Bush Meets with Gay Supporters – A Positive First Step for GOP Nominee
Dialogue Begun This Week in Effort to Unite the Republican Party
(WASHINGTON, DC) – As part of an ongoing dialogue with gay Republicans this week, Governor George W. Bush of Texas, the presumptive nominee for the GOP presidential nomination, met today with a group of his gay supporters in Austin, and welcomed gay Americans to join his campaign.
"I welcome gay Americans into my campaign," Bush told reporters after the meeting. "I want the Republicans, conservative Republicans to understand we judge people based upon their heart and soul, that's what the campaign is about. And while we disagree on gay marriage for example, we agree on a lot of other issues and it's important for people to hear that."
"Today's meeting was a positive first step in an historic dialogue with a Republican presidential nominee, in an election cycle that has been truly historic for gay Americans," said Robert Stears, chairman of Log Cabin Republicans. "We commend Governor Bush for the positive dialogue he has begun this week with gay Americans, and we all are encouraged by the fact that this is the first of many opportunities to discuss policy issues and concerns which we share with him. That is the focus of our organization in this election campaign, and we look forward to continuing the dialogue on policy and on how to unite the Republican Party." Senior leaders in Log Cabin Republicans and the Bush campaign began discussions this week to lay the groundwork for future meetings.
Bush also announced today that a formal meeting with him and Senator John McCain (R-AZ), who placed second in the GOP primaries, is set for May 9. In light of this announcement, Stears observed:"It is the right time to move toward uniting the party and specifying where we can agree, and that is where our conversations will be focused beyond today."
Among those at the meeting were openly gay GOP elected officials – Mayor Dan Stewart of Plattsburgh, N.Y, and Councilmember David Catania of Washington D.C. – and a number of Log Cabin members who had endorsed Bush in the Republican primaries. Log Cabin Republicans made no endorsement in the GOP primaries, but will vote whether to endorse Bush and his running mate on August 4 in Philadelphia.