The board of directors of the Log Cabin Republicans has voted 12 to 2 to endorse the candidacy of John McCain for President of the United States.

Log Cabin is an organisation of Republicans “who support fairness, freedom, and equality for gay and lesbian Americans.”

The group claims thousands of members but does not release any actual data.

“We have honest disagreements with Senator McCain on a number of gay rights issues,” said Log Cabin president Patrick Sammon.

“Log Cabin will continue our conversation with him and other Republican leaders about issues affecting gay and lesbian Americans.

“We will speak out when there’s disagreement—either during the upcoming campaign or when John McCain is President.”

He predicted that the 72-year-old candidate will receive support from gay and lesbian Americans.

“LGBT people are not single-issue voters.

“Gay rights issues are a critical part of the equation, but so are many other issues impacting our daily lives—foreign policy, the economy, jobs, energy policy, health care reform, and taxes.

“Gay and lesbian Republicans believe Senator John McCain is the most qualified person to lead our country.”

Mr Sammon said that the candidate, a Senator from Arizona, had voted against the federal marriage amendment to the Constitution which would have defined marriage as being exclusively between a man and a woman. The measure failed to get enough support.

“Senator McCain has always shown a willingness to reach out and engage in dialogue with Log Cabin, while considering all sides of an issue,” said Mr Sammon.

“We know that will continue when he is President.”

The Republican, who will formally accept the party’s nomination at the National Convention in Minneapolis this week, opposes same-sex marriage and gay adoption.

Log Cabin Republicans endorsed then-Governor George W. Bush in 2000, but declined to endorse President Bush in 2004, “largely over his push for a federal anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment and his decision to use gay people as a wedge issue in winning re-election.”