Log Cabin Republicans
||This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (December 2012)|
|Log Cabin Republicans|
|Region served||United States|
|Executive Director||R. Clarke Cooper|
The Log Cabin Republicans (LCR) is an organization that works within the Republican Party to advocate equal rights for gays and lesbians in the United States. The group's constituency supports the Republican Party and advocates for the rights of gay and lesbian Americans.23
The group initially proposed to name themselves Lincoln Club, but found that name was already in use by another California Republican organization.6 Thus, the name Log Cabin Republicans was chosen as an alternative name.
The 1992 Log Cabin Republican convention was held in Spring, Texas, a Houston exurb. The main issue discussed was whether or not LCR would endorse the re-election of President George H. W. Bush. The group voted to deny that endorsement because Bush did not denounce anti-gay rhetoric at the 1992 Republican National Convention.7
In August 1995, the campaign of Republican presidential candidate, Bob Dole, returned the LCR's $500 campaign contribution.8 The campaign returned the contribution after openly lesbian columnist, Deb Price, of the Detroit News, asked about it after she saw it on a public report from the Federal Elections Commission. The campaign sent a written statement to Price saying that Dole was in "100% disagreement with the agenda of the Log Cabin Republicans."9 The finance office of the campaign had solicited the contribution from LCR. At the event where it was given, Dole had personally spoken with LCR's then-executive director, Rich Tafel, about the group and about AIDS legislation it was promoting in the Senate. Weeks earlier, Dole agreed to co-sponsor the legislation after a meeting with Tafel at the campaign's headquarters.10 It resulted in a front-page story in The New York Times, penned by Richard L. Berke, then-chief political reporter for the daily.11
As reporters, including Berke, were seeking confirmation of the story before it broke, Dole's finance chairman, John Moran, asked Tafel not to speak to the press and that Tafel's "steadfastness and statesmanship at this moment will be handsomely appreciated in the long run by the campaign." Tafel refused.12
Pundits accused Dole of being a "flip-flopper and a hypocrite."13 Editorials ran in major newspapers, including the Washington Post, The New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, and the Times of London, condemning Dole's action, joined by radio commentators Rush Limbaugh and Don Imus.1415 Under the pressure, Dole admitted during an October 1995 press briefing on Capitol Hill that he regretted the decision to return the check, and that his campaign was responsible for it without consulting him.16 "I think if they'd have consulted me, we wouldn't have done that, wouldn't have returned it," Dole said.17 Dole later told Washington Post editor and author Bob Woodward that the LCR episode was a "mistake" because the decision to return the check "gets into Bob Dole the person. It's not so much about Bob Dole the candidate. It's the person. Is he tolerant? Does he tolerate different views? Tolerate someone with a different lifestyle?" He added, "This is basic, this is what people ought to know about you. Are you going to just do this because it sounds good politically?"18
LCR's leadership met with Dole's coalitions manager to discuss an endorsement after Dole's reversal.19 Among various items, Tafel demanded there be no gay bashing in the speeches from the podium of the 1996 Republican National Convention, nor any anti-homosexual signs on the convention floor. He also wanted to see a gay person address the convention and a public request from Dole's campaign for the LCR nod.20 On the closing night of the Convention, Stephen Fong, then-president of the San Francisco chapter, spoke at the dais as part of a series of speeches from "mainstreet Americans," but was not publicly identified as gay.21 Nevertheless, his presence on the podium for the organization and for the gay and lesbian community "was something that would have been unimaginable four years earlier," Tafel later wrote.21 Two days later, Dole spokesperson Christina Martin told a reporter that the campaign "welcomed the endorsement of the Log Cabin Republicans."21 LCR voted to endorse Dole for President, and then-Republican National Committee chairman Haley Barbour approved the use of the RNC's press briefing room for Tafel, LCR's convention delegates and officers of its national board to announce their decision.21
Later in the campaign, Tafel met with Dole's chief aide Sheila Burke, and the remaining demands LCR made for their endorsement were met. In a statement released by LCR, and confirmed to reporters by the campaign, Dole had pledged to maintain an executive order prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation in the federal workforce and full funding for AIDS programs.21
Due to his support of the Federal Marriage Amendment, the group did not endorse George W. Bush for reelection in 2004.7 The Palm Beach County chapter in Florida did endorse him, resulting in the revocation of their charter.22
In September 2008, the group voted to endorse the John McCain-Sarah Palin ticket in the 2008 presidential election. LCR President Patrick Sammon said the most important reason for their support was McCain's opposition to the proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.23
On 23 October 2012, the group officially endorsed Mitt Romney despite Mr. Romney's commitment to the defense of marriage as an exclusively heterosexual institution and the objection to the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.24
The group has been criticized for failing to promote Republican principles. Focusing on "the battle for gay and lesbian civil rights" at its March–April 2005 convention and Liberty Education Forum National Symposium, panel topics included "Corporate Diversity"; "Family Fairness"; and "Is Sexual Orientation a Choice?" This caused two Washington Post opinion columnists to observe that "the Log Cabin Republicans are looking less and less Republican."22
At the same time the Log Cabin Republicans were criticized by advocates of gay rights and marriage equality for endorsing Republican candidates who advocated new limitations on the legal rights of gay Americans as well as the retention of current discriminatory laws and policies.25
LCR acts under the mission statement: "We stand for the proposition that all of us are created equal - worthy of the same rights to freedom, liberty, and equality." 26
The organization advocates for the traditional tenets of the Republican Party, including low taxes, limited government, strong defense, free markets, personal responsibility, and individual liberty.27
On social issues, LCR either dissents from socially conservative Republican views or is neutral. On matters relating to gay and lesbian rights, LCR advocates for same-sex marriage, gay adoption, and equal protections for members of the LGBT community. However, LCR takes no position on abortion.
Also, LCR includes in its sill resolution 10 central themes as to what LCR advocates:28
- Balanced budgets and fiscal discipline
- Comprehensive tax reform
- Revitalizing Social Security through allowing individuals to invest in their futures
- Strong national defense
- Legal immigration reforms that are fair and humane
- Marriage equality for all Americans
- A broad, inclusive definition of family in America
- Non-discrimination in employment
- Market driven health reform
Since 1977, LCR has expanded across the United States and has 43 chapters, representing 26 states and the District of Columbia.29 The archives of the Log Cabin Republicans are held within the Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection in Minnesota under Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies.
In late February, 2008, gay and lesbian activists led by Log Cabin Republican leaders lobbied Governor Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver to publicly oppose the Family Research Council's Anti-Gay Marriage initiative.31
A lawsuit filed by LCR in federal court challenging the "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" (DADT) policy, which excludes homosexuals from openly serving in the U. S. military, went to trial on July 13, 2010, presided by Judge Virginia Phillips. LCR argued that the policy violates the rights of homosexual military members to free speech, due process and open association.32 The government argued that DADT was necessary to advance a legitimate governmental interest.33 LCR introduced several admissions by President Barack Obama, including that DADT "doesn’t contribute to our national security," "weakens our national security," and that reversing DADT is "essential for our national security". Rather than address plaintiff's claims or bring evidence to support their own claims of national interest, the government relied exclusively on the policy's 1993 legislative history.34
On September 29, 2011, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit vacated the district court's decision, ruling that the legislative repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" by President Barack Obama and the outgoing Democratic congressional majority in December 2010 rendered the case moot. The dismissal left the lower court ruling without value as precedent.37
- Gay Conservatives
- Gay Republicans (2004 film)
- Rockefeller Republican
- Stonewall Democrats
- Tafel, Richard (1999) Party Crasher, New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-684-83764-1
- Woodward, Bob (1996) The Choice, New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-684-81308-4
- "Offices & Contact Information". Log Cabin Republicans. Retrieved 2012-06-10.
- Log Cabin’s Guerriero Talks Aggressive Strategydead link
- About Us Log Cabin Republicans.
- "Executive Director: R. Clarke Cooper". Log Cabin Republicans. Retrieved 2012-06-10.
- "Log Cabin Republicans Announces R. Clarke Cooper as New National Executive Director". Log Cabin Republicans. May 25, 2010. Retrieved 2012-06-10.
- "A Proud History". online.logcabin.org. Retrieved September 12, 2010.
- Anderson, Lisa (April 19, 2004). "Gays long loyal to GOP agonize over supporting Bush". Chicago Tribune.
- Barron, C. 2004. A Big Question For Republicans, Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide Vol. 11. P.27-29
- Tafel, p. 167–168.
- Tafel, p.164–166
- Woodward, p. 251.
- Tafel, p. 168.
- Rich, Frank "The Log Cabin Lesson". New York Times, October 21, 1995. Retrieved January 29, 2007.
- Tafel, p. 169–170.
- Woodward, p. 251.
- Tafel, p. 171.
- Woodward, p. 284.
- Woodward, p. 286.
- Tafel, p. 172.
- Tafel, p. 173
- Tafel, p. 174.
- Allen, Mike; Milbank, Dana (March 27, 2005). "Log Cabins Go Against the GOP Grain". The Washington Post.
- Jacobson, Louis (September 2, 2008). "Log Cabin Republicans Endorsing McCain Today". Roll Call.
- "We Are Americans First". Log Cabin Republicans. October 23, 2012. Retrieved October 26, 2012. Text "Log Cabin Republicans" ignored (help)
- "Mission and Objectives". Log Cabin Republicans. Retrieved 2012-06-10.
- "Log Cabin Republicans: Who We Are". Log Cabin Republicans. Retrieved 2012-06-10.
- "Sill Resolution". Log Cabin Republicans. Retrieved 2012-06-10.
- "Chapters: Where We Are". logcabin.org. 2012 [last update]. Retrieved April 30, 2012.
- "ElectionTrack: Californians For Schwarzenegger". Retrieved 2006-12-20.
- Davis, Ryan J. (April 15, 2008). "The Great California Gay Marriage Shift". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2012-06-10.
- Watson, Julie (July 13, 2010). "Log Cabin Republicans Challenge DADT". Huffington Post.
- Law.com: Constitutional Challenge to 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Reaches Trial
- Woods, Daniel (2010-07-23). "Closing arguments, Log Cabin Republicans v. United States of America" (PDF). Log Cabin Republicans. Retrieved 2010-07-24.
- "Judge: Military's ban on gays is unconstitutional". Associated Press. 2010-09-10. Retrieved 2010-09-10.
- "Judge declares U.S. military's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy openly banning gay service members unconstitutional". The Los Angeles Times. 2010-09-09. Retrieved 2010-09-10.
- Levine, Dan (September 29, 2011). "U.S. court vacates ruling on gays in military". Reuters. Retrieved October 24, 2011.