The following is a continuation of my interview with Charles Moran, national spokesperson for the Log Cabin Republicans:
Jill: Do you think it is possible to be an openly gay Republican and get elected in the state of California, particularly in Bakersfield?
Charles: I wholeheartedly do. California – even amongst Republicans – is a forward thinking state. And just because we’re gay doesn’t mean that we’re tree-hugging “squishy moderates.” Quite honestly, I’d say about half of our Log Cabin membership could qualify for membership in the CRA! The gay community – especially gay conservatives – is so diverse. That’s one reason why Log Cabin doesn’t necessarily get involved with other issue-advocacy groups within the GOP. We have members that are pro-choice and members that are pro-life. We have members that are agnostic and others that are deeply religious. Our membership reflects the diversity of the conservative movement. We are wholeheartedly committed to the pursuit of policies in America that guarantee individual liberty, personal freedom, a robust national defense and limited government – and our sexual orientation especially compels us to pursue those goals.
Jill: I haven’t heard anything from CRP leadership about this issue. Charles, if you were the CRP Chairman, what message would you give the state GOP after news like this?
Charles: If I were so honored to serve as the leader of our great party in California, I would first stand beside our Republican colleague and offer support for the intensely personal journey he is undertaking. The liberal left “eats its own.” Republicans are better than that. Republicans should strive for truthfulness, honesty and integrity. Senator Ashburn’s “coming out” was the first step in many of a positive rehabilitation of his public image. If you can’t be honest with yourself, how will you be honest with the public you serve?
As soon as this story broke, I immediately reached out the communications staff at the CRP and offered my support and assistance in navigating through this situation. At Log Cabin, we prepare for situations like this, unfortunately.
In the last 96 hours, I have conducted over 40 interviews with news outlets, done almost a dozen radio shows and several TV spots across the state, attempting to navigate this very thorny issue dealing with a sensationalist mainstream-media with at “gotcha” mentality.
The Republican Party is not filled with a bunch of bigots, and I refuse to let the leftist media paint my party as being so. Being an openly-gay Republican places me in a very singular place in the dialogue that I can speak equally on behalf of both the party and the LGBT community to conduct effective, forward-looking damage control that will result in a positive result to this situation.
When I heard reports that Senator Ashburn was being shunned by some of his colleagues and people were more concerned with the fallout than the impact on this man’s life and family, I immediately thought of the church Sunday-School song verse I heard all too frequently and recite in my head to this day: “You will know we are Christians by our love.” The cold shoulder and inept behavior shown by some in our Party is just deplorable.