Republicans choose to be Hot in Cleveland in 2016

Cuyahoga

At least the Trinity has never caught fire like Cleveland’s Cuyahoga did in 1969.

Rather than spend a nice cool week in Dallas in July 2016, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus announced today the 2016 Republican Convention will be held in Cleveland.

Dallas was one of two finalists for the event. The convention would have been held at the American Airlines Center with one event at Cowboy’s Stadium in Arlington.

Instead, the convention will be held in swing state Ohio. No Republican has won the White House without Ohio. Both Cleveland and Dallas are Democratic strongholds.

But how does Cleveland compare with Dallas for natural beauty? If you think the Trinity is a filthy stream of mud, at least it never caught fire like Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River did in 1969.

The site committee’s recommendation will be finalized by a vote in August and the July start date announced at that time.

Dallas last hosted a national convention in 1984 when Ronald Reagan was nominated for his second term in office. That convention is best remembered by people in Dallas at the time for closed highways in and around downtown.

Gregory Lee Johnson was arrested outside the Dallas Convention Center during the convention for burning a flag. His case went to the Supreme Court, which invalidated all flag desecration laws.

Although a political convention brings a lot of media attention and millions of dollars of revenue to a city, most people in the LGBT community in very blue Dallas reacted with relief.

“DAMN! I had my picket signs all ready,” activist Todd Whitley wrote on his Facebook page.

“Thank God,” wrote Old Oak Cliff Conservation League former President Michael Amonett.

“There is a God,” Scott Cantrell wrote.

 

—  David Taffet

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

Critics give Texas GOP platform too much weight

Log Cabin Dallas president responds to critcism of Republican Party, state platform and gay GOP group’s effectiveness

ROB SCHLEIN | Guest columnist

I agree with Hardy Haberman (“A platform of ideas — bad ideas,” Dallas Voice, June 25) that when it comes to LGBT issues, the Texas GOP platform contains some vehement rhetoric.

Where I completely disagree is his inflated sense of the significance of the platform, his view that Log Cabin Republicans has done little to moderate the party and the impact of the Tea Party.

I could go on and on about the platform writing process, how it’s controlled by the extremists of our party, and how the old guard scheduled the Texas Republican Convention to make it difficult to have honest debate on the floor.

What is more important is to understand the real impact the platform has on Republican legislative priorities.

The fact is, Hardy Haberman is absolutely wrong in believing the platform is used as a litmus test for candidate recruitment and that it’s the basis for legislative decisions. Even those that participate on platform committees would admit to that. Their number one complaint is that legislators do not govern by the platform.

Legislators understand the platform is a way for a small minority of hard-liners to vent their beliefs. They recognize that it contains many planks, not just the ones on “homosexuals,” that aren’t consistent with the views of the general voting public and do not represent the views of rank and file Republican voters.

Additionally, those who recruit candidates and support them with the most funds to their campaigns are outside the Texas GOP structure, and they don’t have an interest in demonizing gays.
Haberman fails to see how the efforts of Log Cabin have had any effect on the Texas GOP. If he is so narrowly focused on the belief that the platform is the complete and almost biblical metric of success, then it would be hard to discern our achievement.

A better measure for our accomplishments, though, is the willingness of legislators to reach back to us when we reach out. Some that Dallas Voice labels as “anti-gay” attended important Log Cabin events: Texas State Rep. Dan Branch and Congressman Pete Sessions.

Others important to the Texas GOP that have visited Log Cabin include U.S. Senate candidate Michael Williams (former railroad Commissioner), Dallas County GOP Chairman Jonathan Neerman, Dallas County Commissioner Maurine Dickey and candidate for governor Debra Medina, who now leads a large political group called “We Texans.”

Naturally, people like Haberman love to complain when others use language that is vehement. Yet he engages in similar language when he says that, “The politically astute will note that most of these changes seem to be a bow to the ‘tea baggers’ and are simply appeasements never to be written into law.”

The term “tea bagger” is no less offensive to me that than the word “faggot.”

Tea Partiers are natural allies to our community. They don’t have a dog in the fight when it comes to combating gays and their aspirations. In fact, just the opposite is true.

Their views on social issues lean libertarian — “live and let live,” “get government out of our lives and our bedrooms.” Their focus is on economic security (reducing the deficit) and keeping our country safe.

Ken Emanuelson, a board member of the Dallas Tea Party, spoke at Log Cabin’s Grand Ol’ Party. And just this week the Republican Liberty Caucus issued a press release condemning the anti-homosexual planks of our platform.

I wonder, too, how Hardy Haberman discerns between planks that appease when he complains that the same planks are the basis for a legislative agenda? Has he ever considered that the passages on “homosexuals” are appeasements never to be written into law?

Lastly, our party’s leadership has changed. Cathie Adams, one of the most strident anti-gay activists, was defeated by Steve Munisteri in a contested race for state party chair. I talked to Steve by phone early in his campaign, and he believes gays should be included in our party.

The defeat of Cathie Adams should have merited a large headline in the Dallas Voice.

And, although I lost my precinct chairman’s race by three votes out of 800 cast against Homer Adams (Cathie’s husband), it’s clear to me that activists of her ilk are on the decline.

Our acceptance and welcoming by Dallas Young Republicans confirms that on questions of gay rights, views are shifting.

Would we like our platform more to our liking? Certainly.

Does the platform in its present form mean Log Cabin isn’t making a difference? Does it mean we should bolt from our party when we agree with Republican principles of limited, smaller, lower cost and efficient government, and disagree with the many actions taken by the Obama administration that have exploded our deficits, placed new burdens on gay business owners and stunted job creation?

Do we abandon our party with which we agree on principles of strong national security and an unapologetic support of Israel for the Democrats who appease our enemies that murder men for just being gay?

Do we switch parties for the “hope” of gay rights as narrowly defined by people like Hardy Haberman? No!

Log Cabin Republicans is making an impact here at home, and nationally with our new executive director, a former Bush appointee and Iraq War veteran.

If Hardy Haberman doesn’t see the impact we are having, it means he isn’t looking.

Rob Schlein is the president of Log Cabin
Republicans of Dallas.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 02, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas