Gay Republican Fred Karger Fights for His Voice to be Heard In Presidential Forum

Bookmark and Share Although he isstill an undeclared candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, Fred Kargers aggressive exploratory committee has left no doubts about his serious consideration to enter the race. However; some are not so willing to accept his candidacy.

In Iowa, the Faith and Freedom Coalition , and one of its leaders, Steve Scheffler, is refusing to invite Karger to a March 7th forum of potential Republican candidates for President. The forum is widely viewed as one of the first, albeit unofficial, debates of the 2012 Republican presidential contest. For the record, Scheffler has stated that he will invite anyone who has expressed the “slightest interest” in the 2012 Republican nomination. But anyone apparently does not include Fred Karger.

Karger is an openly gay Republican and as such, Scheffler refuses to acknowledge Fred Karger as a legitimate candidate.

In light of these events, Fred Kargers exploratory committee has issued a press release (see below) announcing his plans to petition Steve Sheffler and the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition to allow Fred to participate in the March 7th forum.

The incident is an early sign of the problem that Kargers candidacy will create for Republicans if they try to shut him out. In the case of this forum, Steve Scheffler and the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition do have a right to deny Fred Karger a place on their stage. It is a private event. But in doing so, this Christian organization can not put itself forward as one that is providing an open forum for the free discussion of beliefs, opinions and ideas. It is clear that Scheffler only wants to here those opinions which he agrees with. That is fine for Scheffler and his coalition, but how long can the Republican Party accept denying Fred Karger a place at the table of debate? How long can they refuse to allow his views to be heard in the race for the Republican presidential nomination?

For his part, Karger has a campaign that will be many times harder than any of his potential opponents. Not only must he campaign hard to make his case, he musteven fight hard for the right to make his case. In addition to that, he must prove himself to be more than just the gay Republican in the race. He must break through stereotypes and prove that he is not a one issue candidate. He must also demonstrate that gays are respectful of differences of opinion and different beliefs, but ask for the same in return. Kargerthen needs to demonstrate to the Party of the right, that equality and the defense of rights is a cherished conservative value that should be a perfect fit for the Party of Lincoln.

And just as Karger has a lot of work to do, the Republican Party has a lot of tough questions to answer. First they must ask themselves if they wish to disenfranchise entire segments of society because of who they are? Then they must ask themselves how they can politically reconcile their catering to the extremes of the religious right, with their need to protect the constitutional rights of all people, including homosexuals? That is a debate that would be worth the Partys while to have now, rather than later, when they go head to head with President Obama.

It is also a debate that Fred Karger could help the Party get through. If they let him .

But it is up to the GOP to demonstrate that it is at least willing to have a family discussion about the issue during their candidate selection process. And while pondering that, the Party would be wise to remember that Fred Karger is not alone. In addition to simply being fellow Americans who are worthy of being heard, many gays are also Republicans.

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Karger’s petition reads as follows:

I am deeply disappointed to read that the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition has refused to invite potential presidential candidate Fred Karger to a planned March 2011 candidate forum in Waukee, Iowa. According to the Des Moines Register, you said that Karger can’t be considered a legitimate candidate.

That simply isn’t true. Karger has visited Iowa five times, has released a television commercial introducing himself to voters, has an official exploratory committee, and has met hundreds upon hundreds of Iowa voters. He is engaged in this campaign much more than some of the names on your invite list.

It sounds to me that the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition either doesn’t want to acknowledge Karger because he’s a gay Republican, or you’re afraid of his candidacy. But shouldn’t Iowa voters be the ones who decide whether or not Karger is a serious candidate?

I urge you to reconsider your decision to bar Karger from this event, and offer Karger an invite. If you think he’s the wrong Republican for the job, you should have the courage to confront him in a candidate forum, and allow Iowa voters to make up their own minds.

Thank you for your time.

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If you wish to help insure that all the issues are debated openly and honestly, below you will find a link to Karger’s petition for you to sign.

But in addition to that I also suggest that you take a moment to send the leadership of the Republican National Committee a message and tell them that they have a responsibility to make sure that Fred Karger and all voices in the Partyareheard and that all the issues should be open to discussion.

Email your message to

info@GOP.com

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