The executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans — the group’s first woman to have that position — has resigned following the group’s endorsement of President Trump’s reelection, the second official to step down in as many weeks.
The group’s chairman, Robert Kabel, and vice chair, Jill Homan, made the surprise endorsement in an Aug. 15 op-ed for the Washington Post, crediting the president with “removing gay rights as a wedge issue from the old Republican playbook” and “taking bold actions that benefit the LGBTQ community.” The organization did not make an endorsement in 2016.
“While we do not agree with every policy or platform position presented by the White House or the Republican Party,” they added, “we share a commitment to individual responsibility, personal freedom and a strong national defense.”
According to the Washington Blade, the group’s executive director, Jerri Ann Henry, resigned over “discontent with Trump and dissatisfaction with Log Cabin’s approach to defending its Trump endorsement in the media.” Henry was named to the position in November 2018.
The paper added that the board decided not to wait until the 2020 convention when it realized it had the votes, because some members were angry about passing on a Trump endorsement in 2016. Since taking office, Trump and his administration have effectively rolled back rights for the LGBT community, reinstating a ban on transgender troops from serving in the U.S. military; reversing departmental protections against discrimination against transgender people; banning the flying of pride flags at U.S. embassies; and siding with a Colorado baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.
In August, the Department of Labor promulgated a draft rule that would allow government contractors to discriminate against LGBT employees on religious grounds.
A few days after the endorsement was published, board member Jennifer Horn, formerly the chair of the New Hampshire Republican Party, announced that she was stepping down over the decision.
“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.”
Robert Turner, the former president of the group’s D.C. chapter, also said he was withdrawing his membership from the group.
“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,” Turner wrote in a Facebook post, adding, “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.”
Turner also praised Henry in his post, writing that she was a great person “who can’t seem to get anything accomplished because of a board of directors who won’t get out of her way.”
After the endorsement was announced, Trump said he “was very honored to receive it.” He added, “Some of my biggest supporters are of that community. And I think they — and I talk to them a lot about it. I think I’ve done really very well with that community.”
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