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Gay Republicans to rally in Dallas

DALLAS, Aug. 14 -- Gay and lesbian Republicans are gathering in Dallas for their annual convention to plan a response to the cold shoulder given them by their own party. At the weekend meeting, which begins today, the Log Cabin Republicans will honor gay rights supporters and denounce what they say is control of the GOP by the extreme religious right.

The 200-plus Log Cabin members will see a supportive 14-minute video paid for by heterosexual GOP donor Trammell S. Crow Jr., son of real estate tycoon Trammell Crow Sr. The younger Crow donated $60,000 to pay for most of the meeting, which is being held at the Fairmont Hotel in downtown Dallas. The group will honor Dallas City Councilman John Loza and conservative columnist Arianna Huffington, who has urged the GOP to focus on other issues beside its anti-gay stance. Log Cabin national executive director Rich Tafel says the GOP has been taken over by the extreme religious right and uses gay-bashing as part of a 'fundamental Christian litmus test for membership' in the Republican party. But Gary Bauer, who heads the conservative Family Research Council, defends the GOP stance on gays. Bauer says that so-called gay-bashing is nothing more than defense of pro-family values in response to an aggressive decade-long attempt by the gay-rights movement to forge an acceptance of the gay lifestyle in American culture. ---

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