briggs Initiative, which would've prohibited gay people from teaching in public schools, was heading for passage until former California Governor and future President Ronald Reagan spoke out against the proposal. California voters soundly rejected the Briggs Initiative. From that pivotal campaign, the first Log Cabin chapters formed in the Golden State.
In 2004, the Republican Party marked the 150th anniversary of its first national convention. The GOP rose to power because it embraced the ideals of equality imagined by our nation's founding fathers and ensured by our Constitution. When Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, a "new birth of freedom", was indeed given to our country. Now, more than 150 years later, the GOP has another chance to choose fairness over discrimination, equality over bigotry, hope over fear, and freedom over oppression.
Now in the first part of this new century, Log Cabin is working to advance the cause of equality and help our Party return to its unifying core principles. In 2006, Republicans lost the Congressional majority because our party alienated independent voters. Exit polls show they supported Democrats 57% to 39%—a sharp change from recent elections. Pollsters across the political spectrum agree this development made the difference in the last election.
Looking ahead to 2008, the Republican Party must return to its core principles and offer a hopeful and optimistic big tent vision that unites voters. We are optimistic about the future because more Republicans everyday understand why equality and liberty matter for every citizen, regardless of their sexual orientation. Log Cabin proudly stands as a principled voice working to build a more inclusive GOP and a better America.