The Republican National Committee announced its first ever "RNC Pride Coalition" over the weekend, partnering with the Log Cabin Republicans to invest and mobilize LGBTQ communities ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.
The announcement came during the Log Cabin Republicans' "Spirit of Lincoln Gala," which took place Saturday night at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, and attracted a high-profile group of attendees, including former President Trump and former first lady Melania Trump, who was the event’s guest of honor, and other prominent Republicans, including former acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell.
RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, who was given the "Majority Maker" award, said the RNC is "committed" to working with the Log Cabin Republicans — the country’s largest Republican organization dedicated to representing LGBTQ conservatives and allies — calling the organization "a partner to fight for our country’s future."
"Conservatives in Log Cabin don’t just share our vision for a free, secure and prosperous America — they enrich it by adding unique perspectives to our party and recruiting even more diverse candidates and supporters to join our cause," McDaniel said.
"The RNC is launching our first-ever RNC Pride Coalition," she continued, adding that RNC Pride will "work alongside our other coalition groups to invest in communities and mobilize support for the upcoming midterms."
President of Log Cabin Republicans Charles Moran said the organization was involved in both the Virginia and New Jersey governor's races last week, and plans to "play an even bigger role on the ground in the midterm elections next year helping Republicans win back the House and Senate."
"When LGBT conservatives are included in Republican campaigns, we win," Moran told Fox News.
Grenell, who was the first openly gay U.S. Cabinet official in history, reflected on the evolution of the Republican Party, calling the progress "phenomenal."
"In 1992, I was working on the Bush-Quayle re-election campaign on national staff, and I sat and listened to Pat Buchanan speak at the Houston Republican Convention," Grenell told Fox News. "He outlined a strategy where gay people were not welcomed in the Republican Party."
"I can remember sitting there, listening, and vowing to not allow that to stand," Grenell continued. "Because I knew, as a consistent conservative, that to embrace people who wanted limited government, and limited government involvement in their lives, and more personal responsibility, was the conservative principle, and that he was wrong."
"Now, 29 years later, we were at an event where the former president of the United States and first lady are welcoming us, and hosting 600 influential gays, lesbians and their straight allies," Grenell said. "It is phenomenal for me to look back and see this and to champion an organization like Log Cabin."
Grenell was given the "Game Changer Award" at the event, honoring his role in efforts to end the criminalization of homosexuality internationally to protect the lives of LGBT individuals around the globe.
Last week, the Log Cabin Republicans announced the launch of its "Outspoken Middle East" platform, with translations of their material in Farsi and Arabic, along with a "team of LGBTQ+ citizen journalists in Tehran, Kabul, Beirut and around the region and the world to tell human stories about the realities of being gay in parts of the world that liberals and corporations have left behind."
"Gay conservatives in America are going to concentrate on Riyadh, Tehran and Ramallah, while the gay left continues to try to pretend that partisan politics is helping them," Grenell said. "What the gay left has done is really delay the acceptance that we see today."
"They don’t want there to be equality in America, they want it to be a partisan issue," he continued. "Gay conservatives have had enough --we live in the greatest country for gay people."
But Grenell said that "the gay left doesn't want the Republican Party to evolve," saying that he anticipates the left will "continue to say" that they are out of touch.
"But the thing about gay conservatives is that we have normal lives," Grenell said. "We’re not going to make sexual orientation be the be all, end all center of everything that we do."
He added: "I want to make sure people are hired for being competent -- not because of who they sleep with."
Meanwhile, the Log Cabin Republicans honored the former first lady, celebrating her "commitment to enhancing personal freedom, encouraging individual responsibility, and ensuring equity for all Americans."
"I have always strived to ensure my work highlights and promotes our nation’s cherished principles of individual liberty and equality," Melania Trump told Fox News. "Log Cabin Republicans’ leadership has done a wonderful job inspiring unity and promoting tolerance and inclusion for all."
She added: "I am proud to support the people and organizations who implement these values of kindness in their community and around the world."