Four years after gay Republicans refused to back President George W. Bush’s bid for reelection, they have endorsed the McCain/Palin ticket and the endorsement may boost McCain’s reputation as a maverick who reaches across partisan lines.
“Sen. McCain is no George Bush when it comes to gay issues. We are much more optimistic and enthusiastic about Sen. McCain,” Patrick Sammon, the president of The Log Cabin Republicans.
They have released this press release:
Log Cabin Endorses Sen. John McCain for President;
McCain is an Inclusive Leader Who Will Appeal to Independent Voters
(Minneapolis, MN)— Log Cabin Republicans today announced its endorsement of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) for President of the United States. Log Cabin’s national board of directors voted 12-2 to endorse the Republican nominees for President and Vice President. Log Cabin announced the decision at its “Big Tent Event” during the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis.
“On the most important issue that LGBT Americans faced in the last decade—the federal marriage amendment—Sen. John McCain stood with us. Now we stand with him,” said Log Cabin Republicans President Patrick Sammon. “Sen. McCain is an inclusive Republican who is focusing the GOP on unifying core principles that appeal to independent voters.”
“Sen. McCain showed courage by bucking his own party’s leadership and the president—twice voting against the amendment. He gave an impassioned speech on the Senate floor, calling the amendment ‘antithetical in every way to the core philosophy of Republicans.’ He paid a political price for his vote,” said Sammon.
“Log Cabin Republicans is a grassroots organization and our membership overwhelmingly supports endorsing Sen. McCain,” said Log Cabin Board Chairman Pete Kingma. “Our board and staff members have spent recent months getting input and feedback from our members. The consensus among our members is strongly in favor of an endorsement because of his inclusive record. Our members also support him because he’s a maverick; a trait most recently on display with his decision to select Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate.”
“In recent years, too many Republican politicians have used divisive social issues in an effort to win elections. Sen. McCain is a different kind of Republican. He understands the GOP lost its majority in Congress in 2006 largely because the Party focused on divisive social issues. Sen. McCain knows the politics of fear and division will damage our Party and our nation so he’s focusing the GOP on unifying core principles such as limited government, fiscal responsibility, and a strong national defense,” said Sammon.
“We have honest disagreements with Sen. McCain on a number of gay rights issues. Log Cabin will continue our conversation with him and other Republican leaders about issues affecting gay and lesbian Americans. We will speak out when there’s disagreement—either during the upcoming campaign or when John McCain is President,” said Sammon
Sen. McCain has had a long and friendly association with Log Cabin Republicans, dating back to the organization’s opening of a national office in the mid-1990s. “Sen. McCain has always shown a willingness to reach out and engage in dialogue with Log Cabin, while considering all sides of an issue,” said Sammon. “We know that will continue when he is President.”
“Progress in the fight for LGBT equality requires support from both Republicans and Democrats,” said Sammon. “Log Cabin’s endorsement of Sen. McCain will ensure our community has a strong voice making the case for gay rights to John McCain when he is President.”
According to the organization’s bylaws, Log Cabin endorses only Republican candidates. Log Cabin Republicans endorsed then-Governor George W. Bush in 2000, but declined to endorse President Bush in 2004—largely over the president’s push for a federal anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment and his decision to use gay people as a wedge issue in winning re-election.
“I expect Sen. McCain will receive strong support from gay and lesbian Americans,” said Sammon. “LGBT people are not single-issue voters. Gay rights issues are a critical part of the equation, but so are many other issues impacting our daily lives—foreign policy, the economy, jobs, energy policy, health care reform, and taxes. Gay and lesbian Republicans believe Sen. John McCain is the most qualified person to lead our country.”