A Florida club will be the first
affiliate to join splintered gay Republican group GOProud.
The new Florida group is called
Sunshine Republicans and is expected to hold its first public meeting
Friday in Fort Lauderdale.
Republicans dissatisfied with the
direction of gay group Log Cabin Republicans decided to strike out on
their own in April and formed GOProud.
GOProud is helmed by Christopher
Barron, a former Log Cabin political director. In April, Barron told
POLITICO.com that Log Cabin no longer represented the politics of gay
“Essentially, there's no voice for
gay Republicans or gay conservatives in particular in D.C. right now.
Log Cabin has been completely and totally absent here in D.C. For
months and months,” Barron said.
“It has simply moved way too far to
the left and is basically indistinguishable from any other gay left
organization,” he added.
The rift widened last spring after gay
weekly The Washington Blade revealed that openly gay
Democratic philanthropist Tim Gill was keeping Log Cabin financially
afloat and was involved in decision making at the Republican group.
Sunshine Republicans President – and
former vice president of the Broward County Log Cabin Republicans –
Benjamin Lewis says the group represents conservatives who happen to
In talking about the group's
priorities, Lewis says the group will “fight for free markets,
personal freedom coupled with personal responsibility, a strong
national defense, and a less intrusive, more efficient government,”
Jack Mejeske, president of the Broward
Log Cabin group, defended his club's focus on gay and lesbian rights.
“If you don't stand up for the things
that pertain to the gay community then you can just belong to any of
the other … clubs in Broward County,” Mejeske told the
Sun-Sentinel. “There's no reason to have another one. If
you don't want to do anything for the gay community, then join
Sunshine Republicans will host its
first public meeting Friday at Fort Lauderdale City Hall at 7PM.