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Guerriero steps
down as head of Log Cabin Republicans

Guerriero steps
down as head of Log Cabin Republicans

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Patrick Guerriero will step down as head of the gay political group Log Cabin Republicans this September after four years on the job.

Patrick Guerriero will step down as head of the gay political group Log Cabin Republicans this September after four years on the job. Guerriero, who has presided over the group during a time of unprecedented expansion and difficult political challenges, is leaving to become the first-ever executive director of the Gill Action Fund.

During his time at Log Cabin, Guerriero traveled over 750,000 miles and visited over 300 cities and towns in all 50 states. "It has been a humbling experience leading Log Cabin Republicans during the past four years," said Guerriero. "I'm proud of what thousands of courageous Log Cabin members across America have accomplished as we work to build an inclusive Republican Party and a better America."

Log Cabin chairman Tim Schoeffler said Guerriero "led the organization through unprecedented growth, including dozens of new chapters, thousands of new members, and a 400% increase in our annual budget. We will miss him greatly."

"Log Cabin has much to do before I leave," Guerriero said, "opening new offices on Pennsylvania Avenue, helping protect and support our GOP allies vulnerable in the 2006 elections, defeating the FMA again in the Senate and House, and continuing to build on our historic grassroots growth and power across America."

Working with other GOP centrist organizations and Republican elected officials, Guerriero has made a case that the Republican Party should refocus its priorities away from divisive wedge issues and toward winning the war on terrorism, controlling federal spending, shrinking the deficit, and governing with competence. On his first day as Log Cabin president, Guerriero called for an end to the infighting between LGBT organizations and promised Log Cabin's full commitment to the bipartisan work necessary for winning basic fairness and equality for all Americans. Guerriero's promise led to unprecedented collaboration and dialogue with allied groups.

Guerriero has been the nation's leading conservative voice in helping defeat the Federal Marriage Amendment. In March 2004 he successfully launched the nation's first television ad opposing the discriminatory constitutional amendment while spearheading the largest lobbying effort and grassroots mobilization in Log Cabin's 30-year history. These efforts helped lead to the 2004 defeat of the FMA in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

In a widely circulated open letter following the 2004 elections, Guerriero called on gay organizations to shift focus and resources to reach the American heartland, red states, people of faith, conservative Democrats, and fair-minded Republicans. In his dual role as president of the Liberty Education Forum, he launched the organization's Reaching the Heartland Program, which uses education programs, grassroots training, and research to gain new allies for equality among conservatives and people of faith. LEF is a nonpartisan foundation that educates people about the importance of achieving freedom and fairness for gay and lesbian Americans.

In 2005, Guerriero wrote an op-ed encouraging gay conservatives to come out and join the fight for equality. "Now is the time for closeted gay conservatives to find the courage and personal strength to stand up and be counted," he wrote. "Now is the time we can really make a difference. If every gay conservative came out of the closet today, the journey to full equality would be over in years instead of decades."

Guerriero is a former Massachusetts state representative and the former mayor of Melrose, Mass., and when he ran for Massachusetts lieutenant governor, he was one of the first openly gay candidates in the nation to vie for that office. During three terms in the Massachusetts house of representatives, Guerriero never missed a roll call, casting more than 1,000 consecutive votes. Guerriero's advocacy for strong local government earned him the 1998 Fenn Award for Political Leadership from the Kennedy Library's New Frontier Society and the Massachusetts Municipal Association.

The Gill Action Fund is a new organization that advocates for LGBT equality. It was created by philanthropist and software entrepreneur Tim Gill. The new organization will engage in significant work in American politics and support key political organizations across the nation. As chief spokesperson for Gill Action, Guerriero will be responsible for developing overall strategies, building operational structure, establishing strong relationships with local and national gay and lesbian organizations, and developing tactical partnerships with a broad range of Republican and Democratic political organizations to help Gill Action succeed. "I greatly appreciate Tim Gill's confidence in me, and I'm grateful for his amazing generosity as a leading American philanthropist," said Guerriero. "I'm excited to have this opportunity to lead Gill Action. Our side is winning because millions of courageous Americans are standing up for basic fairness. I look forward to helping their efforts as we move closer to equality for all."

"Patrick Guerriero has proven himself a skilled candidate who has never lost an election, as well as a coalition builder who has worked well with Republicans, Democrats, and other gay and lesbian organizations," said Tim Gill. "His leadership will help us develop successful bipartisan strategies to move toward equality." (The Advocate)

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