Gay Republicans have been banned from the Texas GOP state convention.
The Log Cabin Republicans, a group of gay Republicans who advocate for LGBT rights within the GOP, have long struggled to gain acceptance from the party.
Despite their defence of Republican appointees opposed by mainstream LGBT rights groups and frequent clashes with other LGBT rights campaigners, the group’s gay-inclusive message is still being shunned by conservative-dominated elements of the GOP.
The Conservative Political Action Conference, a keynote Republican event, recently lifted a long-held ban on the group – but it is still not welcome to attend a number of other Republican events.
The Texas GOP this month banned the group from having a stall at its 2018 state convention, marking the 20th successive year in which the Log Cabin Republicans have been refused permission to attend the convention.
The State Republican Executive Committee voted on April 7 to deny the group permission to attend, with a “clear majority” of lawmakers opting to reject the group’s presence after a two-hour debate.
According to the Austin Statesman, speakers cited religious objections to the group’s mission.
It was also claimed that their presence would run counter to the GOP state platform, which states that “homosexuality is a chosen behaviour that is contrary to the fundamental unchanging truths that has been ordained by God.”
No other group was denied a stall at the convention.
The Log Cabin Republicans state chairman Michael Baker insisted that “nothing happens overnight” when approached for comment by the newspaper on the 20th anniversary of nothing happening.
He said he was “disappointed but not surprised,” adding: “I’d hoped by 2018 we could have been a lot further than we are, but here we are.”
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Baker said that Log Cabin Republican members largely support every other part of the GOP platform apart from the party’s position on LGBT rights.
He added that he would still attend as an individual “to work for the unity of the party” despite the group being banned.
Meanwhile, Houston Log Cabin Republicans chief Marco Roberts appeared to defend lawmakers who had voted to exclude the group – agreeing that the Log Cabin Republicans should “do more” to make the case for not being banned.
He said: “Some [representatives] told me privately afterward, in explaining their no votes, that they felt that we needed to do more to make our case at the state convention.
“We’re going to take this opportunity to educate folks more about what Log Cabin Republicans really do stand for and what is it we’re trying to do.”
The Log Cabin Republicans have officially opposed a string of Trump policies, including the ban transgender people from the military, the administration’s “attacks” on anti-discrimination protections for LGBT workers, and the revocation of civil rights protections for trans kids in schools.
In December last year, the group urged Trump not to back Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, who called for gay people to be locked up and was found guilty of abusing his position as an elected judge to block gay weddings.
Within days, Trump decided to endorsed Moore.