California Republican Party officially charters gay-Republican advocacy organization
By Kristine Craig
In a historic vote taken by the 1,654 delegates of the California State Republican Party (CRP) this past Sunday, the California state chapter of the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay Republican advocacy group, became officially chartered as an associated organization with the CRP. The vote came after over 40 years of organization in the state of California, in which local and statewide candidates alike have experienced the positive impact of Log Cabin Republican members during election seasons since the 1970s. Their ability to mobilize the LGBT community, as well as enthusiastically participate in get out the vote (GOTV) efforts has been crucial in many tight races, including Senator Andy Vidak’s (R-14) California state senate race and Assemblywoman Catharine Baker’s (R-16) recent victory.
During general session of the CRP’s 2015 Spring Organizing Convention on Sunday, their efforts were welcomed with overwhelming support, despite controversy over the group’s LGBT ties and preferences regarding same-sex marriage. The momentous resolution to charter the organization reflects an openness, described by many as the foundation of a new, welcoming “floor” of the CRP–no longer an exclusive “tent.” The Log Cabin Republicans advocate for Republican causes and candidates, and associate by the fact that their members are openly gay, similar to how the National Federation of Republican Women associate because their members are women.
In debate, Assemblywoman Shannon Grove, R-Bakersfield, pointed out that the group’s charter violated the CRP bylaws, in which officially chartered groups cannot advocate a “certain lifestyle preference.” However, prior to introducing the motion to charter, the Log Cabin Republicans painstakingly amended their bylaws in an effort to comply.
Just minutes after his reelection took place on Sunday, CRP Chairman Jim Brulte openly asked the delegation for their vote in supporting the charter, and the delegation responded with great valor in an 861-293 vote in favor.
Following the vote, outgoing Log Cabin California Chairman Charles Moran said “We are a Republican volunteer organization, so to have that affirmation come today from this body in such an overwhelming sense really helps us to be able to take that back to our community and say, ‘You do have a home here.’”
This decision signifies a remarkable affirmation of the Republican commitment to virtues, as well as the California Republican Party’s commitment to fairness and inclusiveness.