For 20 years the Texas Republican Party has refused to allow Log Cabin Republicans to have a booth at their state convention. They don’t plan on breaking that pattern now.
The State Republican Executive Committee debated for two hours last week whether or not to allow the group of gay conservatives to come out at their big party. In the end, they decided the answer was no; no other group was denied a booth.
“Nothing happens overnight,” Michael Baker, the group’s state chairman, told the Austin Statesman. “I’d hoped by 2018 we could have been a lot further than we are, but here we are.”
“They could have had a symbolic gesture to show the unity of the party by bringing us together for this convention,” Baker said. “They blew it.”
The newspaper reports that opponents cited their religious beliefs and the state party platform as reasons to exclude the group. More committee members spoke against inclusion than in favor of it.
“With the hundreds of pages that we have working there, these children are hit with this lifestyle on every screen that they have: their phone, their computer, the TVs,” Tanya Robertson told the committee. “I’ve heard the word safe spaces. We should be their safe space.”
But Morgan Graham, who spoke in favor of including the group, talked about an ad from the Texas Democrats inviting Log Cabin members to join the party where they would be accepted for who they are.
“These are the hounds of destruction snapping at our heels, and they’re lean, and they’re hungry,” Graham said. “And they’re hungrier and in this case more aggressive than the sword some of us are willing to fall on over a booth fee. … At the rate that we’re going, we’re going to run out of people to kick out of this party.”
A representative from Log Cabin tried to make lemonade out of the lemons by saying the amount of people who spoke in support of accepting the group’s money to buy booth space was encouraging. Relatively speaking, it was a huge win.
As the leader of their party would say, “Sad!”