Members of the nation’s largest LGBTQ Republican organization are abandoning ship after its board opted to endorse Donald Trump for reelection in 2020.
Thus far, at least three high-profile Log Cabin Republican members have publicly resigned in protest over a decision last week to endorse Trump, despite his administration’s sustained attacks on LGBTQ rights and equality.
Log Cabin chairman Robert Kabel and vice chairwoman Jill Homan wrote an opinion piece for the Washington Post last week saying 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.
But that was a stretch too far for some Log Cabin members, it seems.
One of the board members who rejected the Trump endorsement, Jennifer Horn, told the Post that she had resigned from LCR, saying she couldn’t face the thought of trying to justify the endorsement to her children.
“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,” Horn said. “It is contrary to everything that I have ever taught them about what it means to be a good, decent, principled member of society.”
In her letter to the LCR board, Horn said that Trump’s “regular verbal assaults against women, immigrants, elected members of Congress, party members who do not agree with him on policy or principle and his willingness to stoke racial anger and unrest in order to advance his own political ambitions all subvert the founding principles of our great nation.”
She highlighted his administration’s “efforts to roll back civil rights protections through the [Department of Justice]” and policy decisions at other departments as justification for stepping down.
Horn highlighted Trump’s refusal to moderate the Republican Party’s anti-LGBTQ stance during the 2016 election, writing that he could have “[removed] language that advocates against equal rights for LGBTQ people: but instead “chose not to in fear of angering those who would deny the right to marry to all Americans.”
“I think that the effort to offer a Republican voice that is contrary to the president is an important one, not just to the party but for our country,” Horn told the Post. “People have to know, our party is dying because of the silence of those who oppose this president.”
Horn isn’t alone in condemning the Log Cabin board’s decision to endorse Trump. Robert Turner, former head of the D.C. chapter of LCR, announced on Facebook that he was revoking his membership over the endorsement.
“It saddens me greatly to say that today, I am ending my association with Log Cabin Republicans, an organization I’ve been heavily involved with for the last decade — including serving as president of the D.C. chapter for three years,” Turner wrote.
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.”
Another notable Log Cabin resignation came from Jordan Evans, America’s only elected openly transgender Republican, who currently serves as library trustee and constable in Charlton, Mass.
In an op-ed for The Advocate, Evans said that by endorsing Trump, Log Cabin’s leaders were “[ignoring] the reality of what it means to be queer in our current political climate.”
“There exist many of us who wish to see acceptance take root in the Republican Party,” she wrote. “However, with the news of our recent endorsement of President Trump for reelection, it seems that the ‘premier Republican organization for LGBTQ+ conservatives’ couldn’t care less about which form of acceptance qualifies as passable allyship and would instead willfully embrace an administration notorious for hollow words, fairweather friends, and a seemingly endless number of cuts for us to endure.
“On the surface, this endorsement ignores the reality of what it means to be queer in our current political climate,” Evans continued. “It speaks more to a mentality of partisan tribalism than a sincere commitment to fostering inclusion within the Republican Party. With this endorsement, we turn a blindeye to the plights and fears of our colleagues in the queer movement and embrace an administration that has consistently antagonized the LGBTQ+ community through an endless array of rollbacks and rule changes.”
Evans said that LCR’s endorsement had “alienated our peers and further marginalized our relevancy as a queer organization,” and would lead to LGBTQ Republicans being “increasingly ostracized.”
“We will be remembered for this endorsement well after Trump leaves office,” she wrote, “and whether or not we want to admit the damage done, we have irreparably weakened our ability to contribute a conservative voice to the broader queer discourse of tomorrow.”