Log Cabin Republicans members across the country are eagerly looking forward to the first debate of the 2016 GOP Republican presidential primary Thursday night in Cleveland, Ohio. Here are some things to watch for:
1. Federal Marriage Amendment: Now that civil marriage equality is the law of the land, which candidates recognize that pursuit of a constitutional amendment banning same-sex unions is not only impractical, but bad politics?
2. Religious Liberty: Do candidates support reasonable religious accommodations for ministers and non-profit organizations, or do they support unnecessarily broad and dangerous religious accommodations that include for-profit businesses able to refuse service for any "sincerely held belief"?
3. Republican Party Platform: Which GOP candidates comprehend that anti-gay language in the Party Platform alienates voters - both within the Party and in the general election?
4. Non-Discrimination: Which candidates support non-discrimination legislation for LGBT Americans?
5. Big Tent: If talk of an "inclusive" GOP comes up, do candidates include "LGBT Americans" in addition to mentions of race, sex, religion, and age?
6. Transgender Americans: This week's debate comes in the wake of the latest episode of the Caitlyn Jenner reality show "I Am Cait" in which Jenner discusses her support of conservative principles. If the transgender issue is brought up, do candidates respond with respect and sympathy?
7. National Security: Are candidates aware of the brutal murders committed against gay men and men merely suspected of being gay by the Islamic extremists of ISIS? And the so-called "gay propaganda" laws in Russia that have created an army of anti-gay vigilante crusaders in the country?
Log Cabin Republicans National Executive Director Gregory T. Angelo will be attending the debate at the invitation of the Cuyahoga County GOP - the Republican Party affiliate representing Cleveland, Ohio and the host county of the 2016 Republican National Convention. Log Cabin Republicans previously partnered with the Cuyahoga County GOP in 2014 as co-sponsors of The Gay Games, marking the first time an official affiliate of the Republican Party participated in the event.
Log Cabin Republicans is the nation's largest Republican organization representing LGBT conservatives and allies. The more than 30-year old organization has state and local chapters nationwide, a full-time office in Washington, D.C., a federal political action committee and state political action committees.