Log Cabin New York & Gay Marriage

On April 21st, Log Cabin Legislation Direction, Jeff Cook is quoted in The Advocate. The New York GOP is going to “allow” members to vote their conscience on the Gay Marriage Equality issue and not force a caucus vote.  BRAVO! One step closer…

Meeting with PFLAG Palatine

Lois Strzyzewski of PFLAG Palatine invited Log Cabin to speak at their April Meeting. It’s always a pleasure to reach out to other GLBT organizations. I presented to the group what Log Cabin is doing to advance the cause of equality for the GLBT community, covering the topics of DADT, Prop 8, HB 2234, etc. I promoted the idea that Log Cabin helps further GLBT friendly legislation by approaching the issues from a different perspective, that we try to look for the conservative or business friendly reason for advancing equality not just the promotion of rights for a historically disadvantaged group.

PFLAG recently hosted their “Stand up for Equality” fundraiser, and they were very grateful for our financial contribution towards the event. Log Cabin Illinois purchased a half page ad.

There was a spirited discussion on how mainstream GLBT organizations have failed the gender identity community (aka “T’s”). I have to say that I was unprepared to address the “T issue” in any real depth. It’s just not one of the issues that comes up in the course of daily business at Log Cabin Illinois. The group was very curious about how Log Cabin approaches legislation that effects the T Community, and I really had nothing to say on the issue except that, advancing the cause of equality seems quite disingenuous if we as a community continue to make short term political sacrifices by continously distancing ourselves from the less visible participants of our movement.

2009 Convention

We had several members serving as delegates to the 2009 National Convention, myself, Gregg Katz, Mark Stevens and Pete Kingma. Highlights included some great speeches from Steve Schmidt, Christy Todd Whitman and Meghan McCain.

Last year I live blogged the event, this year, not so much.  I’ll pass along more info as I get time…

Michael Steele is Reasonable

Michael Steele Is Not Anti-Gay

Michael Steele Is Not Anti-Gay

I can’t say that I’m Mr. Steele’s biggest fan. He flies off the cuff, his language is either casual or forcibly “chill.” He’s made a few statements that allowed the liberal media to paint him as yet another anti-gay leader of the GOP.

In an interview with GQ, Steele comes out yet again against gay marriage. Steele says, “… I believe that marriage—that institution, the sanctity of it—is reserved for a man and a woman.” Sure, he’s going to draw criticism for that sort of hard-line position. However, when you contextualize his quote, it’s not anti-gay at all. He’s for some sort of equality that those in a marriage enjoy, he understands that homosexuality isn’t a choice and best of all he believes that the marriage issue should be addressed by the states in accordance with the tradition that states are the ” best laboratory, the best place for those decisions to be made.”  And that sounds pretty reasonable to me.

Renew your Membership, or Join Us!

On behalf of Log Cabin Illinois we’d like to thank you for your past support!

I’d like to invite you to renew your membership for 2009. We have a number of initiatives that are simply not possible without the generous support of your membership.

Your contribution supports:

  • State Charter Dues to Log Cabin national
  • Pride Parade Float
  • Market Days Booth
  • College Outreach Programs
  • Candidate Lobbying
  • Event sponsorship in the GLBT and GOP communities
  • During 2009 we will be focusing on strengthening our membership network. Increasing our membership involvement gives LCR a louder voice within the GOP and makes us a more effective player in our fight for GLBT equality. We are revamping our marketing program and improving our networks within both the GOP and GLBT communities, all geared to expanding our reach and improving our visibility in Illinois. Without the financial support of our membership, LCR cannot effectuate change within Illinois.

  • If you were born before the Reagan administration (1982) your annual dues are $100, $150 for couples.
  • If you were born during or after the Reagan administration your annual dues are $50.
  • If you are a student, you receive a $25 discount.
  • You can renew either via mail (check) or credit card by visiting www.logcabinillinois.org.
    Please make checks payable to:

    Log Cabin Republicans – Illinois
    3712 N Broadway #136
    Chicago, Illinois 60613

    Note: You may have joined Log Cabin at the national level, and while we appreciate your support for national, our efforts are financed directly by our local membership.

    If you have already renewed for 2009 please disregard this request, and we thank you for your contribution!

    On Behalf of Log Cabin Republicans – Illinois,
    Michael Carr
    President

    Mayor Ron Kirk Runs Afowl of Tax Laws

    According to today’s Wall Street Journal (March 3rd 2009), Mayor Kirk has agreed to pay nearly $10,000 in back taxes, in an attempt to clear up tax related issues. WHAT?

    Part of me wants to jump on the bandwagon and deride President Obama who ran on a platform of “change,” honesty, and transparency, for nominating  4 people to posts who were guilty (or heavily suspected) of tax infractions.

    But I paused and in the spirit of hope and change, optimism and warm fuzzy feelings, I choose to look at this issue differently. Assuming that Mayor Kirk is a good guy, what really is the problem here?  According the the WSJ, Mr. Kirk had speaking fees (honoraria) donated to his alma mater for a scholarship fund.  That seems nice enough, right? Mr. Kirk and his PAID TAX PREPARER thought that since the money was sent directly to Austin College, that he wasn’t responsible for tax liabilities.  Well, it turns out that the IRS isn’t as logical and since his income was high enough to LIMIT charitable giving, he owed on the contributions.

    So in this case a few odd things:

    1. There is a limit to how much charitble giving you can have, and this is based on your income
    2. The tax law is so complicated that a tax expert and a mayor (who happens to also be a lawyer) didn’t understand this part of the tax code.

    Our government seeks to punish the generous, that seems ridiculous.  In this time of “fiscal crisis,” the President is calling for us to sacrifice and abandon “old-style” politics, so that he can pass massive partisan spending bills. Maybe we should also abandon “old-style”  tax collection, administration and codification. That’d be change I can believe in.

    What hope does this give to the rest of us who attempt to do our own taxes? If Mayor Kirk has run afowl of tax issues and his tax preparer have run afowl of tax issues, might we all be guilty of failing to comply with tax law? Well, i’m thinking that if we’re all probably guilty of failing to pay taxes, then we should save ourselves the hassel of paying taxes at all. Wait, until you’re nomincated to serve in public office, the the opposing party will hire a forensic accountant to determine that you are a tax criminal. At least then you’ll rightfully be one.

    I’m not advocating that you consciously and systematically avoid paying taxes. However, with a tax code as complicated as ours, it’s quite likely that you are already some level of tax criminal. Ignorance of the law is no excuse, so maybe it is incumbent upon us to higher the best tax advisers to assure we’re following the letter and spirit of the law. But isn’t that too high a compliance burden? Yes it is.

    When your elected officials, your chief executive, create a set of laws that we are all doomed to fail within in, we have a problem. This tax code insures that if we fail to comply with orders, the prosecution can pursue some sort of tax indictment, (or keep you from a cabinet post) and bully you into compliance (or resignation) by accusing you of tax avoidance.  We’re all guilty of tax fraud, it’s just a matter of time or a matter of convenience. How Al Capone of us!

    Log Cabin Illinois Pride Float

    Ok, the float is booked, our reservation has been mailed, now the hard part….execution.

    The general parade theme this year is, “Live, Love, Be.” or alternatively, “Live, Love, Be Proud.”

    A number of members have suggested we take a more lighthearted approach this year. And I think the theme of “Live, Love, Be” is a pretty good general theme under which we can organize.  We fight for inclusiveness within the GOP, maybe this year we can promote inclusiveness within the GLBT community. We can do this by promoting the idea that LCR is comprised of just as colorfull characters as the rest of the GLBT community, we just vote Republican. A fact which might make us even more colorful!

    Think “We are family” too…

    So, we need volunteers to shed their button downs and khakis in favor of: short-shorts, leather, feather boas, Indian head dresses, sailor uniforms, etc. We’re defining a list of “traditional” gay characters, and we need help casting! So if you’re interested in marching with Log Cabin this year, please send me an email mjcarrjr@gmail.com to learn more about how you can help!