UPDATE: Fred is now in!

The state GOP “Big Tent” has lifted a flap.

After initially giving Fred Karger what he called “the cold shoulder” in his attempts to speak at the upcoming California GOP state convention, the party has now apparently decided to welcome the only openly gay GOP candidate in the 2012 presidential race.

“I’m thrilled and I’m glad they came around to let me participate,” said Karger today, who credited the party’s shift to a Chronicle story published Tuesday about his case.

Yesterday we reported:

According to the San Francisco Chronicle:

Fred Karger, the only Californian – and the only gay candidate – in the 2012 Republican presidential field, says he knows plenty about closed doors. But shut out by his own party – and in his own state?

Even as Republican leaders say they’re eagerly wooing all candidates to the state GOP convention Sept. 16-18 in Los Angeles, Karger says his request to attend and address the party activists has apparently been refused.

“I have been waiting for my invitation, and it never came,” Karger, 61, a 38-year resident of Laguna Beach (Orange County), told The Chronicle last week. “And I called up a couple of weeks ago and explained my position.”

That’s when a party official, Karger said, left a “terse” message: “The schedule is completely filled.”

Yep, its filled with a plethora of oddballs and nutballs. There is one sane candidate, Karger, who happens to be a well-respected California resident, and they are blacklisting him because he is LGBT — or maybe because he doesn’t parrot the pre-approved rhetoric of the extreme right. The truth is, the Republican Party’s big tent is the size of a thimble these days.