The last couple
of years have been challenging, to say the least, for the
gay GOP group Log Cabin Republicans. President Bush came out
in favor of a federal ban on same-sex marriage,
forcing the group to issue a
"nonendorsement" for president in 2004. And
Log Cabin's leader, Patrick Guerriero, left to
run the nonprofit, nonpartisan Gill Action Fund last
reporter and longtime Log Cabin member Patrick Sammon, who
was given the helm in December, says his group can
make a difference in Washington's new political
landscape, where for the first time in 12 years his
party knows what it's like to be a minority.
Do you think gay Americans are better off with Democratic
majorities in the House and Senate?
Some issues will be considered by this Congress
that weren't considered in the past, but there
are a lot of issues that impact people's daily
lives, and not all of them are related to gay rights.
I'm not big into speculating. The reality today
is that we are going to have some votes on [pro-gay]
bills, and Log Cabin is committed to getting some Republican
support for those bills.
Some have said that former president Gerald Ford's
passing in December marked the end of the moderate
Republicans. Do you agree?
I don't think it would be accurate to say
that his death is symbolic of a broader disappearance
of moderate Republicans. You have seen the growing
frustration in the party among many members about the tilt
to the right on social issues. Social conservatives
are largely responsible for what happened last
So how does Log Cabin fit in now?
We have a good relationship with Republican
organizations across the spectrum. We worked with
Senator [Tom] Coburn's office with trying to
move forward reauthorization of the Ryan White CARE Act. We
worked with some conservative organizations in
advancing and supporting reform efforts in Social
Security that actually would have provided benefits for
How do you feel about the recent antigay flip-flops by
presidential hopefuls Mitt Romney and John McCain?
Anytime candidates, whoever they are,
aren't bringing voters around a hopeful vision,
I think it's a mistake. It is going to be a long
presidential campaign and we are going to be watching
closely, and we are going to be talking with
candidates and campaigns on a range of issues that are
important to our community. At the end of the day we will
stand up with integrity and do what's right.
Do you think there will be more or less discussion of gay
issues in 2008?
It is quite difficult to predict what might
happen between now and 2008. I would like to think
they aren't on the front burner, but it is really
tough to determine what kind of world events might happen or
what events specifically related to our community
might come up that would make it more or less of an