The Illinois affiliate of the Log Cabin Republicans ( LCR ) has been "reactivated," according to Chcagoan Morry Matson, who announced April 10 that he had been elected as the state president.
The Illinois chapter "has been dormant the past few years," Matson said. "It hasn't been active. We have restarted and are back in business."
Matson said that about 50 people are involved with the chapter: "It's got down, so we want to boost membership and are rebuilding right now."
Getting "as many Republicans elected as we can" elected is a top priority, Matson added. "But this year is strictly a membership drive for us. Next year, we want to start on opening new chapters across the state. … We want to remind Gov. [Bruce] Rauner that we still need to work on workplace discrimination. It's still a problem in Illinois. Adoption, health costs, health insurance, keeping the cost of pills downthat's important in the gay community."
He further emphasized that the organization worked on issues statewide, not just in Chicago.
Matson said President Donald Trump has not repealed marriage equality. However, Trump has appointed many conservative federal judges, including to the U.S. Supreme Court, and they could overturn progress on LGBT issues, including marriage. In addition, many of Trump's cabinet-level leaders have rolled back progress on LGBT issues within their domains.
Matson said LCR "does not agree with [Trump's] transgender [persons]-in-the-military policy. We want to work with him on that. There are things that we want to bring to his attention, and Gov. Rauner's as well. Like most presidents, you don't agree with them 100 percent on everythingthat's why we're here. We want our voices heard and we're a very active part of the Republican Party. The Democrats don't have the monopoly on the gay community. There are conservative gay people and we're fighting just like other gay organizations are."
He added that he would praise Trump for "many things" he's done so far: "Certainly the help with taxesthat certainly helped our household. A lot of the gay people on our board are married and some are raising kids. That affects them personally. Also, he is trying to work on lowering the costs of medications."
Matson reiterated that Trump is "not touching marriage equality. He knows it would offend a great many of the people who support him."
LCR plans on having tables at local events throughout the summer and fall, he added. "We're no longer the secret society anymorewe're going to be very open and visible."