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(Washington, DC) – Log Cabin Republicans condemn Senator Jim DeMint’s assertion that gays and lesbians are unfit to teach in America’s public schools.
“Senator DeMint’s remarks are a throwback to an outdated, discriminatory position that has no place in American discourse,” said Christian Berle, acting Executive Director of Log Cabin Republicans.  “Ronald Reagan believed barring gay and lesbian teachers from the classroom was wrong in 1978 when he joined with Log Cabin Republicans to defeat the Briggs Initiative. Senator DeMint needs to learn what Reagan knew thirty-two years ago– that what makes a good teacher is talent, dedication and commitment to students’ well-being, not sexual orientation.”


Truman Smith, president of Log Cabin Republicans of South Carolina, concurred.  “Senator DeMint’s comments are an embarrassment to South Carolina.  Particularly now, in the midst of a crisis of suicides among gay and lesbian youth, it is irresponsible for a person with Senator DeMint’s influence to suggest that anybody should be excluded from American society because of who they are.”


Log Cabin Republicans supports the passage of the Safe Schools Improvement Act of 2009 (H.R. 2262) which uses existing funds to provide teachers and administrators with the resources needed to address harassment in public schools.


Log Cabin Republicans traces its founding to the 1978 Briggs Initiative, a California ballotmeasure that would have banned gays and lesbians from teaching in the state’s public schools. In order to combat this initiative, a group of gay Republicans reached out to then-former governor Ronald Reagan, asking him to oppose the ban.  Reagan joined with Log Cabin Republicans, arguing that the ban was “not needed to protect our children” and that if it passed, “innocent lives could be ruined.”  The Briggs Initiative ultimately failed.


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.