David Rockefeller, the financier, philanthropist, and longtime Republican, announced this week that he will join the advisory board for the Republican Unity Coalition, a gay-straight Republican organization. Rockefeller, 87, who once ran Chase Manhattan Bank, joins former president Gerald R. Ford and former U.S. representative Susan Molinari (R-N.Y.), among others, on the panel. "We are so honored," Charles Francis, cochairman of RUC, told The Washington Post. "Rockefeller's experience in bringing people together to address some of the greatest public affairs challenges of our time will surely help us in our mission to build and expand the Republican Party."
Rockefeller's joining the RUC is cheerful news amid a difficult time for gays in the Republican Party. Marc Racicot, head of the Republican National Committee, was recently criticized by far-right conservatives for meeting with the gay rights group Human Rights Campaign in March. And Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) received widespread support from Republican colleagues after he was criticized for comparing homosexuality to incest, adultery, and polygamy in an Associated Press interview in April.