Think that all Republicans are a bunch of stuffy, rich men and women? The Log Cabin Republicans may change your mind.
The media makes it sound like all gays and lesbians must be liberal. That's just not true, and, in fact, it's insulting. Just because someone is gay or lesbian doesn't mean they can't have conservative political views.
Founded in the 1970s, the organization wants to work from within the Republican Party to achieve shared goals. Interestingly, it was founded in California during Ronald Reagan's tenure as governor. Reagan spoke against an initiative at that time that would have banned homosexuals from teaching in public schools. Luckily, the initiative was defeated at the ballot box. And the movement that started to defeat the initiative spawned the creation of Log Cabin chapters in California that spread nationwide.
The name "Log Cabin Republicans" is a reference to Abraham Lincoln, who was the first Republican president. The reference is two-fold: Lincoln was born in a log cabin, and he is known for his stance on equality and liberty. The organization has adopted that as their foundation.
At the core, what the organization wants to see is equality for gay and lesbian issues, like gay marriage, employment discrimination, and, yes, their place in the military. Some might argue that they are barking up the wrong tree by working with the Republican Party, but that, again, is a stereotype.
Because those issues are not all they are about. They are also for fiscal conservatism, free markets, low taxes, limited government, individual liberty, and personal responsibility...do those things sound familiar? Those are key components of the Republican Party platform.
I think the part that makes them Republican is "individual liberty." And that's what makes them compatible with the Republican Party. Within a party, I don't imagine that you will ever find that everyone agrees on everything, but this fundamental belief that the individual should have the liberty to live free and unencumbered by a massive government is shared by the Log Cabin Republicans and the Republican Party as a whole.
Log Cabin Republicans rightly point out how the current tax code creates disadvantages for gays and lesbians, especially the estate tax. How is that worse for them than married couples? Because married couples can freely pass on estates to the surviving spouse--gay couples can't do that. This is just one of many inequities in the tax code that the organization is working to change.
I'm thrilled that this group exists, and I'm proud that they're part of the Republican Party. There's room in our party for everybody who believes in the core principles of the Republican Party--liberty and equality.