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|(Tampa) — Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry co-hosted a brunch with Log Cabin Republicans today at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, FL. Conservative commentator and political strategist Margaret Hoover spoke at the event, and notable attendees included former Congressman Jim Kolbe, Maryland State Senator Allan Kittleman, and Andrew Langer, president of the Institute for Liberty, who also spoke at the event.
“There are tectonic shifts happening just beneath the surface within the Republican Party on marriage that are starting to percolate up to the national dialogue,” said Hoover, also a member of the Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry leadership committee. “That’s why we’re here at the Republican National Convention – to continue to drive this very important conversation forward. Our group can help people see that supporting marriage for same-sex couples is absolutely consistent with the party’s legacy of individual freedom and limited government. It is a profoundly conservative value.”“The goal of Log Cabin Republicans has always been to work from within the party to expand and protect freedoms for all Americans. The presence of a successful, widely-attended event in support of the freedom to marry at the 2012 Republican National Convention is a watershed moment for the cause of marriage equality,” said R. Clarke Cooper, Executive Director of the Log Cabin Republicans. “Today’s event included GOP delegates, elected officials, and committed grassroots Republicans all united around the core idea that freedom means freedom for everyone. We’re proud to have been a part of this important event, and look forward to continuing the conversation within the GOP alongside the Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry.”
In addition to Hoover, two other members of the Young Conservatives leadership committee spoke at the event: Sarah Longwell, vice president at Berman and Company and member of the Log Cabin Republicans Board of Directors, and Torrey Shearer, a public affairs advisor at Holland & Knight.
In addition to the brunch, Log Cabin and the Young Conservatives ran a full-page ad in today’s Tampa Tribune, asking for the GOP to include gay and lesbian families in its vision for the critical role of marriage and families in our society. The Young Conservative leaders sent a letter to the Platform Committee earlier this month asking it to resist adding language opposing the freedom of same-sex couples to marry, and Log Cabin Republicans members and staff were active in the platform committee process.
Despite these efforts and debates in committee, the GOP chose instead to take an extreme stance on marriage in its platform, supporting a federal constitutional amendment banning the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. The platform language on marriage was written by Tony Perkins, the president of the anti-gay Family Research Council.
Nationally, several polls show that younger conservatives are increasingly for marriage, and 197 Republican state legislators across the nation have stood up for the freedom to marry to date.
Log Cabin Republicans is the only Republican organization dedicated to representing the interests of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans and their allies. The more than 30-year old organization has state and local chapters nationwide, a full-time office in Washington, DC, a federal political action committee and state political action committees.