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Log Cabin Group Seeks Official Status with CA GOP

by Matthew S. Bajko
Thursday Feb 19, 2015

Log Cabin California, a group for gay Republicans, is close to realizing its long held goal of official recognition from the California Republican Party as a chartered club.

This week Log Cabin leaders submitted their 170-page application for chartership ahead of the state party's spring convention, set to take place Friday, February 27 through Sunday, March 1 at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Sacramento. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a likely Republican presidential candidate, will keynote the Saturday luncheon.

"The significance of getting chartered is we will be an official recognized volunteer organization by the Republican Party," said Charles Moran, a gay GOP political consultant based in Los Angeles who is chairman of California Log Cabin Republicans. "This is a recruiting tool. So when people say the Republican Party doesn't support the gays, we can say we are recognized by the Republican Party. It is more symbolic than anything else, but it is important."

Fred Schein, president of the Log Cabin San Francisco chapter, said it would be an historic moment for the state GOP.

"When this happens, to my knowledge, it will be the first time the state Republican party has recognized and designated an LGBT organization as part of the state party," he said.

For close to two decades Log Cabin California has sought to be officially recognized by the state Republican Party. But the group encountered various roadblocks created by anti-gay forces within the party opposed to its pursuit.

"There would be procedural movements or bylaw amendments to exclude Log Cabin from ever being eligible to be a chartered organization," said Moran. "As society has made progress, and things have progressed for the LGBT community, those barriers have fallen away."

Three years ago Log Cabin California began to lay the groundwork to meet the chartership criteria. Two key factors is having 10 chapters in 10 different counties throughout the state with 10 unique members in each who are registered Republicans.

In southern California, a Log Cabin chapter was formed in Ventura about a year ago. It joined the four already established chapters in Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Orange County, and San Diego. Log Cabin membership statewide now stands at 248 members.

In the northern half of the state there are now five Log Cabin chapters, including one based in San Francisco. Chapters in Silicon Valley and Sacramento have been reactivated, while ones were launched at UC Berkeley and in Marin.

Log Cabin leaders are confident they have met the requirements needed for chartership, although there are several procedural hurdles still to be met before they can declare victory.

The first step is to receive sign off from the state Republican Party's volunteer organizations committee, which reviews chartership applications. Should the committee vote in approval then the matter will be put to a vote before the delegates to the party convention. Close to 40 of the party delegates are Log Cabin members.

"The committee that approves that is stacked favorably for us, in that regard," said Moran, who is a member of it. "The onus falls on us as an organization to provide an application package that is clean, well organized, and every T is crossed and every I is dotted."

Kevin Krick, president of the Marin Log Cabin chapter and chair of the Marin County Republican Central Committee, said he is "very optimistic" of the group's chances.

"We have our paperwork in order," said Krick, who is also the Bay Area regional vice chair for the California Republican Party. "Do I think it is going to happen? Yes."

It is unclear if any of the statewide Log Cabin chapters - the organization has established chapters in 24 states and the District of Columbia - are currently officially sanctioned by their state GOP. Log Cabin Republicans national Executive Director Gregory T. Angelo referred the Bay Area Reporter to California leaders in response to questions.

Moran said he believes there are at least one or possibly two Log Cabin state chapters that are officially sanctioned by their state Republican Party.

"I am not sure which ones but I do not believe we are the first," said Moran.

Receiving chartership status for Log Cabin California will be a capstone to Moran's six years as chairman. He is stepping down this month, with his successor to be elected during the convention weekend.

"I can't tell you who yet. I have appointed a committee that is putting together the slate," he said.

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