Governor George W. Bush (R-TX) today criticized the Republican Party of Texas for its attacks on a gay Republican organization.
"Governor Bush believes all individuals deserve to be treated with dignity and respect," said Karen Hughes, communications director for Bush, in the statement. "While he differs with the Log Cabin Republicans on issues such as gay marriage, he does not condone name calling. Governor Bush urges all Republicans to focus on our common goal of electing Republicans based on our conservative philosophy."
The statement was in response to a series of public attacks by the state party leadership on the Log Cabin Republicans of Texas, represented by over 50 elected openly gay delegates and alternates to the state Republican convention in Fort Worth this weekend, and the denial of an exhibit space at the convention. Texas GOP spokesman Robert Black repeatedly compared Log Cabin to the Ku Klux Klan and to pedophiles in the Texas press and said the organization was a "hate group."
"Governor Bush should be applauded for criticizing the name-calling by the state Republican Party and distancing himself from these extreme and hateful attacks," said Richard Tafel, executive director of the national Log Cabin Republicans in Washington, D.C. "We appreciate his call to unity and we urge the party leaders to apologize in order to put this matter to rest. It's sad that the party couldn't police itself and had to be criticized by the Governor."
"We are eager to work hard all year to elect good Republicans across the state, and Governor Bush has taken an important step forward in helping us do that," said Steve Labinski, president of Log Cabin Republicans of Texas and a state GOP delegate. "We hope the party leaders will follow the Governor's advice and reach out to us in the spirit of unity. They should let us rent the exhibit space and welcome us into the convention like all other Republican organizations."
Log Cabin Republicans is the nation's largest gay and lesbian Republican organization, with 50+ chapters nationwide, a full-time Washington office and a federal political action committee. In addition to the Texas state chapter, there are local chapters in Austin, Dallas, San Antonio and Houston.