Gay republicans split nationally, Michigan to follow

By |2009-04-16T09:00:00-04:00April 16th, 2009|News|

The announcement Friday that Christopher Barron, a former member of Log Cabin Republicans, national – a gay right group affiliated with the GOP – had created a 527 group for conservative gays may reflect as much on the Michigan chapter as it does on the national chapter.
Barron, who is a former political director for LCR, spoke about the split to online news outlet
“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.”
The Michigan chapter appears to be facing a similar movement of dissent.
“It (the formation of the 527 group) doesn’t effect Michigan Log Cabin Republicans, although I believe Barron’s description of the national organization as far as not being able to distinguish from other gay organizations is true of the Michigan organization which some are already working on remedying,” said conservative blogger Joe Sylvester. Sylvester runs the blog The Michigan Conservative Dossier.
Sylvester is a free market, pro-life conservative. Sylvester says he is a member of LCR-MI and that he and a group are looking at ways to re-energize the group. “We are meeting to proceed how to get the gay Republican movement alive in Michigan,” he said. “All options are on the table and have yet to be discussed.”
Sylvester declined to identify who was in the collective “we” he referenced. He said the current LCR-MI has not been active at all, making it indistinguishable from other lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender groups in the state.
But LCR Michigan president Noel Siksai, who is a “fiscal conservative, social moderate,” said, “We’re basically a dormant chapter.”
In 2002-2003, the group claimed a mailing list of 300 and dues paying membership of 50. He said after 2004 there has been a “steady challenger” to get new members. Currently, Siksai said he is the only dues paying member.
“The only ‘wedge,’ if it is one, is between those that are bent on appeasing the Christian right and cultivating active ties with them versus those of us that don’t have such interests, aka Sylvester and his links with Kyle Bristow (the former leader of the Southern Poverty Law Center-identified ‘hate group’ Young Americans for Freedom), Gary Glenn, (President of the American Family Association of Michigan), and others,” said Siksai of the growing dissent of gay Republicans in Michigan.
Sylvester has distanced himself recently from the American Family Association of Michigan’s Gary Glenn, comparing Glenn to Fred Phelps, the leader of the controversial Westboro Baptist Church of Kansas, which is famous for protesting at funerals of leading LGBT individuals, but of soldiers.
“His (Glenn’s) critique is dishonest and he knows it because the Westboro Baptist nutjobs don’t try to silence people,” Sylvester said. “They just say terribly dumb things. Alas, the similarities between Glenn and Phelps are stunning.”
Siksai said this criticism of Glenn was “a first.”
Siksai said Sylvester and his unidentified group were working to align with groups like AFA Michigan “because of the Christian right’s perceived dominance within the party. However, it would be an alliance with a permanent minority.”
He said such an alliance would “destroy” LCR-MI, and that he will “absolutely” stand against any attempt by Sylvester or others to make such an agreement or move in that direction.
Sylvester, however, is not backing down. “He can answer for his own lack of activity,” the blogger said of Siksai.

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