Guest Author - Linda Sue Grimes
Originating in California, the group wanted to name itself after President Abraham Lincoln, but a group called Lincoln Republicans already existed, so they took the name “Log Cabin,” because Lincoln was born in a log cabin.
Opposing Proposition 6
The group gained strength and prominence in California in the late 1970s, when Proposition 6, also called the Briggs Initiative proposed by state legislator John Briggs of Orange County, was placed on the ballot. The proposition would have banned gays and lesbians from teaching in the public schools.
Proposition 6 was widely supported and probably would have passed. But the California Log Cabin Republicans worked to defeat it. Also, former governor Ronald Reagan (1967-1975) spoke out against the initiative. Supporters of the bill blamed Reagan for failure of the proposal to pass.
The members of the Log Cabin Republicans are “loyal Republicans.” They are for limited government, low taxes, strong national defense, and individual responsibility and liberty. They believe that opposing gay rights is not consistent with core Republican values.
They see their mission as educating others about the strength of inclusiveness vs. exclusiveness. They work within the Republican framework as a “voice for GOP values among members of the gay and lesbian community.”
They consider themselves a grassroots organization and assert that, “LGBT Republicans are shattering stereotypes and educating the GOP's rank-and-file about the importance of fairness and equality for all Americans, including gay and lesbian Americans. We are on the path to progress.”
Why the Republican Party?
The Log Cabin Republicans realize that the Republican Party offers the best hope of equality for any marginalized group. They realize that the GOP became a political force because “it embraced the ideals of equality imagined by our nation's founding fathers and ensured by our Constitution.”
The first Republican president was, indeed, Abraham Lincoln, whose Emancipation Proclamation offered America a “new birth of freedom.” The Log Cabin Republicans understand that the basic Republican principles of fairness, hope, freedom, and equality provide the framework that ultimately makes success possible. They realize that rights without responsibilities and mandates without freedom lead to lack of equality for everyone.
Looking to 2008
With the coming election in mind, the Log Cabins are confident that those core Republican values will produce a “more inclusive GOP and better America.” They look optimistically to the future because they believe that Republicans comprehend that America is stronger when all citizens can participate in “equality and liberty.” The Republican Party “offers a hopeful and optimistic big tent vision that unites voters around a common vision.”
Log Cabin Republicans