In a statement released late Tuesday, the Log Cabin Republicans endorsed the campaign of Senator John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin for president and vice president. Despite being a gay group.

An observer would note that McCain is not a pro-gay guy. Still, the Log Cabin Republicans say they believe McCain is the better choice for president on a number of issues – like fiscal conservatism and a strong defense – most of which are not gay related at all.

This is the same group whose $1,000 campaign contribution was returned by Bob Dole's presidential campaign in 1995, when it was disclosed that it came from a gay group. The group endorsed Bush in 2000, but refused to do so in 2004, citing the Party's use of gay marriage as a political wedge issue to attract evangelical Christian voters to the polls. It's widely believed that the anti-gay strategy – devised by Karl Rove – helped win Bush the White House. Rove continues to advise Republicans, including McCain.

“Sen. McCain showed courage by bucking his own party's leadership and the president – twice voting against the [federal anti-gay-marriage constitutional] amendment. He gave an impassioned speech on the Senate floor, calling the amendment 'antithetical in every way to the core philosophy of Republicans,'” Log Cabin Republicans President Patrick Sammon said in a prepared statement. “On the most important issue that LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender] Americans faced in the last decade ... John McCain stood with us. Now we stand with him.”

Gay group Stonewall Democrats, who have endorsed the Obama-Biden campaign, responded negatively to the Log Cabin Republicans' McCain-Palin endorsement, and made certain to highlight McCain's anti-gay record.

“John McCain and Sarah Palin continue to push a radical, anti-equality agenda at the request of the special interests which control their campaign and the Republican Party,” said Stonewall Democrats Executive Director Jon Hoadley. “The Mccain/Palin ticket opposes adoption by same-sex couples, supports constitutional discrimination regarding the freedom to marry, supports legal discrimination in the workplace based on gender identity and sexual orientation, opposes comprehensive hate crimes legislation and is willing to jeopardize our national security by barring qualified servicemembers simply based on their sexual orientation alone.”

The Log Cabin Republicans, 20,000 strong, estimate there are two dozen openly gay delegates attending the Republican National Convention.