Charles C. Francis Papers, 1911-2013Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

By Robert Lay

Collection Overview

Title: Charles C. Francis Papers, 1911-2013Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Predominant Dates: 2000-2004
ID: 01/ AR0835
Primary Creator: Francis, Charles C.
Extent: 2.0 Boxes
Arrangement: Materials reflect the original arrangement scheme as received from the donor.
Date Acquired: 10/15/2014. More info below under Accruals.
Languages: English


The Charles C. Francis Collection includes documentation on the politics of gay rights during George W. Bush’s presidential election and first four years of the Bush administration.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Charles C. Francis Collection includes documentation on the politics of gay rights during George W. Bush’s presidential election and first four years of the Bush administration including protests by the Log Cabin Republicans during the Texas Republican Convention in 1998, the Austin 12 meeting on April 13, 2000, the Bush campaign’s initial outreach to gay Republicans, the creation of the Republican Unity Coalition (RUC), fundraising and campaign contributions, calls for acceptance and party unity from Senator Alan K. Simpson and President Gerald R. Ford, criticism of gays from Rick Santorum and the far right, the Supreme Court's decision in Lawrence v. Texas,  and President Bush's support for an amendment to the Constitution to ban gay marriage. The collection also documents the advocacy and outreach activities of the Republican Unity Coalition, a gay rights group working to make the Republican Party more inclusive for conservative gays and lesbians. The Charles C. Francis papers are composed of personal notes, emails, print media coverage of the RUC’s activities, press releases, speech drafts, and event-planning documents. Of particular note is the correspondence amongst its principals and other officials. This includes Bush Administration officials Karl Rove and Karen Hughes, as well as President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush; supporters and members of the RUC advisory board Mary Cheney, David Rockefeller, Trammel Crow, Jr., Mary Matalin, Senator Alan K. Simpson, and President Gerald R. Ford; and media figures Andrew Sullivan, Hastings Wyman, and Diane Sawyer.

Collection Historical Note

In the spring of 2000 Charles Francis organized a meeting between Governor George W. Bush and a group of twelve gay and lesbian Republicans who came to be known as the Austin 12. This meeting, the first time any Republican presidential candidate had met publicly with a group of gay Republicans, led Governor Bush to declare that he was “a better man” for having listened to the Austin 12, and raised hopes in the gay community that the Republican Party would become more inclusive. Francis advised the Bush/Cheney presidential campaign staff on issues important to gay and lesbian Republicans. After the election, Francis formed the Republican Unity Coalition (RUC) that included a political action committee dedicated to making sexual preference a non-issue in the Republican Party. The RUC boasted many high-profile members and supporters, including Mary Cheney, former-Senator Alan K. Simpson, and former-President Gerald R. Ford. The Republican Unity Coalition disbanded in 2004 in the wake of President Bush’s public support of a federal marriage amendment and after facing increasing criticism from far-right and family values Republicans. Francis continues to live in Washington, D.C. with his husband. He is currently a Senior Counselor with a public affairs consulting company and also President of the Mattachine Society of Washington D.C., a historical society dedicated to original archival research of LGBT history.

Subject/Index Terms

Access Information

Access Restrictions:

This collection is not restricted.

Use Restrictions:

Reproduction and publication of materials in this collection are subject to the policies of the UNT Special Collections department. Copyright restrictions may apply.

Physical Access Note:

This collection is stored off-site and requires a minimum of 24 hours notice prior to use.

Reading Room or Duplication Requests

Depending on any access restrictions noted above, you may be able to request items be delivered to our reading room, or that we make reproductions for you. Just click on either the or icons in the listings below to be routed to our request form.

Administrative Information

Repository: University of North Texas Special Collections
Accruals: 2014-71
Acquisition Source: Charles C. Francis
Acquisition Method: Donation
Preferred Citation: Charles C. Francis Papers, University of North Texas Special Collections


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