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Fallout from Trump Endorsement Hits Log Cabin Republicans Hard

by Kilian Melloy
Thursday Aug 22, 2019
Donald Trump
Donald Trump  (Source:Associated Press)

The Log Cabin is getting emptier, even as conservatives can barely bring themselves to mention the endorsement that the national group of LGBTQ conservatives gave Donald Trump.

Think Progress noted that the president hailed the endorsement, though he said it came from "the Log Cabin group" and appeared to be confused about the date of the endorsement, which had been announced the week before. Trump said it had been made the day before.

Trump also cited billionaire pal and longtime supporter Peter Thiel, the openly gay founder of PayPal.

Media reports took note of the fact that Trump's comments followed a media release from the White House about the endorsement that didn't even mention the Log Cabin Republicans by name. Still, Trump's delayed response stood out in directly acknowledging either the Log Cabin Republicans or the LGBTQ community.

Critics have roundly cited both, however, in noting that the endorsement comes even as the Trump administration continues an unprecedented attack on LGBTQ Americans - unprecedented because LGBTQs had much so much progress in recent years. The Trump administration, however, seems intent on rolling much of that progress back. Among other moves, the government under Trump has rescinded protections for trans students, sought to give those motivated by anti-gay animus carte blanche to sidestep anti-discrimination laws by citing personal "religious" or "moral" beliefs, and imposed a ban on trans Americans from openly serving their country in uniform.

Meanwhile, the LCR is losing people as leaders and members walk away from the group in protest over the endorsement.

Multiple LGBTQ news sources reported that prominent member Robert Turner - who had once headed the group's Washington, D.C. chapter - quit the organization, and tried to do so quietly, announcing his departure on Facebook in a post that was not publicly available to view.

As quiet as his departure may have been meant to be, Turner did not hesitate to take a swipe at the group's board, which he said has stymied LCR national head Jerri Ann Henry. Calling the endorsement "a step too far," Turner charged that
Henry "can't seem to get anything accomplished because of a board of directors who won't get out of her way."

As reported at EDGE, a member of that very board, Jennifer Horn, resigned her seat in protest, recalling that when Donald Trump first become the GOP candidate in 2016 she felt she "had to choose between defending our party's principles or defending our party's nominee. And I defended our principles."

When the endorsement happened, Horn said, she felt compelled to leave in order to uphold personal values: She told the media that she'd long ago vowed never to "say or do anything that I could not explain or defend to my own children."

Horn explains that the group's endorsement of the current president "is contrary to everything that I have ever taught them about what it means to be a good, decent, principled member of society."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.


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