Gay Republicans flex muscles in Tampa
Gay members of the Republican Party continued their efforts on Tuesday to press those attending the GOP National Convention in Tampa to “evolve” on marriage equality and other issues affecting LGBT Americans.
One thing that is palpable at this GOP convention is a feeling of optimism LGBT delegates and representative are exuding.
There is a profound sense that the party is changing despite an official party platform that many feel has dug in its heels on LGBT issues. This, despite significant changes in attitude among many in the party.
While expectations for change in the short term are low, Jimmy LaSalvia of the gay conservative group GOProud says the party’s anti-gay platform is really meaningless.
LaSalvia: “We know, that the social conservatives prioritize the platform. That’s where they put their efforts. The day after the platform was written, candidates all over the country said they don’t agree with everything on the platform.”
And even though gay GOP leaders insist that the RNC National Committee under Reince Priebus has made it clear that they have a place at the table, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan continue to vocally stump for “traditional marriage.”
But to press the issue of marriage equality, groups like Log Cabin Republicans, Freedom to Marry and the Human Rights Campaign are running TV and print ads in Tampa, attempting to influence GOP policies.
Republican San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders appears in this TV aid airing in Tampa.
Sanders Ad: “Our party is changing on this issue. Marriage strengthens families, and we need more of that in this country.”
Many gay Republicans here insist their priorities here surround the economy and tax reform. GOProud’s LaSalvia quotes one of his group’s advisors, Ann Coulter: “Just because you’re born gay, doesn’t mean you’re born liberal.”
–Steve Newman at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida.