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Log Cabin's New Ad Attacks GOP Platform, Isn't as Subtle as Before

Gregory T. Angelo

As the Log Cabin Republicans group decides whether to endorse Donald Trump, it’s upping attacks on the anti-LGBT platform adopted Monday by the Republican Party.

The group for LGBT Republicans bought a full-page ad in USA Today the next day. It attacks the GOP for approving an anti-LGBT platform that includes support for conversion therapy, for repealing marriage equality, for bathroom bills and so-called religious freedom laws. Echoing an email blast sent to members by executive director Gregory T. Angelo, the ad calls this “the most anti-LGBT platform the Republican Party has ever had.”

The ad, which ran in the Cleveland edition to reach convention attendees, is actually the second time Log Cabin has publicly struck back at its own party with full-page advertising. 

After the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins wrested control of planks about family and marriage and inserted anti-LGBT language, Log Cabin bought an ad in The Tampa Tribune back in 2012. 

The two ads take a much different approach. 

In Tampa, Log Cabin ran ad focused on LGBT families, leading with six pictures of couples and their children. The headline was “We Agree,” which was a jab directly at Perkins for inserting this language in the platform: “The institution of marriage is the foundation of civil society. Its success as an institution will determine our success as a nation.” 

Log Cabin partnered with Freedom to Marry on the ad, arguing that “As conservatives, we believe that the freedom to marry is directly in line with the core ideals and principles of the Republican Party — less government, more individual freedom, personal responsibility and the importance of the family.”

This year’s ad leads with giant-size type screaming “LOSERS! MORONS! SAD!” That gets your attention, and the smaller type says, “No, these aren’t tweets from Donald Trump. This is what common-sense conservatives are saying about the most anti-LGBT platform the Republican Party has ever had.”

The ad goes after the platform committee directly, calling it “out of touch, out of line, and out of step with 61% of young Republicans who favor same-sex marriage.”

In 2012 there was no mention of that year's Republican presidential nominee — Mitt Romney — or the platform committee.

“The ad that was ran last time was a very good ad, but it wasn’t really in my estimation, rolling up our sleeves and fighting back as hard as I think this platform necessitated we do,” Angelo said in an interview from the convention. “I was just hearing message after message after message from our members, over the course of the last week, saying you guys have to drag the platform committee through the coals, and I wanted to come up with an ad that did exactly that, and I think we did.”

As drafts of the platform were being shared publicly, outrage spread. Angelo sent an email blast to Log Cabin members that first branded it the “most anti-LGBT” in history, and that single email raised all the money needed to run the ad in USA Today.

The mention of Trump in the ad isn’t necessarily a harbinger of a withheld endorsement, though. Log Cabin endorsed Romney last time around, but it withheld endorsements from George W. Bush in 2004 as he ran a campaign simultaneously with ballot measures to ban marriage equality, and also withheld from George H.W. Bush in 1992 as a protest over antigay rhetoric spouted during the convention that year.

Log Cabin will first survey its members, and then its board will meet in the fall to make a decision on whether to endorse the Donald Trump-Mike Pence ticket. 

“We’ve endorsed frequently,” noted Angelo, “but not always.”

Compare the two ads below:

Log Cabin 2016 Ad

Log Cabin 2012

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