Jul 28, 2014

Buckhead Delegate Makes Journey from RNC to DNC

The Democratic National Convention officially gets under way Tuesday. An alternate delegate from Buckhead will be there, and he shares his story with Patch.

Buckhead Delegate Makes Journey from RNC to DNC


By Bob Gibeling

I was elected as an alternate delegate to the Democratic National Convention from Georgia this year. As a native Atlantan, Georgia Tech graduate and Buckhead resident, I will be attending the DNC in Charlotte and cheering on President Obama. I am hoping to be able to cast a vote for the party platform which includes a full marriage equality plank, thereby making history.

It's my first time at a Democratic National Convention, but not at a party convention. You see, 40 years ago, I attended the GOP Convention in Miami. I was VERY young, and I attended as part of a youth group.

In fact I was interviewed then on the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite and my photo appeared in US News and World Report and the New York Times, wearing my Tech t-shirt.

I have always wanted to promote moving forward, racial harmony and open government in Georgia. Back then, the Republicans held those principles. What a change now. I witnessed the Republican party abandon these principles and then lose their moral core too.

I am now the secretary of the LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender] Caucus of the Democratic Party of Georgia. In March, I was appointed to serve on the State Committee of the Democratic Party in mt home state, which is the governing board for the party.

I was elected to attend the convention in Charlotte on my own platform of speaking the language of faith in the political process. It surprised many that an openly gay man was such a strong advocate for faith based values in my prepared remarks, when I ran to be a delegate.

I'm a lifelong Lutheran and a member of the same church where I grew up in Atlanta. I have to stay true to my own faith based values and that meant changing parties.

I was thrilled at the response the Democrats gave me when I gave my speech on talking the language of faith in today's campaign.

I invite other fair minded, good hearted Republicans to join me in voting for this deeply faithful Christian, Barack Obama. I know you are there. I see some of you each Sunday in church.

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