Alex Blaze

Why is the Log Cabin Republicans' Board of Directors so White and Male?

Filed By Alex Blaze | April 26, 2011 6:00 PM | comments

Filed in: The Movement
Tags: Clarke Cooper, conservaqueers, conservatism, HomoCon, LGBT, log cabin republicans, republican

A Bilerico reader sent in a link yesterday to the board of directors at the Log Cabin Republicans. lcr-board.pngEnough people in the community criticize the lack of diversity in leadership positions in the movement, but if you want to see what a Old Boys Club looks like, click the above link.

I'm not one for bean-counting, especially when it comes to political advocacy, since sometimes some ideological positions really are taken up by one ethnicity or gender. In those cases, it's better to question why certain ideological positions are more popular among certain people instead of asking for superficial diversity in highly visible positions just to make people feel better.

So here I wonder if it really is that there are almost no queer people of color or women who are Republicans. Compartmentalizing one minority status to support an ideology rooted in inequality, injustice, and hierarchy is possible, but any more than that and even the slowest people start to make those connections. Either that or the privilege that makes supporting an ideology based in protecting privilege worthwhile (and fundraising and leadership in such a movement possible) is almost completely lost the more barriers one has to fight.

Log Cabin's Executive Director Clarke Cooper told The Bilerico Project, via email, that the board of directors is chosen based on the ability fundraise and not because of any identity characteristic:

Requirements for Log Cabin Republicans board service include a financial commitment as well as being a registered Republican voter. Sex, race sexual orientation and religion are not factors for board service.

Cooper did not disagree with the characterization of the board as "all men" and "all but one is white."

That may be the sort of color-blindness conservatives pride themselves in (Cooper also says that the new chairman of the board is looking to increase the board's diversity, but I'll believe it when I see it), but the results of not questioning why women and minorities are less likely to be in leadership positions, of just saying over and over again that one's color-blindness makes them impervious to the prejudices common in today's world and the structural inequalities that hold certain people back, is obvious.

One would think that a group that claims to value diversity, both ideological diversity within the LGBT population and identity-based diversity within the Republican Party, would be more sensitive to this issue.

img a screenshot of LCR's Board of Directors webpage, taken by Alex Blaze 4/26/2011


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It's likely that only an extremely small minority of
queers of color are republicans.

Aren't the ppl in charge of Repub things generally white and male? (And really, Dem things too, for that matter...)

Rick Sutton | April 26, 2011 9:33 PM

Uh, no...

The DNC is now chaired by a Jewish Congresswoman from Florida. The Stonewall Dems have had a professional staff and a diverse board for a long, long time.

Should the Dems be more diverse? Probably. But they've had national convention and nat'l./state committee diversity rules for three decades.

I know the Dems do *now*. I am talking about in general. They defs arent quite as 'old white guys' as the Repubs, though. :)

Rick Sutton | April 28, 2011 8:28 AM

Did you read the "decades" thing above? The Dems don't just do it "**now**". They've been doing it. When you repeat that kind of behavior over a couple decades, it becomes accepted pattern.

Key word: pattern.

Maybe they just don't believe in falling all over themselves to find one token for appearance's sake.

I agree - I too think it would be stupid for that to happen for "appearance's sake." But we should also wonder why it isn't naturally more diverse, what with the US being a diverse country and 51% of the population being women.

This has not always been the case. In the 1990's the National Log Cabineers elected a black man as their president. His name was Mason something. He was a fairly sharp guy, but it was like the GOP selecting Michael Steele -- pure and obvious tokenism and pandering.

On the other hand, they do strive to eliminate racist attitudes from within their ranks. Shortly after one of the March on Washington events (I think it was 1987), I was attending a LC meeting and a man made a heated remark, calling Whoopi Goldberg a "black bitch" -- the whole room jumped on him, one man sitting next to me saying, "Defend Reagan if you want, but we won't tolerate your racism here." (At the march rally speaker's podium, Whoopi had referred to Reagan as "the fucking President".)

LC is a very mixed bag.

Last night while I slept, my subconscious sent up to my conscious some missing data.

The name of the black man which I mention above as being formerly a president of LCC-National, if my memory serves me correctly, was Abner Mason.

Going online to see if this is correct, I find that he has a Wikipedia entry that mentions he was a former president of LCC-National, but does not mention he is African-American; however, there is a link to his business website at [=abnermason.com=] and there you can find photos of him.

Alex : I understand. I don't think it has much significance in the long run, but I do understand bringing up the question.

They're all from more conservative states as well. And a board director from Atlanta, Georgia with little likelihood of being black? Now that's a strange one.

Then again, these are the same guys who endorsed McCain/Palin and now want people to forget that. Plus their whole canoodling with Boehner.

"They're all from more conservative states as well."

Not true -- two of the strongest LC chapters are the Los Angeles and Orange County, California chapters. You may be surprised to learn that even the San Francisco chapter has no loss for members. I also hear the D.C. chapter is doing well.

They're no more all-white than most LGBT groups.

No, that's not an excuse, it's a condemnation, not just of the Log Cabiners, but LGBT groups in general. Or should I say LGB, not LGBT, as AFAIK the Log Cabiners don't pretend to represent Trans people. Most other all-white LGBT groups do. Pretend, that is.

As I said, not an excuse, a condemnation. Now what are you going to do about it?

Brad Bailey | April 27, 2011 3:04 AM

Rich white heterosexual Republican males have traditionally been saddled with the preservation of the Anglo-European Western culture.

They believe in conserving traditional gender roles, Christianity and marriage; in conserving a white majority in the U.S.; and in supporting a strong military presence abroud.

The Log Cabin Republicans also believe in these things. That is why they lead the fight to legalize gay marriage and to include gays in the military.

So it's not so hard to understand why they too are rich and white.

You know when it comes down to it I really don't care the make up of an organization so long as they fight for us all. We can sit and judge why and how they should run their group but that's not the point. I'd rather see results.

I really think we need as a community to stop picking at ourselves and working to make changes together. We may not always agree on details but in society we are all LGBT. Republican, Democrat, Independant...it really does not matter.

What matters most is we stand in unity and achieve equality, fundamental rights and protections. We may all have different views of those but there is common ground and from there we should build.

I am not taking any side because to me there is only one, Equality!

I'm sure the Log Cabin Republicans will become a more diverse group and grow as the Democrats screw over the LGBT community - and screw over rest of the country too!

The bloom is of the rose for Obama. We all get to see him, thorns and all, running the country into the ground.

"You know when it comes down to it I really don't care the make up of an organization so long as they fight for us all"

Like the Logheads have fought for our rights! They don't agree with gay marriage, and they don't support us on many, many topics. Not taking sides is not participating in the dialogue IMHO

You know not of what you speak -- the LC has lobbied for gay marriage even before the Lawrence v. Texas decision. And as a previous commenter pointed out, their conservative perspective often tends to support them in establishing stable, monogamous relationships that resemble "marriages".

What planet are you from? Republican! Family values? Give me a break.

The best thing I can point out about LC, and GoProud as well, is that they establish gay/lesbian presence and advocacy in a party that would be even more rabidly anti-gay without them. While the LC would like a unified pro-gay GOP, in reality they expose yet another tattered riff in the fabric of the party. The prejudiced notion that, "You can't be both gay and Republican" is an extreme left-wing statement -- and at the same time, it is also an extreme right-wing statement.

They couldn't possibly get more rabid. A couple more senators and a Republican President, they'd have us all in concentration camps.

You might be absolutely right ... but I don't see any actual concentration camps ... yet.


(Gee, people are finally attacking me! ... I must be doing or saying something right!)