Gays in California GOP see hopeful signs

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Gay Republicans in California are sensing a thawing in the attitudes of the state's GOP membership toward gays and lesbians as the party seeks ways to reach new voters.

One gay party stalwart even believes the GOP in California is on the cusp of full acceptance of people the party shunned as recently as a few years ago.

At the party's spring convention in Sacramento last weekend, nine Republican candidates for party offices or in upcoming statewide and local elections spoke at the board meeting of the California Log Cabin Republicans, a gay and lesbian political group. It was the most visits that Log Cabin members could recall at any of the group's gatherings.

The Log Cabin members sense a groundswell in tolerance for gays and lesbians, though not necessarily a sea change in favor of same-sex marriage or other major gay rights issues.

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