Statement by Fred Karger
WASHINGTON, DC -- Today is a very significant day for my community and me. I have just submitted my papers to the Federal Election Commission, making me the first candidate to file for the 2012 Republican nomination for President.
I am also the first openly gay person, in a major political party, to ever run for President of the United States.
After spending 35 years in politics behind the scenes, I want to be a participant and help shape the debate in the Republican Party and our nation.
While I intend to talk about many important issues, I dedicate today to the 6 teenagers who took their lives this past fall because they were bullied for who they were. They could not go on living for even one more day.
There is no place for hatred and bigotry in this country. We must all learn to respect each other and our differences.
I began this journey 13 months ago when I traveled from my home in California to Washington, DC, New York and then up to New Hampshire. It has been a whirlwind. I have traveled to 19 states, including 12 trips to New Hampshire and 6 to Iowa. I have talked to thousands of people, and I have been encouraged to take this to the next level.
During the months ahead, I will propose some bold new ideas on a wide array of issues, and I want to help bring back optimism like my old boss Ronald Reagan did 30 years ago.
I know that I will not be invited to participate in some of the debates and forums that will be held during the next year. Some will not include me because I am an outsider, others because I am gay. I will fight to get into each and every debate, so that my ideas and my voice may be heard.
I want to send a loud and clear message to anyone who is gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or queer, that you can do anything you want to do in this country. You can even run for President of the United States.