Log Cabin convention focuses on future of Republican Party
Members say they’re committed to returning GOP to its core values
by Jimmy LaSalvia
Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward publicly committed to become the first Republican to co-sponsor New York’s marriage equality legislation.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — “Our grassroots membership leaves this convention feeling energized and optimistic about the future of our party and of this organization,” said Log Cabin President Patrick Sammon. “We are committed to helping build a new sustainable governing majority that refocuses our party on its core values.”
Log Cabin Republicans convened their 2007 National Convention in Denver the weekend of May 3 - 6.
Former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-WY) addressed the convention on Friday. Sen. Simpson delivered a powerful speech about the future of the party and the role Log Cabin can play.
“Don’t give up on the Republican Party. Don’t stereotype the party on a few cuckoos who never give up on their bitterness, hostility and venom. Don’t be impatient. Stay in the party. Don’t leave, because you can change it,” said Simpson.
Log Cabin members participated in grassroots training and discussed ways to shape the direction of the GOP. Convention attendees heard from leading voices in the party including representatives from the Club for Growth, the Republican Main Street Partnership and GOP strategist Tony Fabrizio.
“Having these groups address us underscores Log Cabin’s growing influence in the GOP,” continued Sammon. “According to a recent survey of our members, 44 percent became involved in Log Cabin in the last two years. Despite the challenges our organization has faced, our membership is growing and leaders in our party recognize that.”
The convention culminated in Log Cabin’s National Awards Dinner, which honored chapter leaders and a trio of courageous Republican state legislators. Michigan State Rep. Lorence Wenke, Wyoming State Rep. Dan Zwonitzer and New York State Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward received Log Cabin’s “Uncommon Courage Award” for their leadership in fighting for basic fairness for gay and lesbian families.
The highlight of the National Awards Dinner occurred when Assemblywoman Sayward publicly committed to become the first Republican co-sponsor of New York’s marriage equality legislation. “We thank these principled GOP legislators for their leadership and uncompromising commitment to the fight for basic fairness. These three courageous state legislators represent the future of our party,” said Sammon.
The convention was held in conjunction with the 2007 Liberty Education Forum National Symposium, the non-partisan foundation that’s associated with Log Cabin. As part of the National Symposium, members received an update on efforts to end the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law from Retired Coast Guard Rear Adm. Alan Steinman, one of the highest ranking openly gay retired military officials. Former NBA player John Amaechi also addressed attendees, speaking about the process of coming out as a gay professional athlete.
“Our members are charged up by the victories we’ve achieved and the progress we’re making. They will now go back to their communities and work to convert the excitement of this convention into actions that will re-center our party around traditional Republican values,” concluded Sammon.