Gay Republicans firm up convention plans

WIG

UPDATE: Convention officials announced early evening Aug. 25 that the convention would convene on Aug. 27 but immediately recess to Aug. 28 due to severe weather forecasted with Tropical Storm Isaac.

Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus issued a statement: “Due to the severe weather reports for the Tampa Bay area, the Republican National Convention will convene on Monday, Aug. 27 and immediately recess until Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 28. After consulting with Gov. Scott, NOAA and local emergency management officials, we are optimistic that we will begin an exciting, robust convention that will nominate the Romney-Ryan ticket.”

TAMPA — A crew of gay Republicans is making final preparations for the Republican National Committee’s welcome party on Aug. 26, as well as a series of Log Cabin Republicans events.

The convention officially begins at the forum in downtown Tampa on Aug. 27. By early Aug. 25, some streets in downtown Tampa were closed to traffic, government buildings were fenced off or barricaded and groups of state troopers were patrolling the area on foot, by bicycle and in cars.

Delegates were checking into host hotels and reporters and photographers – from lone bloggers and alternative press writers to cable news armies – were picking up their credentials.

And leaders with LCR, the largest LGBT Republican group, were in town, making final credential arrangements for supporters and preparing for a series of events, including:

• Holding a meet-and greet with gay delegates on Aug. 26 at the Rusty Pelican in Tampa.

• Holding a Republicans Out to Win party with the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and former U.S. Rep. Jim Kolbe on Aug. 27 at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay, 2900 Bayport Drive, Tampa;

• Hosting a Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry brunch with the Freedom to Marry organization on Aug. 29 at Holland & Knight, 100 N. Tampa St., Tampa;

• Celebrating Congressional Allies in support of the LCR PAC on Aug. 30 at 108 S. Morgan St., Tampa.

Log Cabin also was working on a tally of LGBT delegates and alternates attending the convention, which concludes with Romney’s acceptance speech on Aug. 30.

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