Gay GOP group takes out full-page marriage equality ad in Tampa paper

Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry and Log Cabin Republicans will be running the above full-page ad (click to enlarge) in Wednesday’s Tampa Tribune calling on the GOP to support the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian couples.

Yesterday, the Human Rights Campaign and Freedom to Marry teamed to air an ad on TV featuring San Diego’s Republican Mayor Jerry Sanders arguing the case for marriage equality. Find the video here.

The full-page color ad features photos of same-sex couples and their families. It emphasizes that the freedom to marry is fully consistent with principles valued by conservatives — freedom, personal responsibility and the importance of family.

An email from Log Cabin Republicans said the ad comes in the wake of the party’s extreme stance on marriage in its draft platform, which includes support for a federal constitutional amendment banning the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. Tony Perkins, the president of the anti-gay Family Research Council, authored the marriage plank, which is expected to be ratified at the convention.

“Gay or straight, Republicans are united in the belief that strong families are critical to a free society,” said R. Clarke Cooper, executive director of Log Cabin Republicans. “As fellow conservatives, Log Cabin Republicans actually agree with Tony Perkins about the importance of family values. The difference is, we believe that the freedom to marry is directly in line with the core ideals and principles of the Republican Party — less government, more individual freedom, personal responsibility and the importance of family.”

—  David Taffet

Gay GOPers plan convention events

GOProud’s Homocon on Tuesday is the “must-have ticket” at the Republican National Convention that’s taking place in Tampa this weekend. The dance party takes place at the Honey Pot, a club in Tampa’s Ybor City gayborhood.

Among the expected guests at homocon are CNN’s Mary Matalin and Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist. From the Romney campaign, National Coalitions Director Joshua Baca is expected.

And from Dallas, Rudy Oeftering, vice president of Metroplex Republicans, said he plans to arrived in Tampa at midday Tuesday and attend the invitation-only event. Oeftering is the only openly gay Republican from North Texas we’re aware of who’s going to Tampa.

Rain from tropical storm Isaac was expected to end in Tampa by late tonight, and the storm was expected to become a hurricane before making landfall somewhere between Mississippi and New Orleans on Tuesday.

Log Cabin Republicans held a welcome reception for the convention on Sunday evening. At Log Cabin headquarters in Washington, D.C. they weren’t sure whether today’s 3 p.m. reception with the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund featuring former Rep. Jim Kolbe would be cancelled due to weather.

Events scheduled for later in the week are expected to go on as planned.

Log Cabin and Freedom to Marry are planning a 10 a.m. brunch on Wednesday with CNN contributor Margaret Hoover and Institute for Liberty President Andrew Langer.

On Thursday, an event supporting the LCR PAC’s work for pro-equality Republicans takes place at 4 p.m. Congressional Republicans expected to attend include Rep. Bob Dold (Ill.), Rep. Judy Biggert (Ill.) and Rep. Mary Bono Mack (Cal.)

After the jump is a video featuring Republican Mayor Jerry Sanders of San Diego, speaking about his support for marriage equality and encouraging others in his party to do the same. Human Rights Campaign and Freedom to Marry are running the ad in Tampa during the convention.

—  David Taffet