Log Cabin Praises NC Gay GOP Judge for Coming Out

Judge Ray Warren is "a role model" for gay Republicans across the nation

December 9, 1998 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Blogger Tumblr

(WASHINGTON, DC) – The nation's largest gay Republican organization praised the decision of Mecklenburg County (N.C.) Superior Court Judge Ray Warren (R) to announce he is gay today in press conferences in Charlotte and Raleigh. Warren was reportedly under pressure from political colleagues to deny rumors he is gay, but instead decided to tell the truth.

"Honesty and integrity are hallmarks of public service, and for this Judge Warren is a role model for public servants across the nation," said Richard Tafel, executive director of Log Cabin Republicans. "He was under pressure to lie, and he would not lie. This shows he is a man of integrity and eminently qualified to hold public office."

Tafel also questioned critics of Warren who believe he should resign his office. Former County Commissioner Tom Bush (R) was quoted in the Charlotte Observer today as saying Warren should consider resigning, and questioning "whether Warren could continue to command repect in court or rule impartially on issues involving homosexuality."

"I find it odd that someone would think that honesty and integrity would disqualify someone for office," Tafel said. "And Tom Bush's standards are hypocritical and groundless. Under his reasoning, evangelical Christians couldn't rule impartially on issues involving religion. The real story here is that a judge was under pressure to lie about himself, and he instead told the truth."

"It is another reminder to the GOP leadership that there are gays and lesbians all throughout the Republican Party, and that so many individual Republican candidates courted gay voters in this election that the GOP got 33% of the gay vote this year," Tafel said. "The old way of gay-bashing and pandering to the far right is out of step with where a large part of the Republican Party is going right now. The leadership can't ignore this trend anymore."

"The stories of Ray Warren, David Brock and Michael Huffington are dramatic examples of how harmful and damaging the anti-gay message of the extreme right has been, on a personal level for gay people and on a political level for the Republican Party," Tafel said. "The American people have heard more compelling stories of men and women across the nation who tried to deny the truth , who tried to embrace the lie that they could change, and after tremendous suffering decided instead to tell the truth and live happier lives. As these stories continue to unfold, and the far right steps up its anti-gay ad campaigns calling on gays to "change" and its attacks on people who come out publicly, the American people will continue to wonder why certain public officials are on the morally wrong side of this issue."

Warren's announcement follows a similar announcement by former Congressman Michael Huffington (R-CA) earlier this week in an interview with gay conservative journalist David Brock, who came out in a Washington Post interview in 1994. The courage of leaders like Judge Warren will inspire more gay Republicans to come out throughout the GOP, Tafel said.

"Gay Republicans on Capitol Hill and in state and local government should heed his example and come out. Honesty, personal integrity and courage are values we all must emulate, and public officials should be guided by them above all other things. The ambition to be an elected official, or to serve on the staff of an elected official, must be coupled with a dedication to the truth."

Log Cabin Republicans is the nation's largest gay and lesbian Republican organization, with 50+ chapters nationwide, a full-time Washington office and a federal political action committee.