Log Cabin Republicans / Republicans for Choice / Republican Youth Majority Press Release--Aug. 16, 2004

News Release
For Immediate Release
August 16, 2004

Contact:  Christopher Barron
Log Cabin Republicans
Contact:  Ann E.W. Stone
Republicans for Choice
Contact:  Will Knight
Republican Youth Majority

Coalition of Mainstream Republican Groups Calls for Party Unity Plank in GOP Platform

Groups Will Fight to Insure Platform Reflects Diversity of Opinion in GOP

(Washington, DC)--A coalition of mainstream Republican groups consisting of the Log Cabin Republicans, Republicans for Choice, and the Republican Youth Majority call on the Republican Party to adopt a "Party Unity" plank in the GOP platform.  "We understand that Republicans of good faith can differ over divisive social issues, however our platofrm should repsect the diversity of this party," said Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director, Patrick Guerriero.  "The platform of the Republican Party shoudl represent all Republicans, not just those on the far right.  Today we give the GOP a chance to show unity in 2004," said Ann Stone, National Chair of Republicans for Choice.

The Party Unity Plank introduced today reads:
"We recognize and respect that Republicans of good faith may not agree with all the planks in the party's platform.  This is particularly the case with regard to those planks dealing with abortion, family planning, and gay and lesbian issues.  The Republican Party welcomes all people on all sides of these complex issues and encourages their active participation as we work together on those issues upon which we agree."
"This coalition of mainstream Republican organizations stands here today representing the future of the GOP," said Eli Allagoa, Managing Director of Republican Youth Majority.  "This coalition is represented in the primetime speakers our party has chosen for the New York convention and this coalition should be represented in our party's platform," continued Allagoa.

"It is not enough to have inclusive voices like Mayor Giuliani, Governor Schwarzenegger and Senator McCain speaking in primetime, if the platform only represents the voices of exclusion like Gary Bauer, Jerry Falwell and Rick Santorum," said Guerriero.

The RNC's announced lineup of primetime speakers for the convention includes former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Arizona Senator John McCain, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and New York Governor George Pataki.  Additionally, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will open the convention.  All of these speakers have long histories of supporting policies that respect the GOP's diversity.

"We stand here today representing millions of Republicans across this great country.  We are not asking the party to exclude evangelicals, we are simply saying that the party should make room for all Republicans under the GOP's big tent, in the finest tradition of President Ronald Reagan," said Stone.

In 2000, one million gays and lesbians voted for President Bush, and millions of pro-choice men and women supported the President.  "In a year when the nation is so evenly divided, the President and our party must unite all Republicans.  It is time for the Republican Party to concentrate on the issues that bring us together:  lower taxes, strong national defense, personal responsibility and a commitment to individual liberty.  It is time for the GOP to tell the far right that they are welcome in this party, but they are just one party of a diverse Republican Party," said Guerriero.

The coalition promises to take this fight to the platform committee and, if necessary, is not ruling out taking it to the convention floor.  "Acceptance of this plank should be a no-brainer for the platform committee.  However, if the platform committee refuses to unite this party we will take this fight for party unity to the floor of the convention," said Stone.

"There is significant anger and frustration among fair-minded Republicans.  For too long, we have watched as the radical right hijacked our party.  Today fair-minded Republicans are fighting back, and this fight has just begun, concluded Guerriero.