With expectations that as many as 30,000 athletes and fans would attend the 2014 Gay Games 9 held in Cleveland and Akron, The Republican Party of Cuyahoga County seized on the chance to reach out to the LBGT community, a population that has yet to find a comfortable seat in the GOP’s so-called “Big Tent” party despite its dynamic growth as an important electorate.
At its booth in the Gay Games’ Festival Village, local Republicans personally welcomed participants to Cleveland and talked to them about their new campaign to reach the LGBT community with the conservative message of limited government, according to a media email announcing the outreach plan.
“Cuyahoga Republicans are thrilled to welcome the 20,000 to 30,000 LGBT athletes and fans of the 9th Gay Games to our great city,” said Rob Frost, the Chairman of the Republican Party of Cuyahoga County [RPCC], in prepared remarks. “We believe in a Big Tent Republican Party, where our membership reflects the diversity of America. We realize many members of the LGBT community may not have experienced a welcoming Republican Party in the past, but Cuyahoga County Republicans are committed to engaging everyone on the principles of a smaller government based on personal responsibility.”
According to the Human Rights Campaign, nearly 8,000 athletes from over 65 countries gathered in Cleveland and Akron to participate in nearly 40 sporting events from cycling and rowing, to ice hockey and bodybuilding.
County Republicans handed out free, 24-ounce red plastic water bottles to visitors—made BPA-free in the United States with 100 percent recyclable plastic. The containers had the word “Refreshing” written underneath “The Republican Party of Cuyahoga County welcomes you to the Gay Games in Cleveland!”
Other than the free container, the Cuyahoga Republican Party had nothing in the way of tangible administrative or legislative programs or initiatives to show as proof they really want to court the growing LBGT community by delivering on advances they want to see. Whether it’s at the state or local level, from Gov. John Kasich—who has shown himself over the course of his decades as an elected public official to be no fan of the LGBT community or gay marriage—to the RPCC or the Ohio Republican Party, searching for any proof the GOP is really out to deliver to the LBGT community on key issues produces zero results.
When asked by the OhioNewsBureau for any evidence of when or how Ohio Republicans advanced the causes of concern for the LBGT community, Doug Magill of Magill Media, under whose name the RPCC’s upbeat outreach email was sent out Sunday, failed to return a response.
Wonder why? Maybe it’s because, other than red plastic water bottles, Ohio Republicans from Gov. Kasich on down to local Republican groups have nothing to offer this growing, dynamic population of Americans.
No bills, no resolutions, no executive orders, no important budgeting exists to show those in and traveling to Cleveland and Akron to attend GG9 that there’s a “refreshing” seat for them in the Big Tent party Republicans like to think they are. Nothing.
A federal appeals court is currently presiding over a marriage equality case in Ohio.