Conservative activist gay groups like the Log Cabin Republicans have certainly had an issue with presumptive nominee Mitt Romney when it comes to the issue of same-sex marriage, as the former Massachusetts Governor is not only solidly against gay marriage, but against civil unions for same sex partners as well.
As a matter of fact, the group has yet to endorse Romney. But Clarke Cooper, Executive Director for the D.C. based national group, insists that's just "protocol."
"Historically we have not done anything with endorsements until after the convention," Cooper added.
[CLARIFICATION: Cooper called CL back after this post went up, clarifying that he meant that their national board will convene at some point after the convention and decide whether or not to make an endorsement of Romney. He said the board could very well decide not to, as there is considerable debate within the gay community about the candidate. There is precedent for the Log Cabin Republicans not to endorse - they did not do so in George W. Bush's bid for re-election in 2004, the same year when bans on same-sex marriage were up for a vote in 11 states.]
Last month another LGBT friendly Republican group, GOProud, created a bit of split in the conservative gay community when they endorsed Romney.
Cooper says it's no secret that there is a fissure with gay Republicans and Romney when it comes to the issue of same-sex marriage. "He knows where we are, we talked about that in February," he says.
The conservative Family Action Council recently sent out alerts to their members fearing that the plank in the GOP platform regarding marriage as being between a man and a woman could be watered down in Tampa. Clark Cooper with the Log Cabin Republicans says it's not a paranoid fantasy for that group to feel that way, as he says it's a conservative tenet to to believe that the federal government shouldn't have a role in deciding what marriage should be defined as. That's why his group is also pushing to repeal DOMA, and says other classic conservatives can agree that it should be an issue for the states to decide, not Washington.
In recent years the author of the House version of the Defense of Marriage Act, former Georgia Republican Bob Barr, has come out forcefully against that legislation.
"It's not so much replacing DOMA in the platform as it's about striking it (down)," Cooper says.
But he also says that if you look at polling, same-sex marriage is not going to be that big of an issue for voters in deciding to vote for Romney or Barack Obama at the polls this fall. Cooper believes the issue of same-sex marriage will be decided by ballot issues in the states as well as court cases, not by the next president of the U.S.
"We're going to be present in Tampa making our case for striking language that would be perceived as being anti-gay. And I know we've had some success with that at the state level, which is why I think more and more conservatives just look at it and say, 'this shouldn't be in the platform.' So there's certainly a conservative case to be made for taking it out of our platform."