Republican Unity Coalition

Jack Danforth Joins RUC Advisory Board

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2007

From the website of Republican Unity Coalition, June 10, 2006:

Jack Danforth Joins RUC Advisory Board

john-danforth.jpgSenator John C. Danforth has joined the Advisory Board of the Republican Unity Coalition, it was announced today by RUC co-chairs Charles Francis and Donald Capoccia. Senator Danforth will advise the RUC on its continuing efforts to support Republican candidates who reach out to all Americans, including gay and lesbian Republicans.

Charles Francis, RUC co-chair, said: “We are honored to have Jack Danforth join the RUC — a gay/straight Republican alliance — dedicated to strengthening a “Big Tent” for all Republicans. Jack Danforth’s life is his message: a life-long Republican conservative and dedicated public servant, an Episcopal Priest, the man who officiated at President Reagan’s memorial service — he is a living hero to Republicans who want the GOP to steer to a principled center. We are so proud to have him standing with us.

“Joining with other RUC Advisory Board members including President Gerald R. Ford, David Rockefeller and Honorary Board Chairman Alan K. Simpson, Jack Danforth will help the RUC reach out to GOP conservatives and libertarians whose bedrock principles include everyone,” Francis said.

Senator John Danforth is a partner with the international law firm Bryan Cave LLP in St. Louis. He retired from the United States Senate in 1995 after eighteen years of service. More recently, he served as United States Ambassador to the United Nations, after serving as President George W. Bush’s Special Envoy to Sudan in 2001. Ordained to the clergy of the Episcopal Church, Reverend Danforth officiated at the memorial service of President Ronald Reagan.

Gerald Ford’s Views on Homosexuality

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2007

Excerpted from Gay Admirer Thanks President Ford, by Deb Price, published Jan 2, 2006, by Detroit News:

gerald-ford.jpg…Pleasantly surprised by how comfortable Ford was talking about gay issues — not a trait I’ve found in many politicians — I asked whether the federal government ought to treat gay couples the same as married heterosexuals.

“I think they ought to be treated equally. Period,” Ford replied.

Trying to get a better sense of what he meant, I pressed on, asking whether he believed gay couples should receive the same Social Security, tax and other federal benefits?

“I don’t see why they shouldn’t. I think that’s a proper goal,” Ford replied.

He also told me that he supported a federal law to outlaw anti-gay job discrimination:

“That is a step in the right direction. I have a longstanding record in favor of legislation to do away with discrimination,” he said.

Amazed at finding myself chatting with the former president, I told him that my first vote ever was for him and he shared with me that he and his wife had gay friends.

Ford also said that he wanted gay Americans to be part of his party.

“I have always believed in an inclusive policy, in welcoming gays and others into the party. I think the party has to have an umbrella philosophy if it expects to win elections,” he said.

Not long after my column about our interview was published, the gay-friendly Republican Unity Coalition contacted Ford, and he agreed to join its advisory board, lending his name to its cause.

…Even in death, Ford, who was an Episcopalian, spread the message that gay people deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.

The Rev. Robert Certain, the priest at Ford’s Palm Desert, Calif., church, pointed out in his homily that when he and Ford had discussed plans for his funeral this past summer, the former president brought up his concern about the growing rift in the denomination over allowing gays and women to take leadership roles: “He said he did not think (such inclusive steps) should be divisive for anyone who lived by the Great Commandments and the Great Commission — to love God and to love neighbor.”

Continue reading on Detroit News…

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