Las Vegas Sun

November 27, 2015

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Nevada Republicans pass on chance to party with Republican gays and lesbians

TAMPA, Fla. — The Republican Party has had a long-running identity crisis about their relationship with the gay community. It played out in especially awkward fashion at Nevada’s delegation breakfast Tuesday morning.

In her morning announcements, Nevada RNC committeewoman Heidi Smith announced she had free tickets to HomoCon, the convention party thrown for Republican gays and lesbians, and asked who in the crowded breakfast ballroom wanted them.

You could have heard a pin drop.

“Any one?” Smith asked, looking around the room, as she gave more details about the affair – Tuesday night, until 2 a.m., free, fun?

Still crickets.

Finally someone spoke up.

“I’ll take ‘em,” called out Carl Bunce from the back of the room, getting up and making a broad stride up to the podium to grab a ticket. “Those guys know how to party.”

Vice-chair James Smack then also got up to ask for and claim a ticket.

But though the ice was broken, and though Smith had more tickets to offer, the requests stopped there.

One can’t assume that the lack of interest is a direct indicator of the Nevada delegation’s feelings about the gay community or their signature political issues, such as marriage rights. For instance, Cynthia Kennedy, a Nevada delegate who didn’t volunteer to party at HomoCon, make a point of speaking up in last week’s platform committee meetings in support of gay rights.

No word yet whether Smith has plans herself to take what passes she had left and party the night away.

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