By Bruce Shenitz
Publications director, Cato Institute, Washington D.C.
Vice president, Log Cabin Republican Club of Virginia
Will vote for President George W. Bush in 2004
How long have you been involved with Log Cabin?
I'd heard about it for years, and came on board right around the time of President Bush's first inauguration, in January 2001.
What made you join at that time?
I've always been an activist and a small L libertarian. Then I became a Republican because I saw it as the only realistic outlet with a belief in libertarian principles. Albeit an imperfect outlet.
What do you mean by 'small L libertarian'?
One who believes in a consistent philosophy of limited government, personal responsibility, and applies these principles across the board. Unlike liberals, who may believe in personal freedom in certain aspects of one's life, like sexual orientation or smoking marijuana or things of that nature, but favor big government in economic areas. Versus conservatives who are usually the reverse. That is, they typically believe in a free market and say they believe in limited government, but so many of them completely abandon those principles when it comes to personal freedom like sexual orientation, drugs, and a variety of other personal freedom issues. So a libertarian is really just a consistent conservative.
What's it like coming out as a Republican among gay people?
You really can face as much hostility in that coming-out as you can with sexual orientation. [But] I have an excellent relationship with Equality Virginia (a nonpartisan group) and the Virginia Democratic group. Even though a certain segment of the gay community despises gay Republicans and Log Cabin, mainstream organizations realize we're a valuable part of the community, and we work increasingly well together.
Did you support President Bush in 2000?
I still support him. I certainly have reservations. I don't see how you can be a gay man, a gay Republican, and not have reservations. My biggest reservation is his support of the Federal Marriage Amendment, even though it's a modified version that's not as harsh as the original one proposed. We are adamantly opposed to it; we're adamantly campaigning against it. It's in spite of his support of the marriage amendment that I will still support him.