Tags: Gay Marriage | Log Cabin Republicans

Why Are They Called Log Cabin Republicans?

By    |   Tuesday, 07 Jul 2015 11:01 PM

The gay conservative political organization known as Log Cabin Republicans is named in honor of Abraham Lincoln, who was born in 1809 in a log cabin in Kentucky and went on to become a lawyer and the first Republican to win the White House.

"President Lincoln built the Republican Party on the principles of liberty and equality," says a history of the organization posted at logcabin.org that urges the GOP to "return to its roots."

Log Cabin Republicans (LCR) combine conservative fiscal, economic and national security policy with support for gay and lesbian rights in areas such as military service and marriage equality.

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LCR doesn't assert that Lincoln himself would have supported same-sex rights, although commentators left and right, from The Huffington Post to The Federalist, have tackled that thought exercise in light of Lincoln's quest to end slavery and have come to different conclusions.

Log Cabin Republicans grew out of a campaign in California in 1977 to oppose a statewide voter referendum that would have barred homosexuals from teaching in public schools.

Gay and lesbian Republicans in the Golden State found a crucial ally in former California Gov. Ronald Reagan, who spoke out against the ballot initiative even as he was moving toward a 1980 run for president, says the LCR history.

Californians voted down the gay-teacher ban in 1978, and official Log Cabin Republicans chapters began forming soon after. By 2015, LCR counted 48 chapters in 25 states and the District of Columbia as well as a national headquarters in Washington, D.C., a think tank and a PAC.

The LCR mission statement says: "We believe in limited government, strong national defense, free markets, low taxes, personal responsibility, and individual liberty."

Where LCR has clashed with other conservatives and the Republican Party is over gay rights.

Log Cabin Republicans support legalizing same-sex marriage. "Opposing gay and lesbian equality is inconsistent with the GOP’s core principles of smaller government and personal freedom," says the LCR mission statement.

Yet opposition to same-sex marriage is a policy cornerstone for the national party and many of its state counterparts. The 2012 national GOP platform declares, "We reaffirm our support for a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman."

The conflict has also played out in almost yearly skirmishes between LCR and the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) convention, with organizers spurning LCR requests to sponsor a booth at the influential annual gathering of activists and politicians.

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In 2015, however, CPAC invited the LCR's executive director to speak at a conference panel — a first, according to Politico. The California Republican Party also formally recognized the group in 2015, The Washington Times reported.

But the tensions continue. Organizers of the Western Conservative Summit in Colorado exculded the group from setting up a table at their 2015 meeting. The Summit's chairman said Log Cabin Republicans "advocate contrary to our agenda and our core beliefs," The Denver Post reported.

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The gay conservative political organization known as Log Cabin Republicans is named in honor of Abraham Lincoln, who was born in 1809 in a log cabin in Kentucky and went on to become a lawyer and the first Republican to win the White House.
Log Cabin Republicans
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2015-01-07
Tuesday, 07 Jul 2015 11:01 PM
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