National Log Cabin Republicans elect gay Georgia politico as first chair from Deep South

Longtime Georgia LGBT activist Jamie Ensley has been elected the first person from the Deep South to chair the national Log Cabin Republicans.

“It’s truly one of the great honors of my life to serve as the new national chairman of the Log Cabin Republicans, and I’m equally proud to become the organization’s first chairman from the deep south,” Ensley said in a press release.

“I’m excited to start this next chapter in our organization’s almost 40-year history, and continue our right and good fight to advance equality for all LGBT Americans. In addition, I look forward to working on the grassroots level with our nearly 50 chapters of conservatives and allies nationwide.”

Ensley joined the national LCR board in 2008 and has served as secretary, treasurer and vice chairperson. He’s also the president of the Georgia Log Cabin Republicans.

In 2010, Ensley testified during the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” trial held in federal court in Riverside, California. That lawsuit and the actions of several LGBT groups, including the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network and the American Veterans for Equal Rights as well as many individual activists helped convince Congress to repeal DADT.

Also in 2010, Ensley was named one of the grand marshals for Atlanta Pride’’s 40th anniversary celebration. He is an Atlanta native, but was raised in the mountains of North Georgia. He holds a B.S. in Economics from Louisiana State University.

“Mr. Ensley is the right chairman at the right time,” Log Cabin Republicans National Executive Director Gregory T. Angelo said in a statement. “His southern perspective and grassroots work heading Log Cabin Republicans of Georgia will be of tremendous value as we continue our work at the tip-of-the-spear bringing a message of common-sense conservatism and equality for all to the reddest of red states and across the entire country.”

Ensley has also served 10 years on the board of Georgia Equality and on the advisory board of the Atlanta Dogwood Festival.

In his political work in Georgia, he’s also campaign treasurer for Atlanta City Councilmember Mary Norwood, state Rep. Mike Jacobs, and Atlanta Board of Education member Cynthia Briscoe.

Ensley is the current vice president of Government Guaranteed Lending at Community and Southern Bank.

The GA Voice has learned to love to hear from Ensley over the years in his comments on various political issues and candidates.

In 2013, when his candidate Mary Norwood challenged Aaraon Watson in a re-election bid to the Atlanta City Council, the Democratic Party of Georgia released an ad accusing her of being a Republican. Ensley issued this blistering statement:

Aaron Watson and Democratic Party Chairman Dubose Porter are nothing more than schoolyard bullies trying to scare voters by portraying Mary Norwood as the Republican boogeyman. Anyone who knows Mary Norwood would know that she’s a true Red, White, and Blue Independent!

Why is the goliath State Democratic Party involved in a little ole city council race anyway? You both should be ashamed of yourselves for ganging up and bullying a lady! You both need to learn some manners and need to stop spreading lies! Are you afraid that Mary will represent her constituents, bring back accountability to the city, and not just rubber stamp a “yes” vote for “The Mayor”?

It’s also extremely disappointing and an outrage that you find it acceptable to hold a bias against tax paying Atlanta Republicans, and you’ve made it clear these citizens would not receive proper representation from you simply because of their party affiliation. Mr. Watson, discrimination on any level is wrong!

The fact is that you have accepted campaign contributions from a PAC funded by the Republican Koch Brothers who have funded Tea Party candidates across America, and at the same time, you accuse Mary Norwood of being a Tea Party candidate, when she’s never had anything to do with the Tea Party. It’s incomprehensible and reprehensible!

Newsflash: Aaron Watson, it takes more than your attendance at a few LGBT events once every four years, and exit stage right after your name is called to win our votes. Yes, Mr. Watson, we noticed! You see, Mary Norwood has supported Atlanta’s LGBT community before the state party, you, or “The Mayor” supported marriage equality in America. She didn’t have to evolve on her decision to support equality, because she’s always stood with us!

Aaron, Dubose, and cronies hear this: We are all tired of the attacks and the hypocrisy. It’s time to return an independent voice and accountability to Atlanta city government. It’s obviously time to vote for Mary Norwood.

And who can forget the time Ensley demanded the National Guard to be called in to save the city of Atlanta from all the crime and the back-and-forth public squabble he had with then-Mayor Shirley Franklin?