Gay Olympian Gus Kenworthy to headline Democrats gala after snubbing Trump reception
Outspoken gay Olympian Gus Kenworthy has been announced as a speaker at a Democratic event, days after boycotting Donald Trump’s reception for Winter Olympic athletes.
The freestyle skier has been forthright in his criticism of the “homophobic” Trump-Pence White House agenda, using his platform at the Olympics to repeatedly lay into the Republican administration alongside figure skater Adam Rippon.
Last week he was among a string of Olympians who refused to attend a reception for athletes at the White House, protesting the actions taken by the Trump-Pence administration to roll back LGBT rights.
But he is getting ready to spend time in a room full of politicians after all.
Kenworthy has been announced as a headliner at the Democratic National Committee’s annual LGBTQ gala, and will headline a kick-off call with DNC donors and activists ahead of the upcoming midterm election.
The 19th annual gala will take place on June 25 in New York City.
Gus Kenworthy said: “I couldn’t be more excited to join the DNC at their LGBTQ Gala this Pride season.
“Over the last year, the Trump-Pence administration has pushed our community to the sidelines, attacking us for who we are and who we love.
“It’s time we take a stand against this administration by electing representatives this upcoming November who actively support and believe in equality for everyone.”
DNC Chair Tom Perez added: “Gus has been a tireless advocate for his community, standing up to hate and a Trump-Pence administration that has repeatedly attacked and demeaned LGBTQ people.
“The 2017 elections were a landmark moment for the LGBTQ community. Not only did we elect the first openly transgender state legislator, but LGBTQ candidates broke barriers from Palm Springs and Seattle to Minneapolis and New York.
“This year, we want to celebrate that success and refocus the LGBTQ community on just what is at stake in the coming 2018 midterms.
“With the help of people like Gus, Democrats will win up and down the ballot, from the school board to the Senate.”
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DNC Finance Chair Henry Munoz added: “Gus Kenworthy is part of the next generation of LGBTQ activists that are helping lead the resistance against the Trump-Pence administration.
“We will not tolerate the attacks from this White House on the rights and protections of LGBTQ Americans across the country. Standing together in the face of hate and bigotry, we’re going to bring sweeping change to Washington by electing Democrats this November.“
Kenworthy has defended his decision to not attend the April 27 reception for athletes.
He said: “All US Olympians and Paralympians are invited to visit the White House and meet the President after the Games. Today is this year’s visit and USOC spokesperson says he’s never seen so many athletes turn down their invites. The resistance is real.”