Georgia GOP Leadership Chooses Inclusiveness Over Intolerance
On May 21st and 22nd, 1999, the Georgia Republican Party held its convention in Augusta, Georgia, at the Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center. The Georgia Log Cabin club, a group of gay and lesbian Republicans, were pleased to be represented by 15 members seated as delegates to the convention.
For the first time, Georgia Log Cabin hosted an information booth during the convention. This was a highly successful endeavor for Georgia Log Cabin Republicans, with a warm reception by GOP convention attendees from around the state. Log Cabin members distributed literature on topics such as Log Cabin Republicans' mission, their work on behalf of Republican candidates, statistics on Republican voting patterns within the gay and lesbian community, and other issues of interest to convention attendees. Many convention delegates stopped by the booth to welcome the Log Cabin presence within the Georgia Republican Party.
The positive reception Georgia Log Cabin Republicans received at the state convention stands in marked contrast to the hostile, negative reaction shown to Log Cabin of Texas last year. In 1998, the Texas Republican Party denied the group permission to have an information booth at the state convention in Fort Worth. When Texas Log Cabin members protested outside the convention hall against this unjust exclusion, they were bombarded with anti-gay epithets and threats by an angry mob that included several Texas Republican delegates. Thankfully, that scene was not repeated this year in Georgia. Georgia Log Cabin Republicans commend the state GOP leadership for choosing inclusiveness over intolerance and diversity over bigotry. Log Cabin looks forward to attending next year's convention with a larger contingent ready to roll up its sleeves and help the Georgia GOP achieve victory in the crucial year 2000 elections.
The convention's main business this year was the election of the state GOP leadership team. With GOP Chairman Rusty Paul choosing not to stand for another two year term, a hard fought but gentlemanly contest was waged for the chairmanship between former State Senator Chuck Clay of Cobb County, outgoing First Vice Chairwoman Linda Herren of DeKalb County, and Fulton County Republican Chairman Ron Jackson. Chuck Clay prevailed on the first ballot, garnering a clear majority of the votes cast. Clay should prove to be a tough, energetic chairman dedicated to uniting the party and achieving Republican victories in 2000. During his speech before the convention, he noted that the party needs a new positive message that welcomes everyone to the GOP. Georgia Log Cabin looks forward to being a vital part of Chairman Clay's Republican Big Tent. Congratulations go out to Chuck Clay and the rest of the excellent leadership team elected in Augusta.