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Charles C. Francis Papers

Identifier: AR0835

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Scope and Contents

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.


  • Creation: 1911-2013
  • Creation: Majority of material found in 2000-2004
  • Acquisition: Date acquired: 10/15/2014


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is not restricted.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Biographical or Historical Information

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.

Note written by Robert Lay, CA


2.00 boxes

Language of 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.

Arrangement Note

Materials reflect the original arrangement scheme as received from the donor.

Physical Access Requirements

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

Source of Acquisition

Charles C. Francis

Method of Acquisition


Accruals and Additions


Charles C. Francis Papers
Robert Lay
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of North Texas Special Collections Repository

University of North Texas, Willis Library
1155 Union Circle # 305190
Denton TX 76203 US