New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is never going to pass for a metrosexual, not wearing that blue plaid sport coat he chose in hosting his Sunday brunchtime tribute to the gay Log Cabin Republicans.
Most of the few hundred men in attendance had voted for George W. Bush in 2000, and a few said they had raised a lot of money for him; not this time around. They are crestfallen over the president's support for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.
The party, said Log Cabin executive director Patrick Guerriero, has a been "hijacked by the radical right." He noted that nearly half of the convention's delegates support civil unions, yet conservatives "would have us put in a rubber room."
"Four years ago," Bloomberg reminded the group, "I used this occasion to come out -- as a Republican. It is a very liberating experience."
Initially, before the speeches of Bloomberg, New York Gov. George E. Pataki and Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.), the nearly 40 media representatives in attendance were penned behind a rope, away from those nibbling tiny crab quiches. The comedian Mo Rocca, there with his CNN mike, cracked: "They're afraid we might discover" -- dropping his voice to a whisper -- "the gay lifestyle."
On Sundays, that includes mimosas and summer linen jackets in pale peach, lavender and sea blue. These men may be wealthy Republicans, but they would not be caught dead wearing flag-patterned apparel.