Log Cabin Calls for Public Clarification from Bush on Openly-Gay Appointments

Campaign Signals Gays Will Not Be Appointed to Administration on Same Day that Gay Republicans and Gay Elected Official are Named to Steering Committees

October 22, 1999 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Blogger Tumblr

(WASHINGTON, DC) – The nation's largest gay Republican organization called on Governor George W. Bush to publicly clarify sharply contradicting statements from his campaign on whether openly gay Republicans would or would not be ruled out as appointees in a Bush administration.

In an article today, the Dallas Morning News reported that in a September 24 meeting with conservative activists, Bush "promised" that, if elected, he would not appoint openly gay people to his administration. If true, this would be in direct contradiction to a statement made by Bush himself in an April 9 interview with the New York Times' Richard Berke, in which Bush said he would not discriminate in appointments on the basis of sexual orientation, adding: "As a general statement, if someone can do a job, and a job that he's qualified for, that person, that person ought to be allowed to do his job."

When asked by the Dallas Morning News about the reported comments from the September 24 meeting, Bush campaign spokeswoman Mindy Tucker said Bush does not ask job candidates about their sexual orientation but has said they must "share his conservative philosophy." When asked whether that rules out openly gay people who support gay rights, Tucker said: "I think so," but added that "she was not certain."

Tuckers comments came on the same day that the Bush campaigned announced the names of campaign steering committee members in all 50 states and in the District of Columbia, which included a number of openly gay Republicans including D.C. Councilmember David Catania (R).

"Governor Bush has a responsibility to clear this matter up immediately and publicly," said Rich Tafel, executive director of Log Cabin Republicans. "How can the campaign be uncertain on this fundamental Republican principle that merit must be the sole criterion in employment and on the fact that there is a non-discrimination policy in place for federal employees? This was on the same day they name openly gay Republicans, including an elected official, to their steering committees. And there is a long list of Governors, Senators and Congressmen who are strong gay rights supporters and have endorsed Governor Bush for President. Are they going to be disqualified for their strong record of advocacy on behalf of their gay constituents?"

"The hundreds of openly gay Republicans who have been recruited to contribute and work for the Bush campaign deserve a clear answer," Tafel said.