Gay Republicans' acceptance: A long, twisting journey

A look at the move toward greater acceptance of gay Republicans in California

The California Republican Party's decision Sunday to officially recognize a gay group comes after decades of debate about the role that gays should play in the party.

Here is a look at the move toward greater acceptance.

1985: Gay Republicans in Orange County try to make political inroads, despite steep odds. As The Times reported, "In Los Angeles, the 8-year-old Log Cabin Club of Los Angeles County is thriving with 400 members. It has been officially chartered by its county central committee for several years. But the Orange County chapter is not yet officially recognized by the Republican Central Committee of Orange County."

1988: Gay Republican groups in California survive attempt by conservatives to have them "decertified" by the Republican Party. One gay GOP activist hailed the move: "State Republicans are saying: 'We will not tolerate bigotry.'"

1989: An effort by Rep. William E. Dannemeyer to place graphic language about homosexual acts into state GOP resolutions generates criticism from some Republicans. His resolutions quoted studies on "favorite sexual activities of the average homosexual." Some in the party called them obscene and inappropriate. 

1991: State Republicans reject a proposal stating that the party is dedicated to a "heterosexual ethic," which was defined as "a man and a woman joined together in an institution called marriage." 

2001: Republicans in Orange County and elsewhere form new alliance designed to make homosexuality a "non-issue" in the GOP.

2012: During the national convention some GOP gays said they felt accepted by the party even though the platform kept the door shut on gay marriage.  "At times you can get really frustrated," Frank Ricchiazzi, a California delegate said. "But you know what? ... In the 1980s, I was afraid to walk around the state convention alone. I could see the hatred in the eyes of some of those people. Today, it's just accepted."

Source: Times reports

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATE

1:21 p.m.: This post was updated with the 2012 event.

This story was first published at 12:57 p.m.

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