Log Cabin Republicans 2005 Convention Energizes Gay Conservatives
Convention Keynoted by Governor Christine Todd Whitman
(New Orleans, LA) – "This year's Log Cabin National Convention has energized grassroots activists from all across the country. Our organization and our membership is more committed then ever to building an inclusive GOP majority," said Log Cabin Republicans President Patrick Guerriero. The recently concluded Log Cabin Republicans 2005 National Convention was held in New Orleans, Louisiana, in conjunction with the 2005 Liberty Education Forum National Symposium.
In a stirring keynote speech, former New Jersey Governor, and Bush Cabinet member, Christine Todd Whitman (R-NJ), re-iterated her opposition to an anti-family constitutional amendment, "I happen to believe that this amendmentů runs completely contrary to Republican principles."
Governor Whitman received the Log Cabin Republicans Spirit of Lincoln Award for her years of work building an inclusive Republican Party. Governor Whitman said, "Thank you for honoring me with your Spirit of Lincoln Award, and for what you are doing to ensure that our Party is true to its heritage and its principles. I applaud you for your advocacy, your energy, your integrity, and your courage."
Governor Whitman's speech at the Log Cabin National Dinner capped off a convention that highlighted the work of gay conservatives in the year ahead – reaching out to people of faith, reaching out to the Heartland, building bridges with conservatives, and supporting a legislative reform agenda. "This convention helped celebrate the work being done by Log Cabin's grassroots chapters all across America. It also highlighted our goals for the year ahead. We realize Log Cabin's unique responsibility as a voice for gay and lesbian Republicans and we are committed to winning the battle for basic fairness," continued Guerriero.
As part of the Log Cabin National Dinner, the organization paid tribute to Republican heroes from across the country who stood up to the forces of intolerance. Many of these brave men and women have faced challenges from those on the far right; some even lost their seats as a result of their stand for fairness. Log Cabin was proud to honor these individuals including: Congressman Joe Schwarz (R-MI), State Representative Lorence Wenke (R-MI), State Representative Leon Drolet (R-MI), former State Representative John Ballou (R-KS), former State Representative Stanley Dreher (R-KS), former State Representative William Kassebaum (R-KS), former State Representative Mary Compton (R-KS), State Senator John Vratil (R-KS), State Senator Jeff Jack Parsons (R-KS), State Representative Mark Noenig (R-MT), State Senator Charles Coiner (R-MT), State Senator John Anderson (R-MT), State Senator Richard Compton (R-MT), State Senator Tom Gannon (R-MT), State Senator John Goedde (R-MT), State Senator Brad Little (R-MT), State Senator Gary Schroeder (R-MT), State Senator Joe Stegner (R-MT), former State Representative Jennifer Garrison (R-OH), Attorney General Mark Shurtleff (R-UT), Congresswoman Deborah Pryce (R-OH), United States Senator John Sununu (R-NH), and United States Senator John McCain (R-AZ).
The convention also featured a spirited debate about Republican efforts to save Social Security. "Log Cabin was thrilled to have some of the leading voices in the debate about Social Security reform at our convention. Log Cabin is proud to be a part of Republican efforts to save Social Security and pleased to be a voice for gay and lesbian Americans advocating for personal savings accounts. Personal savings accounts will provide our community with a measure of basic fairness by allowing workers to choose their beneficiary, which isn't allowed under the current system," said Log Cabin Republicans Political Director Chris Barron.
The weekend also included insightful discussions about ending the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, reforming and reauthorizing the Ryan White Care Act,, the future of the Republican Party, and strategies for gaining new allies in the Heartland and among people of faith.
"Log Cabin experienced tremendous growth over the last year. We tripled our budget, doubled our membership, and added new chapters across America. Our grassroots membership and leaders leave New Orleans committed to this organization, committed to building an inclusive GOP, and committed to winning the battle for basic fairness for gay and lesbian families," concluded Guerriero.