One Equal World

Ronald Reagan, ‘Friend of the Gay Community,’ Honored on Birthday

Posted on: February 21, 2014

Ronald Reagan stamp

Ronald Reagan was considered by many to be a friend to the gay community.
Olga Popova /

When most people think of former president Ronald Reagan, “ally” and “friend of the gay community” are probably the last things that might come to mind, if at all. Surprisingly however, Reagan is actually considered to be one of the few Republican leaders to have been tolerant and understanding of the LGBT community during his presidency. Many even regard him as a “conservative icon” among marginalized communities.

February 6th, 2014 would have been Reagan’s 103rd birthday, and to honor his legacy the Liberty Education Forum (LEF) created a video that featured Reagan’s farewell speech overlaid on a pro-LGBT video. LEF is the nonpartisan branch of the Log Cabin Republicans, the nation’s largest Republican organization dedicated to representing gay and lesbian conservatives and allies. Log Cabin Republicans has been instrumental in debunking the assumption that conservative Republicans – think Ken Mehlman, Ted Olsen, Paul Singer, and of course Ronald Reagan – aren’t for LGBT rights.

Of commemorating Reagan on his birthday earlier this month, Gregory T. Angelo, Executive Director of LEF explains, “I can think of no better ambassador to take our mission of fostering gay acceptance to conservatives and people of faith across the United States than President Reagan, and I can think of no better date to make a historic stand for equality than the anniversary of his birth.” Associating such an iconic figure with equal rights, and LGBT rights in particular is a very strategic move on the part of the Log Cabin Republicans.

Republicans Against 8 campaign manager Scott Schmidt agrees, explaining, “Ronald Reagan is a conservative icon because of his efforts to spread freedom around the globe. Conservatives need to remember that Ronald Reagan was opposed to taking away people’s rights,” of the ways in which Reagan was more accepting than his legacy suggests.

Click here to watch LEF’s “What It Means To Be An American” video.  


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