Gay Republicans Banned From Carolina Convention

Wed. May 19, 2004 12:00 AM

Raleigh, NC - Just days before the start of the North Carolina Republican State Convention, Chairman Ferrell Blount has written a letter reversing position and informing Log Cabin North Carolina that it will not be allowed a table at the state convention. "Log Cabin Republicans believe that at a time when our country is at war, we ought to be bringing Republicans together, not dividing them, and certainly not excluding them from their own state convention," said Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director Patrick Guerriero.

Log Cabin NC organizer and Executive Director-Development of Equality North Carolina, Ed Farthing purchased a table at the NC state convention on behalf of Log Cabin in early April. The state party, which had been soliciting party members to purchase tables at the convention, accepted the money and issued a table to Log Cabin. Just days before the convention, NC State GOP Chairman Ferrell Blount flip-flopped, returning the money, and sending a lengthy vitriolic letter informing Farthing that Log Cabin would not have a table at the convention.

"Chairman Blount's actions are an affront to fair-minded Republicans across the state of North Carolina. To flip-flop and refuse to allow loyal Republicans a seat at their own convention is petty and short sighted," stated Farthing.

Chairman Blount's letter informed Log Cabin that "homosexuality is not normal and should not be established as an acceptable 'alternative' lifestyle." The letter further informed Log Cabin that, "[t]he North Carolina Republican Party and the Log Cabin Republicans do not seem to share the same agenda." Accordingly, Chairman Blount concluded, "Your group will not have a table at our convention as this would seem counter productive to the Republican Party's agenda."

The Log Cabin Republicans website makes it clear what the organization's agenda is: "We are loyal Republicans. We believe in low taxes, limited government, strong defense, free markets, personal responsibility, and individual liberty. Log Cabin represents an important part of the American family-taxpaying, hard working people who proudly believe in this nation's greatness. We also believe all Americans have the right to liberty, freedom, and equality." Log Cabin is not sure how Chairman Blount can claim to represent the Republican Party and not share this agenda.

"The Republican Party is not owned by Ferrell Blount. It is not his Republican Party. The Republican Party is the party of Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan, a party built on expanding the definition of liberty. The GOP is made up of individuals with diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and interests. The Republican Party doesn't just belong to one person," said Chris Barron, Log Cabin's Political Director, and a North Carolina native.

"Real issues face North Carolinians today, and our Party's Chairman should be committed to solving these problems, uniting our party, and building the North Carolina GOP. Our party should be talking about taxes, the war on terror, securing our children's future, and protecting North Carolina's economy. With an important Governor's race this fall, with a key Senate race this fall, and with the balance of power in North Carolina's legislature up for grabs, the Chairman of the North Carolina GOP should stop dividing Republicans," concluded Barron.