One Equal World

5 Prominent Gay Republicans

Posted on: November 22, 2012

LGBT rights aren’t something most Republicans are known for advocating. But as time goes on, we’re beginning to see many more openly gay politicians, and some of them are prominent members of the Republican party. They hold political sway and may be the best people to advocate for the LGBT movement within the Republican Party.


Ken Mehlman came out in 2010. He was President George W. Bush’s campaign chair in 2004 and Chairman of the RNC from 2005 until 2007. Since coming out, Mehlman has been extremely active in LGBT rights campaigns.


Fred Karger has worked on campaigns for Ronald Regan, George H.W. Bush, and Gerald Ford. He was a presidential candidate in the 2012 election, but withdrew his candidacy on June 29, 2102.


R. Clarke Cooper is the executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans, which was founded in 1977. He has been the executive director of the organization since 2010. A U.S. Army Reserve member, Cooper has served in a number of diplomatic positions, including ones in Baghdad and for the United Nations.


Zachary Wyatt is a member of Missouri’s House of Representatives and came out while opposing Missouri’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which would prevent teachers from discussing sexual orientation in schools. He recently announced that he was accepted into the University of Hawaii’s marine biology program, which he will attend after turnover of his office in January 2013.


Richard Tafel was formerly the executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans. He is also the author of Party Crasher: A Gay Republican Challenges Politics as Usual, a political manifesto infused with his own memoirs of being an openly gay Republican.


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