• (Getty Images, Matthew Staver, BLOOMBERG)
For LGBTQIA+ Republicans, this US election is potentially a game changer.
Ben Winsor

19 Jul 2016 - 11:05 AM  UPDATED 26 Feb 2017 - 3:05 PM

At Twist Social Club, a gay bar in suburban Cleveland, a small group of Log Cabin Republicans gather for drinks the weekend before the Republican National Convention.

The Log Cabin Republicans - a group of gay Republicans across the country - was founded in the late '70s.

They wanted to go with ‘The Lincoln Club’ but the name was already taken, so they went with Log Cabin instead.

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Abraham Lincoln, founder of the Republican party and the first Republican president, was born in a Log Cabin in rural Illinois.

It wasn’t in Spielberg’s movie, but numerous historians have said they are pretty confident the president had male lovers.

For LGBT+ Republicans, Donald Trump represents a sharp turn in the party's sexual politics.

Gregory T. Angelo, the charismatic and energetic President of the Log Cabin Republicans, tells SBS that since the Supreme Court ruling legalising same-sex marriage nationally, conservative social issues are no longer front and centre in the Republican campaign.

“Most Republicans have moved on, most all, America has moved on,” he tells SBS.

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“A year ago, who would have thought the final two Republican candidates for president left standing would both have attended same-sex weddings – that was unthinkable a year ago, let alone a few years ago,” he says.

During the lengthy Republican nomination battle, it was revealed that both Donald Trump and John Kasich had attended same-sex weddings.

“Donald Trump is the most pro-LGBT republican candidate in history, ” says Garison Carrell, a 22-year-old Log Cabin Republican.

“Well, since Lincoln maybe."


But - perhaps as a result of political expediency - Donald Trump’s current positions are mixed.

Mr Trump has said that he is opposed to the Supreme Court’s decision on gay marriage, stating that it should be up to individual states.

He’s said that evangelical voters can “trust [him]” on traditional marriage, a move likely aimed at reassuring the party’s conservative base.

But still, that hasn’t dampened the hopes of many. 

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“Those are things that he said, but he attended a gay wedding, he said Caitlyn Jenner could use whatever restroom she wants in Trump Tower,” Carrell says.

“If you’re a Republican, wherever you stand on Trump as our nominee, there’s no denying he’s a game changer for the LGBT community.”