Log Cabin Republicans Statement on Retirement of Congressman Jim Kolbe
Statement of Patrick Guerriero, President
(Washington, DC) – "Congressmen Jim Kolbe's (R-AZ) announcement that he will not seek re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2006 marks the end of a groundbreaking career for the nation's only openly gay Republican Congressman. Jim Kolbe has been a distinguished public servant, patriotic American, proud Log Cabin Republican and respected Congressmen for 21 years. Kolbe, elected in 1984, rose through the ranks of Congress assuming the role of chairman of the powerful sub-committee on foreign appropriations and export financing. He is recognized as one of America's leading advocates and experts on free trade. As a loyal Republican, Jim Kolbe never wavered in making a conservative case that all Americans should be treated equally regardless of sexual orientation. In 2000, Kolbe became the first openly gay Republican to speak at a Republican National Convention – addressing the convention and the nation in prime time. In 2004, Congressmen Kolbe boldly took to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives to decry attempts to pass the federal marriage amendment, which would have enshrined discrimination against gay Americans in the U.S. Constitution. From serving the people of Arizona, to promoting free trade, to fighting global AIDS, to standing up for equality, Jim Kolbe's public service has made the US Congress and our great nation better."