By Tereasa Nims

Rob Schlein accepts award at national Log Cabin convention

It was a proud moment for the Log Cabin Republicans’ Dallas chapter on Saturday, April 12, when the group was recognized for its achievements in 2007 with the "Outstanding Chapter" award during the LCR National Dinner in San Diego.

"It just recaps a great year," said Dallas chapter President Rob Schlein, who took office last year.

Schlein learned of the award a week before it was presented and accepted it at a dinner attended by LCR members from all over the country.

"We had interesting speakers throughout the event," Schlein said.

Speakers included John Bolton, the former ambassador to the United Nations, who talked about American foreign policy and signed copies of his new book. Dr. Dean Hamer spoke about "The Science of Sexual Orientation" and discussed findings and evidence about whether people choose the their sexual orientation. Also at the dinner were Mary Lou and Bob Wallner, who were featured in the documentary "For the Bible Tells me So."

"We also heard from former Marine Sgt. Eric Alva, and got an HIV/AIDS policy update from Dr. David Reznik," Schlein said.

When it was Schlein’s turn to speak, he talked about what the Dallas chapter busied itself with in the past year.

"I talked about how we’re trying to repeal some of the bad language in the Texas party platform," Schlein said.

The Texas GOP platform opposes any legal recognition for same-sex couples, and it opposes allowing gays to adopt or to have custody of or visitation with children.

But the party’s demands don’t end there. The language also claims that "homosexual behavior" is contrary to "God-ordained principles" and calls for the criminalization of sodomy.

The Dallas Log Cabin Republicans backed a resolution to repeal that language. The resolution passed at nine Republican precinct conventions on March 4, but was shot down on March 29 in all three state senatorial districts where it was introduced, effectively barring it from consideration at the state convention this summer.

But Schlein said the chapter will keep moving forward and will continue to talk about the bigoted language in an attempt to get it changed.

In recapping 2007, Schlein said the highlights included how the new Dallas mayor reached out to the LGBT community via Log Cabin during a regular meeting, and the chapter’s presentation about the military’s anti-gay "Don’t ask don’t tell" policy to U.S. Congressman Pete Sessions and other mainstream Republicans.

Chapter members also boasted about Dallas County GOP Party Chair Jonathan Neerman’s first-time message of inclusion.

"If we build good relationships with politicians, they won’t legislate against us," Schlein said.

"That’s what I believe. It’s a good way to prevent any legislation we aren’t going to like."

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 18, 2008.

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