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Gay Republicans among those fighting for diversity at convention

Gay Republicans among those fighting for diversity at convention

A coalition of moderate Republican groups consisting of the Log Cabin Republicans, Republicans for Choice, and the Republican Youth Majority is calling on the Republican Party to adopt a "Party Unity" plank in the GOP platform before the national convention begins in New York on August 30. "We understand that Republicans of good faith can differ over divisive social issues; however, our platform should respect the diversity of this party," said Patrick Guerriero, executive director of the gay political group Log Cabin Republicans. "The platform of the Republican Party should represent all Republicans, not just those on the far right." The coalition's Party Unity plank reads: "We recognize and respect that Republicans of good faith may not agree with all the planks in the party's platform. This is particularly the case with regard to those planks dealing with abortion, family planning, and gay and lesbian issues. The Republican Party welcomes all people on all sides of these complex issues and encourages their active participation as we work together on those issues upon which we agree." "Acceptance of this plank should be a no-brainer for the platform committee. However, if the platform committee refuses to unite this party, we will not rule out taking this fight for party unity to the floor of the convention," said Ann Stone, national chair of Republicans for Choice. To generate public heat, Log Cabin Republican is holding a "Big Tent" party in New York on August 29. "It is not enough to have inclusive voices like Mayor Giuliani, Governor Schwarzenegger, and Senator McCain speaking in prime time if the platform only represents the voices of exclusion like Gary Bauer, Jerry Falwell, and Rick Santorum," said Guerriero. In 2000, 1 million gays and lesbians voted for President Bush, and millions of pro-choice men and women supported the president, Guerriero said. "In a year when the nation is so evenly divided, the president and our party must unite all Republicans. It is time for the Republican Party to concentrate on the issues that bring us together: lower taxes, strong national defense, personal responsibility, and a commitment to individual liberty. It is time for the GOP to tell the far right that they are welcome in this party but they are just one part of a diverse Republican Party. There is significant anger and frustration among fair-minded Republicans. For too long we have watched as the radical right hijacked our party. Today, fair-minded Republicans are fighting back, and this fight has just begun."

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