Log Cabin Republicans Withholding Endorsement for Bush

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, November 1, 2004
It’s the Log Cabin Republicans’ last monthly meeting before Election Day.  About a dozen members are gathered in the back of a downtown Sacramento restaurant on this evening. Chapter President Jeff Scott starts things off with the Pledge of Allegiance. UP AND UNDER: PLEDGELONG Among those attending is 27-year research scientist William Chance, who says he’s become more politically active since joining the Log Cabin Republicans two years ago. In fact, he’s been working hard over the last few weeks to get out the vote. WILLIAMWALKING :16 Doing a lot of precinct walking phone banking kind of allows me to see and talk to a lot of people. A lot of people change to republican because of Bush’s stand on gay marriage, so he’s attracting a lot of social conservative people to the party. Chance is touting the fact that people are joining the GOP because President Bush backs the Federal Marriage Amendment – which would bar same sex couples from marrying. Chance says he’s able to overlook that, and find other reasons to vote for Bush. WILLIAMSOULDSERCH :17 Just because Bush is for the FMA I’m not going to just judge him or question who I am because of that one little issue that he mentioned so I’m looking more on domestic and the critical issues that we face every day. *The Sacramento Chapter of the Log Cabin Republicans has about 40 members, according to President Jeff Scott. He says being gay doesn’t automatically mean being a Democrat. Scott says core conservative beliefs drew him and other gays to the GOP. SCOTTGAYANDGOP Smaller government both in your fiscal lives and private lives, a strong military. I also belief a strong Republican or conservative doesn’t tinker with the constitution for marriage amendments so I believe being gay and Republican is very natural and very normal. Scott believes President Bush’s record on battling terrorism and his handling of the war in Iraq are reason enough to re-elect him. But other Log Cabin Republicans feel betrayed. For the first time, the national organization withheld its endorsement of a sitting GOP President. Gay conservatives like Ken Weddle say Bush is no longer acting like a “compassionate conservative.” KENANGRYBUSHLOSE :09 The election has always been George Bushes’ to lose and the fact that he’s concentrated on an issue like this, if he loses it serves him right. The 28 year old Weddle is angry -- and undecided. While he declares John Kerry will not get his vote – he’s not certain George W. Bush will. Weddle says, for him, Bush’s backing of the FMA is the biggest issue of the election. KENNOTCONSERVATIVE :29 Log Cabin Republicans seem to be removed from two worlds – they’re not completely accepted by the Republican Party and they’re not understood by many in the gay community. Chapter President Jeff Scott doesn’t believe he’s marginalizing gay issues, and is in fact, working for a larger goal. SCOTTSEATATTABLE :12 “I think it’s so important in that it’s not marginal and that I would want to stay in and fight and stay being a republican and try to change the party and I don’t think we do that on the outside. We need to have a seat at the table.” Nationwide, more than a million gays voted for President Bush in the 2000 election. Scott concedes that number is likely to be much lower in this election. SOQ