October 13, 2011 at 2:02 pm EDT | by Robert Turner
New RNC chair is becoming voice for inclusion

Last week in Forbes magazine, Reince Priebus, chair of the Republican National Committee, wrote that young voters deserve better. We’ll take that one giant leap forward: all Americans deserve better.

Chairman Priebus talks about our growing national debt and high unemployment. He makes a strong case, focusing on a clear message of jobs, pro-growth policies and a 2012 campaign that capitalizes on the technology and networks that reach younger voters.

What Priebus doesn’t say is conspicuous by its absence. The 2012 campaign is about the economy, creating jobs and rejecting Obama’s failed policies. Nowhere does the chairman mention the social issues that many polls show turn off moderates, independents and voters under 40, and for good reason. The GOP can win younger voters in 2012. We absolutely can take back the White House — but we won’t do it unless we stay focused on the issues that unite us as Republicans and as Americans.

Priebus’s actions show even greater promise than his words. In recent months, Priebus has invited the Log Cabin Republicans to participate in activities aimed at growing the party. In June, to the chagrin of the Family Research Council, Priebus named Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director Clarke Cooper to its finance committee. Cooper is playing a critical role there in raising funds for the party’s efforts to elect Republicans to the White House and across the country.

As we are discovering each day, there are moderate and conservative Republicans all over the country who are coming to the realization that inclusion does win and increasingly agree with Britain’s Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron’s statement that, “I don’t support gay marriage in spite of being a conservative, I support gay marriage because I am a conservative.”

We’re lucky to have true pioneers in our own country like the “New York Four” — Jim Alesi, Mark Grisanti, Roy McDonald and Steve Saland — the four Republican state senators who voted for marriage equality, and Maryland state Sen. Allan Kittleman, who did the same in the Free State. In the upcoming battle in North Carolina, Rep. Renee Ellmers opposes the amendment to the North Carolina Constitution banning recognition of same-sex couples that will be on the ballot in May 2012.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has become the first Republican to co-sponsor the repeal of Defense of Marriage Act — a law signed by President Clinton, a fair weather friend if ever there was one. With Republicans who support inclusion, we get true friends: people who will do the right thing regardless of the vagaries of the latest polls.

Our true Republican friends are multiplying each year. This is due, in part, to Priebus. His vision for our party is one where the principles of equality for all are a given. The Rick Santorums of the party are going the way of the dinosaurs (when you try to fight Google bombs, you’re losing).  Each day we are seeing an increase in those within the party who both offer us a seat at the table and defend us when we’re slandered.

While the gay left recites yesterday’s talking points, we will continue to be involved, stay active and work to change hearts and minds one voter at a time. Conservative gay activism will not so much defeat the left as transcend it.

The Log Cabin Republicans look forward to supporting candidates in 2012 and beyond who believe in the conservative principles of fiscal responsibility, a confident foreign policy and individual liberty — core values that unite us as a party and as Americans.

Robert Turner is President of the DC Chapter of Log Cabin Republicans, and can be reached at robert.turner@dclogcabin.org


  • As a great admirerer of Clarke Cooper it will be interesting to see what Log Cabin does if the Republican nominee for President is one of the current crop that are trying to outdo each other in their zeal in saying they would role back some of the rights that the LGBT community has won in the last 2 1/2 years and keep us from gaining any new ones. I am sure this would be a difficult situation for Log Cabin.

  • Once one gains some experience, one sees that the GOP is very willing to Say what Gays want to hear BEFORE Election Time,…

    but then one has only to look at North Carolina, or even to the Majority of the NY GOP Legislature to see how Republican will LEGISLATE.

    Words mean nothing, Words are not what opresses me – ACTIONS are.

    Fool me once, shame on you,…Fool me Umpteen times and I am truly a Fool.

    • Once one gains some experience, one sees that the DNC is very willing to pat you on the head and tell you what a good fag you are in exchange for money and votes. But then one only has to look at DOMA, passing of DADT and the DoJ smearing gays while fighting to keep DADT the law. One only has to remember the coy suggestions by the left, during the Foley kerfuffle, that gays are pedaphiles. One only has to look at Bill Richards calling a guy “maricon” or Pete Stark calling another representative “fruitcake”. Further, one only has to look at a fraud like Dan Savage and pretty much all gay liberals who are totally cool with bullying (that’s right, BULLYING) gay Conservatives and Republicans.

      Words DO mean something and the words AND actions by the liberal left should be taken into account and they should be held to it.

      • Oh and who could forget Max Bacchus trashing his opponent as gay just to win an election?

        • The GOP Party Platform is “Opression” – plain & simlple. Priebus, a non-voting, non-legislator, attempts miserably at gaining political support by riding the proverbial fence.

          We saw this before the ’08 Elections with non-Leffislators like The McCain girsl, and there were others, who came out in support. Where, I ask you, are voices of Sitting GOP Legislators?,…you know, …the ones who can actiually VOTE?_______________________

          Is that crickets that I hear?

  • What a complete pile of steamin’ dung. TOO BAD that most republicans in the party won’t stand for any “gay equality.” Transcending the democrats……ROFLMAO. Now I really know how hysterically ridiculous Reince Priebus is.

  • How does this headline have anything to do with the story? I didn’t read one thing that indicates Reince Priebus is a “voice of inclusion.” He hasn’t said or done anything inclusive. Did I miss something? Is the big story that he hasn’t said a bunch of specific anti-gay things, like all the Republican presidential candidates (except John Huntsman)?
    The other point of this story seems to be the Republicans are so big-hearted and tolerant that they’re actually letting a gay guy raise tons of cash for them. Wow. They’re my new heroes.

  • This passes for an opinion worthy of publishing? The fact that the chair of the RNC didn’t bash gays in in interview with Forbes is reason for us to vote for a republican? Are you kidding?

    If you’re actually serious, Mr Turner, how utterly desperate you must be for acceptance into a group that wants to legislate you out of existence. You’re pathetic, Mr Turner.

  • I think that LCR have done a good job with regards to gay rights and whatnot, and I applaud the efforts of Mr Cooper. But I cannot say the same for the republican party as a whole. Neither can I for the democrats.

    I think its time to give credit to individuals and groups, rather than political parties. Republican and democrat are not the only options… there is always that “independent” thing we keep hearing about.

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