[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/02/art.logcabin.cnn.jpg caption="Log Cabin Republican member David Valkema, a director of a fine arts foundation in Chicago Illinois."]ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) – A group of gay and lesbian Republicans Tuesday endorsed Sen. John McCain, saying his “inclusive” philosophy is exactly the direction the GOP needs to win in the future.
The Log Cabin Republicans endorsed McCain at an event in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota, despite his opposition to same-sex marriage.
“He’s a very inclusive Republican, a different type of Republican,” Patrick Sammon, president of the Log Cabin Republicans, said “At the same time we have honest disagreements on some issues.”
In making its endorsement, the group pointed to the Arizona senator’s opposition to a federal constitutional amendment that would have defined marriage as being a man and a woman. The amendment has strong support from social conservatives and would have reversed the decisions by Massachusetts, California and New Jersey to allow same-sex marriages.
“That took a lot courage for a senator from a red state to buck his own party,” Scott Tucker, the Log Cabin Republicans’ communications director, said.
While McCain personally opposes same-sex marriage, he voted against the amendment because he believes the issues should be left to the states.
“John McCain stood up for us… and I want to stand up for John McCain,” said David Valkema, a director of a fine arts foundation in Chicago Illinois. “He doesn’t care about my sexuality. He cares that I am an American.”
“He’s teachable,” Valkema added.
Noting that the Arizona Republican has had a long-standing relationship with the Log Cabin Republicans, Tucker said the party should embrace McCain’s inclusive style of politics – and open itself to the possibility of same-sex marriage – if it wants to return to its winning ways.
“Clearly the tide is turning.” Tucker said, noting public opinion polls that a majority of Americans support same-sex marriages or civil unions. “It’s important for the Republican Party to be inclusive on this issue because we are risk of being on the wrong side of history.”