Young Republican Convention Includes Gays

Hastings Wyman, Texas Triangle

July 5, 2001 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Blogger Tumblr

The National Federation of Young Republicans has long been known as one of the GOP's most conservative auxiliary groups, so a significant barrier was broken last month when Log Cabin Republican Political Director Kevin Ivers chaired one of the break-out sessions at their convention in New Orleans. In addition, the New Orleans Log Cabin Club was one of the official host organizations for the convention and had a well-placed booth in the convention's main lobby.

Ivers' topic – "Why should the GOP reach out to gay voters?" – drew a full house. Ivers says the audience was very attentive, very receptive and understood the need for their party to broaden its base. He also reported that a majority of his audience was straight – "but you can never be sure."

Bill Thibaut, the president of the New Orleans Log Cabiners, who helped staff the Log Cabin booth, says that "everybody was very friendly." He notes that his group now has 11 members out of 55 on the Orleans Parish Republican executive committee and one member of the state central committee. "We're at the table," says Thibaut.