Position papers, correspondence, financial
reports, planning papers, press releases and other materials relating to
Concerned Americans for Individual Rights (CAIR), an organization of moderate
to conservative gay and lesbian members of the Republican party formed by Bruce
Decker to work to change the negative image of the GLBT community within the
party and to counter the rising influence of the Religious Right. The materials
date from the foundation of the organization in the spring of 1984 until the
spring of 1985.
Concerned Americans for Individual Rights (CAIR) was formed in the
spring of 1984 by Bruce B. Decker (1950-1995), a gay Republican political
consultant who had served as an advance man for President Gerald R. Ford and
Vice President Nelson A. Rockefeller. Decker intended CAIR to be a national
organization of moderate and conservative gays and lesbians whose goal was to
expand Republicans' awareness of GLBT issues and to counter the rising
influence of the religious right. The original Board of Directors consisted of
Decker, Robert Bauman, Leonard Matlovich and Bonnie McGinley, who succeeded
Decker as president in December 1984. Little is known about the activities of
the organization: a national convention was announced for April 5-7, in Dallas,
at which congressman Bill Green (R-NY) was to speak, but the extant records end
before the event was scheduled to be held. In January 1986, the organization
honored the two Log Cabin Clubs of Southern California (
Advocate, February 18, 1986, p. 26).
Christopher Hitchins states that the organization was "shipwrecked by the AIDS
crisis", although it continued to exist, at least on paper, as late as 1993 (
For the Sake of Argument, 1993, p. 53).
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