Statement on the Death of Former Senator Barry Goldwater

May 29, 1998 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Blogger Tumblr

We at Log Cabin Republicans celebrate the life of Barry Goldwater and we mourn his passing. Goldwater was our kind of Republican. He was a man ahead of his time. His views on individual rights and responsibilities, free markets and limited government, though considered radical thirty years are ago, are the standard for governing today.

Goldwater, in his early years, hired African American sales clerks for his department store when that was considered controversial. In recent years, he demonstrated the timelessness of his principles by applying them to the gay rights debate and concluding that as a moral nation, we should guarantee individual liberty and equal rights to gay and lesbian Americans. In 1993, he testified before the Senate in support of gays serving openly in the military, saying, 'You don't have to be straight to shoot straight.' Goldwater addressed the Log Cabin Republicans National Convention via video tape in 1993, when he received the Spirit of Lincoln Award from our organization.

While Goldwater remained steadfast in his Republican principles, many in the Republican Party have not. It is a sad reflection of the state of our Party today, that some Republicans questioned the credentials of the godfather of modern conservatism because he supported fair treatment for gays. We can only hope that our Party can return to the conscience of a conservative – Barry Goldwater – whose ideals can lead us back to our basic principles and away from pandering to the religious right."

Richard L. Tafel is the Executive Director of the Log Cabin Republicans, the nations largest gay and lesbian Republican organization with 50+ chapters nation-wide, a full-time Washington office, and a federal political action committee.