Bush Meets With Small Group of Carefully Selected Homosexuals

July 7, 2008 - 8:02 PM

(CNSNews.com) - Texas Governor George W Bush met for an hour Thursday with a dozen carefully selected homosexuals, some five months after rejecting a meeting with the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay activist group.

Those who attended the session were already announced supporters of the presumptive Republican nominee. No members of the Log Cabin Republicans attended, nor were any invited.

Following the session, the governor told reporters he was "a better person" for having held the session. "I enjoyed it," he said, announcing that he was a person who "welcomes gay Americans into my campaign."

However, Bush insisted the session changed none of his views on issues of concern to homosexuals, including the right to adopt, to serve as foster parents, or to marry.

Bush said a person who openly declares his or her homosexuality would not be disqualified from a position in his administration on that basis alone. "It's not a factor. What's important is, can the person do the job and do we share a philosophy," he said.

The session was organized by Charles Francis, the openly homosexual brother of a Bush supporter and confidant.

Among those attending the meeting was David Catania, a member of the Washington, D.C. City Council, who said the governor promised to have an on-going dialogue. "We went in with the hope and expectation that we would raise his consciousness on certain issues and we think we have done that."

Bush Meets With Small Group of Carefully Selected Homosexuals
(CNSNews.com) - Texas Governor George W Bush met for an hour Thursday with a dozen carefully selected homosexuals, some five months after rejecting a meeting with the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay activist group.

Those who attended the session were already announced supporters of the presumptive Republican nominee. No members of the Log Cabin Republicans attended, nor were any invited.

Following the session, the governor told reporters he was "a better person" for having held the session. "I enjoyed it," he said, announcing that he was a person who "welcomes gay Americans into my campaign."

However, Bush insisted the session changed none of his views on issues of concern to homosexuals, including the right to adopt, to serve as foster parents, or to marry.

Bush said a person who openly declares his or her homosexuality would not be disqualified from a position in his administration on that basis alone. "It's not a factor. What's important is, can the person do the job and do we share a philosophy," he said.

The session was organized by Charles Francis, the openly homosexual brother of a Bush supporter and confidant.

Among those attending the meeting was David Catania, a member of the Washington, D.C. City Council, who said the governor promised to have an on-going dialogue. "We went in with the hope and expectation that we would raise his consciousness on certain issues and we think we have done that."

The group also urged Bush to permit a discussion of AIDS at the GOP national convention in Philadelphia this summer, and the group also requested that the Party tone down the rhetoric surrounding gay issues.

Steve Gunderson, a member of the Wisconsin Legislature who also attended the session, insisted no demands were made of Bush. "The goal was not to change his mind. It was to start a conversation."

In holding the meeting, Bush runs the risk of alienating conservative supporters. However, a campaign spokesman said the Bush campaign discussed the session beforehand with several conservative leaders, who came away reassured that the governor would not change his mind on issues that matter to them.

"The Bush campaign...assured me that his positions would remain intact," said Michael Ferris, a spokesman for the Home School Legal Defense Association.

"It's not the meeting that's the problem. It's what he says," according to Janet Parcell, a spokesman for the Family Research Council, who spoke prior to the meeting.

In response to conservatives' concerns -- and at a press conference following the meeting -- Bush said, "I want Republicans, conservative Republicans, to understand that we judge people on their heart and soul, and while we disagree on gay marriage, for example, we agree on a lot of other issues and it's important for people to hear that...I'm mindful that we are all God's children."