Day One of the Republican National Convention was cancelled because of Tropical Storm Isaac, but many delegates and attendees are trying to make the most of it, including Log Cabin Republicans, who point to polls showing a generational divide within the GOP in support for equality for gay people. That is not reflected in the GOP Party Platform, which was apparently written with considerable input from antigay groups.
"We know from the Platform Committee this year there is a vocal and present dissent from much of the rhetoric directed against gay and lesbian families in this country by that Platform and I'd like to see some respect and recognition of that disagreement within the Party," LCR Program Director Casey Pick.
Gay Republicans have a bigger presence at the convention than ever.
"For the longest time they've been on the outside looking in, and it's within the past six or seven years that more and more Republican party officials are paying attention to them, listening to them and inviting them to be part of an inclusive Republican coalition," said Dave Lampo of the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank in Washington. "Their visibility has grown."
But some social conservatives say they aren't welcome.
"They have no business being there. Our message is to them is that your home is in the Democratic Party," said Bryan Fischer, director of issue analysis for the Tupelo, Miss.-based American Family Association, a conservative radio host and a leading anti-gay figure in the GOP.
"These groups are actively working to undermine and subvert the Republican party platform and the principles of the Republican Party," Mr. Fischer said in a telephone interview. "They are undermining the moral foundations of the Republican Party."