Log Cabin Republicans present Heartland Hero Award

Indianapolis Republican City-County Councilman Scott Keller has been honored by the Log Cabin Republicans for his courageous work to pass the city’s Human Rights Ordinance last December. On Saturday, April 29, Keller received a Log Cabin Heartland Hero Award at the organization’s largest national dinner to date.

“Scott Keller is a courageous role model for other Republicans,” said Log Cabin President Patrick Guerriero. “He is an example to other GOP leaders who feel like they can’t support these kinds of basic protections for gay citizens. He has shown that you can.”

The Human Rights Ordinance, now on the books in Indianapolis and Marion County, bans discrimination in the workplace and housing market on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. After council members initially voted down the proposal in April 2005, Keller worked with a coalition of community, political and business groups in a coordinated campaign in favor of the proposal. Four council members switched their vote allowing it to pass 15-14.

“The Human Rights Ordinance was the right thing for the Republican Party and the citizens of Indianapolis and Marion County,” Keller says. “This law sends an important message that people shouldn’t face discrimination. It’s just not right and this city and county just won’t tolerate it.”

Not all Republicans see the Human Rights Ordinance in this manner, however. Former Republican gubernatorial candidate and Advance America President Eric Miller lobbied hard to defeat the ordinance, as did Micah Clark of the American Family Association of Indiana. Both men rallied opposition to the ordinance among conservative Christian groups by claiming it would lead to private groups, such as churches, being forced to hire homosexuals against their will.

Keller received several death threats after the HRO became law, but is not intimidated. “As a Republican and a certified firearms instructor, I believe in the Second Amendment. I have a .357 magnum. If they don’t get me on the first shot, they won’t have a chance to take a second shot.” Keller told hundreds of Log Cabin members at the national dinner that after the death threats, several police officers volunteered to guard his home.

The Log Cabin National Dinner also honored former U.N. Ambassador and U.S. Sen. John Danforth (R-Mo.). He made a strong case against the anti-family constitutional amendment being debated in Congress. Log Cabin also honored retiring Congressman Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.) at the dinner. The openly gay Republican is serving his 11th term in the House. He called on Log Cabin members to stand up for traditional GOP principles both at home and around the world.

Log Cabin Republicans is the nation’s largest organization of Republicans who support fairness, freedom and equality for gay and lesbian Americans. Log Cabin has state and local chapters nationwide, full-time offices in Washington, D.C., and Sacramento, Calif., and a federal political action committee.

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