The gay political group Log Cabin Republicans had its annual convention May 8-10 in Washington, D.C., with attendance reportedly more than double that of last year's convention, due in large part to the recent public comments made by Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), in which he compared homosexuality to bigamy, adultery, and incest. Santorum has been the center of attention since an April 7 interview with the Associated Press in which he brought up the pending Supreme Court case over Texas's antigay sodomy law and made the derogatory statements.
"It was a reminder to all that we had work to do," said Patrick Guerriero, Log Cabin director. "If we were completely satisfied that the Republican Party was as inclusive as we wished, we would cease to exist. It's obvious that the issue of inclusiveness in the Republican Party is going to be a major issue." The GOP takeover of the Senate last year and the upcoming presidential race also were leading topics at the convention.
A 200-member delegation from Log Cabin's convention met Friday for more than an hour with three White House officials at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C. The group talked with Joseph O'Neill, the White House AIDS czar; Brett Kavanaugh, associate White House counsel; and Holly Kuzmich, associate director of the White House domestic policy council, about AIDS, education, and judicial nominees for the federal bench. The subject of Santorum, however, was not brought up. Ken Lisaius, a White House spokesman, downplayed the meeting, saying it was one of many policy meetings requested by groups looking for ways to further the president's initiatives.