Former Calif. State GOP Chair
Tom Del Beccaro.
PHOTO/Shane Bond

CAGOP CONVENTION | On his next to last day as chair of the California Republican Party, Tom Del Beccaro was wistful. When he spoke to the gay sliver of the party’s conservative coalition, the Log Cabin Republicans, he was downright tearful.

“What I see here are my friends,” Del Beccaro said before tears visibly ran down his cheeks. He paused numerous times to regain composure, but could not. “All of you allowed me to become who I am.”

The party’s wholesale rehabilitation will likely include raising its profile among minorities in the few years, but its small cadre of gay and lesbian conservatives still live in the shadows of a national political ideology that routinely demonizes its struggle for equality. However, the group had an ally in Del Beccaro.

“We believe in a lot of the same things,” he told the Log Cabin Republican caucus before they gave him a standing ovation. “Sometimes Republicans disagree, but you have given me a lot of agreement,” Del Beccaro said. “I believe in what you are doing.”