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Gay Republican Group Leader Quits Over Trump Endorsement

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Executive Director Jeri Ann Henry is the latest to leave the group.

The Log Cabin Republicans have continued its slow disintegration after endorsing Donald Trump for president. with Executive Director Jerri Ann Henry the latest high-profile member to resign from the organization.

According to the Washington Blade, Henry was opposed to the endorsement, which appeared as an op-ed in the Washington Post and was signed by just two members of the organization. Henry wasn't one of them. She joins Robert Turner, former head of Washington, D.C.'s Log Cabin Republicans chapter, as well as Jordan Evans, the only openly transgender elected official in the Republican Party, in leaving the national gay GOP group.

"It seems that the 'premier Republican organization for LGBTQ+ conservatives' couldn't care less about which form of acceptance qualifies as passable allyship," Evans wrote in an August 19 op-ed that appeared in The Advocate. "With this endorsement, we turn a blind eye 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."

Board member Jennifer Horn also resigned, saying that she couldn't explain to her children why her organization had endorsed Trump for president.

The Trump endorsement has been a matter of great controversy for the group, which declined to endorse him in 2016. The LCR typically requires a candidate to meet with the group before earning an endorsement, which still has not happened in the president's case..

In the op-ed, chair and vice-chair Robert Kabel and Jill Homan cited Trump's promise to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic and a campaign from members of the Trump adminstration to decriminalize homosexuality around the world. Neither initiative has yielded results, with Trump proposing massive cuts to HIV funding and expressing a lack of awareness of the decriminalization effort.

Following the endorsement, Trump claimed that the group had given him an award, which LCR told Out does not exist.

Meanwhile, over the last two weeks the Trump administration submitted a series of briefs to the Supreme Court arguing that civil rights laws should not cover LGBTQ+ workers. That was just the latest in a long string of attacks on equality since the president took office in 2017. According to the national watchdog group GLAAD, the current administration is responsible for 124 laws, policies, and proposals that negatively impact queer and trans people.

Despite the defections, none of the former LCR members expressed an intention to leave the GOP. Its psrty platform still explicitly opposes LGBTQ+ equality and calls to expand "religious freedom" laws.

Following the series of resignations, the Log Cabin Republicans are scrambling to maintain cohesion. "The board's executive committee will proceed with an orderly transition to ensure nothing falls through the cracks," spokesperson Charles Moran told the Washington Blade.

The organization's next high-profile event is a "Spirit of Lincoln" gathering in September. Normally a full dinner, this year's will be scaled down to just a brief reception.

RELATED | After Trump Endorsement, Log Cabin Republicans Are Falling Apart

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Matt Baume