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Young Conservatives, Log Cabin Republicans call for freedom to marry in full-page ad in Tampa

TAMPA, Fla. -- With the Republican National Convention in full swing, Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry and Log Cabin Republicans will be running an ad in Wednesday's Tampa Tribune calling on the GOP to support the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian couples.

The full-page color ad, featuring photos of same-sex couples and their families, emphasizes that the freedom to marry is fully consistent with principles valued by conservatives: freedom, personal responsibility and the importance of family. The ad comes in the wake of the party's extreme stance on marriage in its draft platform, which includes support for a federal constitutional amendment banning the freedom to marry for same-sex couples.

Tony Perkins, the president of the anti-gay Family Research Council, authored the marriage plank, which is expected to be ratified at the convention.

"Gay or straight, Republicans are united in the belief that strong families are critical to a free society," said R. Clarke Cooper, executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans. "As fellow conservatives, Log Cabin Republicans actually agree with Tony Perkins about the importance of family values. The difference is, we believe that the freedom to marry is directly in line with the core ideals and principles of the Republican Party -- less government, more individual freedom, personal responsibility and the importance of family."

"The writing is on the wall for the Republican Party: Stand up for the values they say they believe in, or risk being seen as irrelevant with younger conservatives," said Sarah Longwell, vice president at Berman and Company, and a member of the Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry leadership committee. "This is a party that should support freedom -- for all people, and all families."

The ad reads:

"The Institution of marriage is the foundation of civil society. Its success as an institution will determine our success as a nation."
Tony Perkins, Family Research Council, GOP Platform

We agree. That's why Log Cabin Republicans and Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry believe that government should stop denying marriage licenses to committed gay and lesbian families. As conservatives, we believe that the freedom to marry is directly in line with the core ideals and principles of the Republican Party.

Family values means valuing ALL families.

Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry is hosting a complimentary brunch at the convention today, in partnership with Log Cabin Republicans. The program will be moderated by Margaret Hoover, a political strategist and CNN contributor who also is a member of the Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry leadership committee. Andrew Langer, the president of the Institute for Liberty, will also speak.