Metro Weekly

Log Cabin leader resigns over Trump endorsement, says the gay Republican group should be “shut down”

Jerri Ann Henry slammed the organization for being more focused on "happy hours" than fighting for LGBTQ rights

Jerri Ann Henry

The executive director of Log Cabin Republicans has resigned in protest after the group endorsed Donald Trump’s reelection in 2020.

Jerri Ann Henry only assumed the reins of the LGBTQ Republican organization in November last year, but has told CNN that stepping down is “best for all of us.”

It came after the organization’s board voted to endorse Trump for 2020, a move that was widely criticized and led to the resignation of a number of high-profile Log Cabin members.

Explaining her decision, Henry said that her resignation was a “long time coming.”

“The history and legacy of this organization is so rich,” she said. “I wish we were able to find a way forward, but I think leaving the organization is best for all of us.”

Henry also slammed Log Cabin’s overall direction, saying that it was more akin to a chapter of the Republican National Committee or a social club than a group of people fighting for equality.

“Log Cabin was once a civil rights organization with conservative principles,” Henry said. “That’s why I joined on. Now it’s mostly about happy hours.

“They weren’t involved in the marriage fight at all,” she continued. “When the Equality Act passed, and no one (from Log Cabin Republicans) said anything, I don’t know if I was relieved — because of what they might have said — or disappointed that none of our chapter heads even noticed.”

Indeed, rather than endorse the passing of the Equality Act in Congress earlier this year, Henry’s predecessor at Log Cabin, Gregory T. Angelo, issued an op-ed saying the landmark pro-LGBTQ legislation should be abandoned.

Angelo said that all “reasonable Americans, especially gay Americans who support pluralism and tolerance, should oppose it.”

He was heavily criticized for the op-ed, with Lambda Legal noting that many of Angelo’s arguments against the Equality Act were “simply not true.”

Henry isn’t alone in criticizing Log Cabin and resigning over the endorsement — which came as a surprise, given the organization declined to endorse Trump in 2016.

Jennifer Horn, who resigned as a Log Cabin board member, blasted the decision, saying she had to leave because, “There is no world where I can sit down at the dining room table and explain to my children that I just endorsed Donald Trump for president.”

And Robert Turner, former head of the D.C. chapter of Log Cabin, announced on Facebook that he was ending his membership over the endorsement. He specifically called out the board in his post, while praising others who remained with the organization.

“There are many great people still involved with the organization and I hope they press on,” Turner wrote. “From Adam [Savit], the current D.C. chapter president, to Jerri Ann [Henry], the national executive director, who can’t seem to get anything accomplished because of a board of directors who won’t get out of her way.”

Turner added: “But for me, there’s no more fight left. The national board’s endorsement of Trump, and their subsequent and hollow WaPo op-ed, is a step too far. And this leaves me sad.”

That op-ed, written by Log Cabin chairman Robert Kabel and vice chairwoman Jill Homan and published in the Washington Post, claimed that Trump had taken “bold actions that benefit the LGBTQ community.”

They argued that tax cuts, a handful of openly LGBTQ appointments, and Trump’s heavily criticized trade policies were reason enough to endorse him for 2020, ignoring the large number of anti-LGBTQ actions his administration has taken since his presidency began.

Log Cabin spokesperson Charles Moran defended the endorsement on Fox News, saying that things for LGBTQ people were “inarguably” better under Trump.

In a statement to CNN after Henry announced her resignation, Moran said that the Log Cabin board would “proceed with an orderly transition to ensure nothing falls through the cracks.”

“We thank her for her service to our organization and wish her well in the next chapter of her career,” he said.

As for the future of Log Cabin, Henry isn’t sure if it even has one. Asked if it can survive this endorsement, she said, “I’m not sure. My recommendation would be to shut it down, or just become the [Young Republicans] of the gay community — Republicans who just happen to be gay.”


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