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LGBT and conservative? You’re not alone

Growing up in a conservative suburb, I used to dread the thought of what my community would think if they knew I was secretly gay. Listening to the media, Hollywood, and other gay influencers, I was led to believe that conservatives held homophobic and bigoted attitudes towards LGBT people.   

Cale Ottens

It turns out I was wrong. Today, I am proud to call myself gay. But I am also proud to call myself a Republican, and have been overwhelmingly welcomed by the community that I was once convinced by my liberal peers that I should fear. If you’re an LGBT American secretly harboring conservative views, or questioning the liberal talking points that we are expected as a community to believe but unsure if the Republican Party can be a home for you, let me assure you that it can be. 

I’ve always been gay, but I haven’t always been a Republican. I became one after moving to Los Angeles in 2013 and witnessing the dysfunction of the homeless crisis and cost of living brought on by one-party Democratic governance. I quickly became a conservative, and soon discovered an organization for people like me.  

Now, as the president of the quickly-growing Phoenix chapter of the Log Cabin Republicans, I am pleased to report not only that the number of outspoken conservative LGBT Americans is growing, but that the Republican Party has enthusiastically welcomed us into the tent.  

Don’t believe me? Look no further than the video that the chairwoman of the Arizona Republican Party, Dr. Kelli Ward, released in June celebrating LGBT Pride Month, something that may have seemed unthinkable just a few years ago. Our Phoenix chapter, and our neighbor chapter in Tucson, regularly host fun events for our members with elected Arizona Republicans.  

This new embrace of LGBT conservatives as a part of the GOP isn’t just prevalent locally here in Arizona, but it exists across the country – all the way to the top of the Republican Party, thanks to former President Donald Trump. President Trump’s public embrace of his LGBT supporters was unprecedented in our party’s history. He was the first president in U.S. history to accept same-sex marriage from the first day of his administration. He was the first president to appoint an openly gay person, Ambassador Richard Grenell, to a Cabinet-level position. 

First Lady Melania Trump, in her own right, championed anti-bullying initiatives important to LGBT Americans and even appeared in a campaign video for the Log Cabin Republicans in the closing days of the 2020 race, a game-changing signal to LGBT conservatives that we are welcome members of the GOP. In fact, a group of our members are travelling from Phoenix to Florida next month to attend this year’s Log Cabin Republicans Spirit of Lincoln Gala at Mar-a-Lago, where the First Lady is being honored with our organization’s Spirit of Lincoln Award for her commitment to principles important to our community. 

I encourage all LGBT voters to look at what the Democrat Party has become and ask yourselves: “Does this party truly represent my values?” If the answer is no, don’t feel alone  the Republican Party has room for you. As Log Cabin Republicans, we believe in limited government, strong national defense, free markets, low taxes, personal responsibility, and individual liberty. We believe all Americans have the right to liberty and equality. If the Democrats’ increasingly leftist agenda no longer represents you, come to one of our events. Meet our members. You’ll see for yourself that the GOP can truly be a place for you to call your political home. 

Cale Ottens is chairman of Arizona Log Cabin Republicans and president of Log Cabin Republicans of Phoenix.  



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