As gay Republicans gear up for state GOP convention in Dallas, a look back at 1998

With the state GOP convention coming to Dallas this weekend, what better time to share the above video posted recently by Dallas Log Cabin President Rob Schlein. The video, “On the Front Lines,” recounts the story of the 1998 Texas Republican convention in Fort Worth, when Log Cabin was denied a booth. After being compared to pedophiles and the KKK by a state party spokesman, Log Cabin staged a rally outside the FW convention center that was crashed by anti-gay counterprotesters. The video, which features Dallas activists such as John Loza (now a Democrat) and Lory Masters, is definitely worth a look if you haven’t seen it already.

As for this weekend’s convention, Schlein said he’ll be one of about 20 known delegates who are Log Cabin members. But he added that Log Cabin didn’t request a booth this year for a variety of reasons — not the least of which being the fact that the request would almost certainly have been denied, as it has been every year. Instead, Schlein said he and other Log Cabin members are focused on the election for state party chair, which pits incumbent (and anti-gay former Eagle Forum President) Cathie Adams against two challengers.

“I will be supporting another candidate besides Cathie Adams, but I’m not going to disclose who,” Schlein told me today. “I think both would be an improvement over what we have.”

Schlein lost by a handful of votes to Cathie Adams’ husband, Homer, in a race for chair of their Far North Dallas precinct in March. He said an incumbent state party chair has never been defeated in a bid for re-election, but he thinks Cathie Adams is vulnerable. “I suspect it’s going to be a nailbiter,” he said.

Schlein added that he isn’t expecting Log Cabin-backed resolutions to remove anti-gay language from the state party platform to go forward this year.

“I think we’ll have a better opportunity to change things once we get a new state chairman,” Schlein said.

—  John Wright