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Gay Republicans Claim Trump 'Met His Commitments' to LGBTQ+ Americans

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The Log Cabin Republicans refused to endorse Trump in 2016 but are changing their tune in 2020.

The chair and vice chair of the Log Cabin Republicans have offered their endorsement of President Donald Trump's 2020 campaign, claiming he "met his commitments" to LGBTQ+ people in an op-ed for the Washington Post.

As evidence, they cite Trump's declaration that he could end the HIV epidemic in 10 years (the ONE Campaign said Trump's proposed HIV budget would kill 300,000 per year), Trump's intention to end international criminalization of homosexuality (when asked about that initiative, Trump knew nothing about it), and the impact of "tax cuts" and "foreign policy" on the LGBTQ+ community (with no citations).

"The Log Cabin Republicans endorse Donald Trump for reelection as president," the op-ed concludes, although only two LCR names appear on the piece.

Notably missing is the name of Jerri Ann Henry, the organization's executive director. Henry has been openly critical of Trump in the past. "Anyone working with [Trump] is tainted by him," she said in 2017.

The piece is credited to Chairman Robert Kabel, who worked for Ronald Reagan during a time when the administration refused to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and Vice Chair Jill Homan, former press secretary for ex-congressman Bob Ehrlich, an opponent of marriage equality.

Despite the claim of having "met his commitments," Trump's done little to endear himself to LGBTQ+ voters. His administration has attempted to ban open transgender service in the military, pushed for rules allowing hospitals to turn away LGBTQ+ patients, refused to recognize the marriages of same-sex parents seeking citizenship for children born abroad, nominated large numbers of anti-LGBTQ+ judges to federal courts, and worked ceaselessly to undermine the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which drastically expanded health care access for LGBTQ+ individuals.

Those are only a handful of the actions that Republican leaders have taken to harm the LGBTQ+ community since the 2016 election, a list that grows longer by the day. Just this week, reports broke that the Department of Justice (DOJ) is pressuring the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to renege on its stance regarding employment protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

"We know that 'Inclusion Wins' is a mantra we share with the president," says the op-ed, which was published shortly after the DOJ's actions made national headlines.

The endorsement is a major about-face for the gay Republican organization, which declined to endorse Trump in 2016. At the time, LCR required candidates to meet with its leadership prior to issuing an endorsement, which Trump had failed to do. There are no indications that he has since met with the organization or is aware of their existence.

What's more, LCR usually waits until after national conventions to issue their endorsement. They did not explain the timing of the move, but in a written statement, spokesperson Charles T. Moran wrote, "Starting early, Log Cabin Republicans will bring together the diverse spectrum of conservative LGBTQ individuals to inform and activate in advance of the 2020 general election."

They may have their work cut out for them. In 2016, only a small handful of state and local LCR chapters endorsed Trump's campaign -- and that was before Trump's administration engaged in three years of open hostility to the LGBTQ+ community. Offering an endorsement now may require an even more willful oblivion than ever.

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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Matt Baume