Metro Weekly

Marjorie Taylor Greene, Tony Perkins balk at Republican Party’s LGBTQ outreach initiative

Squabble over "RNC Pride Coalition" revives decades-long debate about whether LGBTQ identity is compatible with conservatism.

marjorie taylor greene, republican, lgbtq
Republican U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (left, Photo: U.S. Congress) and Tony Perkins (Photo: Gage Skidmore).

Prominent social conservatives who are influential in GOP politics have attacked a new initiative being pursued by the Republican Party and the Log Cabin Republicans with the intent of bringing LGBTQ Americans, as a group, into the conservative fold ahead of the 2022 elections.

The RNC Pride Coalition, a new partnership between Log Cabin and the national Republican Party that was announced at Log Cabin’s annual “Spirit of Lincoln Gala” at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort last week, seeks to encourage LGBTQ voters, who generally lean Democratic, to switch their allegiance and vote for conservative candidates who will support their ability to exercise their personal freedoms and to thrive financially, without interference from government edicts or mandates, regulatory hurdles, and tax burdens.

In turn, Log Cabin and other LGBTQ conservatives would then serve as “ground troops,” helping with the Republican Party’s canvassing and outreach efforts in key congressional races.

Speaking to Fox News, Charles Moran, the president of Log Cabin, noted that Log Cabin and its affiliates campaigned and canvassed for Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin’s successful bid for Virginia’s top office and Jack Ciatarelli’s near-upset in the New Jersey governor’s race.

He said the group plans to “play an even bigger role on the ground in the midterm elections next year” by helping Republicans flip control of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate.

But Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, the firebrand socially conservative U.S. representative from Georgia, was among those who balked at the announcement of the RNC Pride Coalition.

“Using people for their identity is what the Democrats do, not Republicans,” Taylor Greene said in a tweet to Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel. “This actually hurts the Log Cabin Republicans by grafting their fundraising & weakens their effectiveness.”

Taylor Greene then added: “And don’t forget, @GOPChairwoman the rainbow is God’s sign,” a reference to the book of Genesis in the Bible, in which God, after destroying most of the world in a flood, sends a rainbow to Noah as a sign of the promise to all humans and living creatures that he would never again destroy the earth by flood again.

Over the years, some social conservatives have been incensed for decades that the LGBTQ rights movement — which they have deemed sinful and immoral — has “appropriated” a symbol that was originally associated with God by incorporating rainbow colors into the Pride flag.

Evangelical leader Tony Perkins, the president of the anti-LGBTQ Family Research Council, meanwhile, is attacking McDaniel, who announced the formation of the RNC Pride Coalition at the “Spirit of Lincoln” event, calling on her to resign as RNC chairwoman, a position that she has held for the past five years.

“There’s a lot of RNC members in leadership positions that are upset about this because they were not told,” Perkins claimed in an interview with conservative radio host Todd Starnes. “This is something that Ronna did on her own.”

“Quite frankly,” added Perkins, “I think it’s time for her to take up something else and leave the party to those who I think can chart a path forward, restore what has been lost, and make sure that the Republicans, the conservatives, regain the majority and continue to see victories and gains across the nation. I think she needs to step down. She has outlived her purpose at the RNC.”

See also: Social conservatives proposing “compromise” to weaken Equality Act’s protections

Perkins argued that the Republican Party needs to hew close to its socially conservative values or else it risks losing votes from Christians and others who not only personally object to homosexuality, but see societal tolerance of it, and policies like nondiscrimination laws that derive from that tolerance, as wholly incompatible with living a Biblical lifestyle, according to the conservative news website PJ Media.

“The leadership of the RNC is moving the party in a direction that is incompatible with religious freedom, and many of the things that we see parents fighting for across the country,” he said, referring to ongoing fights at school board meetings over transgender policies and efforts at local libraries to ban books or materials that contain — or even reference, in passing — extramarital sex or LGBTQ content, including some more controversial books for young adults that have been labeled “pornography.”

“As you move to be quote/unquote ‘inclusive’ with those that have radical ideas on human sexuality, which are hostile to religious freedom, the Republican Party becomes just Democrat-lite,” added Perkins.

Perkins’ argument revives a decades-long debate over whether LGBTQ identity is compatible with conservative values. One side has argued that conservatism can adapt to include tolerance of, and acknowledgment of, the LGBTQ community as a group. The other, favored by Perkins, has largely adopted the view that while individual LGBTQ voters are always welcome to vote for Republicans, their sexuality should not be celebrated or centered by the party.

In announcing the RNC Pride Coalition, McDaniel gave voice to the opposite view, praising efforts to include the LGBTQ community as a part the GOP’s broader coalition.

“Conservatives in Log Cabin don’t just share our vision for a free, secure and prosperous America — they enrich it by adding unique perspectives to our party and recruiting even more diverse candidates and supporters to join our cause,” she said.

Ronna Romney McDaniel – Photo: Gage Skidmore.

But conservative commentator Matt Walsh — who has argued that the “LGBT lobby” has been able to successfully “recruit” children via the public schools — sided with Perkins, tweeting: “If the Republican Party is going to fully embrace leftist sexual identity politics, then it officially serves no purpose.”

Richard Grenell, a Trump appointee who was the first openly gay cabinet-level member and spoke at the Log Cabin event, pushed back, tweeting: “You have no idea what you are talking about. It’s best to read or ask private questions before publicly commenting. Not all gays are leftists.”

But Walsh doubled down, arguing — as others have — that celebrating one’s sexuality or turning it into a political or social identity is in itself a left-wing construct.

Walsh also suggested that the RNC Pride Coalition would ultimately be unsuccessful in persuading enough LGBTQ voters to abandon the Democratic Party, or convincing them — as Grenell and Chadwick Moore, the editor of the Log Cabin-affiliated blog Outspoken and the recently-launched Outspoken Middle East, claimed in a recent piece for Newsweek — that “[t]he struggle for gay rights in America is largely over.”

“I’m not going to ask permission privately before stating my opinion. I think ‘gay pride’ is leftist sexual identity politics bulls**t and has no place in any conservatism I recognize,” tweeted Walsh. “It also won’t succeed in attracting the voters you’re going after. But don’t let that stop you.”

See also:

Food and Friends is seeking volunteers to help deliver meals for Thanksgiving

It Gets Better Project offers $10,000 grants to schools that support LGBTQ+ students

Florida man arrested for allegedly setting fire to Pulse Nightclub Memorial in Orlando

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