Media Release From:
THE PRO-LIFE ALLIANCE
OF GAYS AND LESBIANS
Post Office Box 33292
Washington, DC 20033
Tel: (202) 223-6697
Fax: (202) 265-9737
For Further Information:
LOG CABIN REPUBLICANS
ASSIST PRO-CHOICE CAMPAIGN
The 1997 Log Cabin Republican National Convention joined the efforts of pro-choice advocates to oppose any pro-life plank in the Platform adopted by the 2000 Republican National Convention.
By 86 to 51 on the critical vote, the 1997 Convention called for the Republican Party "to officially take a neutral stance" with respect to abortion, including the issues of abortion funding and partial birth abortions. The resolution -- referred to as Resolution No. 1 -- was submitted by an unanimously pro-choice Resolutions Committee appointed by Log Cabin National Chairman Bob Kabel, a Washington, DC lobbyist, and kept secret until the Convention met, thereby preventing local clubs from surveying their members -- and pro-life members from expressing their views. The national officers of Log Cabin and a majority of its board of directors then supported this Resolution. The Resolutions proponents at the last minute dropped the explicit demand that the GOP repudiate the pro-life plank of the 2000 Platform, though its elimination necessarily remains its logical goal.
Chuck Volz, a former board member of Philadelphia Log Cabin and a National Vice-President of PLAGAL, noted that, "Log Cabin's national office and staff have often in the past joined in pro-choice efforts to eliminate the pro-life plank of the Republican Platform, but this resolution constitutes the first claim to authority for these actions by rank and file Log Cabin members."
The efforts in favor of this resolution were led by stridently pro-choice Carol Newman, President of the Los Angeles Log Cabin Club, with the assistance of Steven Fong, past President of the San Francisco Log Cabin Club. Dale Carpenter, a leader of the Texas Log Cabin Clubs and an unrelenting opponent of Log Cabin's endorsement of Bob Dole in 1996, argued that the Log Cabin National Convention should adopt this Resolution because pro-choice groups were his closest allies in fights within the Texas Republican Party. Other arguments -- echoing the claims of pro-choice advocates -- focused on the GOP's loss of the 1992 and 1996 Presidential election, pointedly ignoring the landslide pro-life presidential victories of 1980, 1984, and 1988, and the pro-life Congressional majorities elected in 1994 and 1996. Other proponents argued that the pro-life plank kept pro-choice voters from joining the Republican party in general and Log Cabin Clubs in particular. They ignored arguments that taking this position might dissuade pro-life lesbians and gays from joining Log Cabin.
Pro-Life delegates were led by Jim McFarland, former President of the Wisconsin Log Cabin Club and the first openly gay public official in the State of Wisconsin , who was elected as a Republican. Pro-lifers argued that the Resolution called for neutrality on issues such as partial birth abortions and government funding of abortions with respect to which there is substantial consensus within the Republican Party, that it would alienate Log Cabin from pro-life elements with in some states have proven open to Log Cabin, and would separate Log Cabin from any pro-life nominee of the GOP, no matter how friendly that nominee might otherwise be to lesbian and gay Republicans.
McFarland was assisted by a number of pro-choice Republicans who argued that abortion was an issue that Log Cabin itself should not address, and that Log Cabin Republicans should feel free to take whatever stand they believed appropriate in the selection and instruction of delegates to the 2000 National Convention.
The Resolution was supported by Log Cabin clubs in San Francisco, San Antonio, Harrisburg (PA), New Hope (PA), Long Beach, Silicon Valley, Idaho, Columbus (OH), Cincinnati, and two New Jersey clubs, and by the majority of delegates from Eastern Massachusetts, New York City, Houston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Orange County.
On the crucial roll-call vote, the Resolution was opposed by all delegates from Arizona, Colorado, Austin, Louisiana, Georgia, Tampa Bay, Broward County (FL), East and West Wisconsin, Western Massachusetts, and St. Louis, and by a majority of delegates from Indiana and Oregon. Washington DC was evenly split.
The Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians was organized in 1990 to advance the Pro-Life message within the lesbian and gay community. Currently, it has almost 800 members -- both Republicans and Democrats -- and active groups in several states.