Last edited: February 14, 2005

Texas GOP Locks Out Log Cabin Gays

The Data Lounge,   Friday, June 5, 1998

AUSTIN - The Dallas Morning News reports Republican leaders in Texas have denied two predominantly gay and lesbian organizations, the Log Cabin Republicans and the Texas Freedom Network, booth space at the party's convention in Fort Worth to be held later this month.

The Texas Republican Party communications director Robert Black told the Morning News the two groups' views do not represent the "mainstream views of Republicans and most Texans."

"We're not going to allow a forum for the kind of hateful language against people of faith that the Texas Freedom Network, or the KKK or the National Man-Boy Love Association or whoever else wants to spew," Mr. Black said.

Kathy Miller, spokeswoman for the Freedom Network, said Mr. Black's "accusations and name-calling really show how desperate they are to censor our viewpoint. The Texas Freedom Network," she said, "never engages in hate speech."

The Texas GOP did the same thing to the Log Cabin group in 1996 when a similar request for booth space at the state convention was rejected. When Log Cabin members pointed out to state Republican leaders that pro choice groups were being allowed to erect booths, then-state GOP executive director Barbara Jackson fired back, "abortion is legal in Texas but sodomy is not."

Cecile Richards, daughter of former Democratic Gov. Ann Richards and executive director of the Texas Freedom Network, said she is disappointed. "Our organization is nonpartisan, offering a mainstream alternative to the religious right on many issues of importance to Texans," she said. "Unfortunately, the Republican Party leaders seem intent on silencing anyone who disagrees with the political agenda of the religious right."

Before the GOP state convention in 1996, the Log Cabin Republicans had challenged in court the party's decision to disallow their information booth at the gathering. The Texas Supreme Court later upheld the GOP's decision not to allow the group a booth.

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