Lesbian Trump critic named new head of LGBT Republicans group
An LGBT campaigner who said she did not know any lesbians who support President Donald Trump has been appointed to head the Log Cabin Republicans.
Equal marriage campaigner Jerri Ann Henry was named as the new head of the Log Cabin Republicans, a group for LGBT+ people who support the Republican Party, on Tuesday.
While previous head Gregory T. Angelo made attempts to defend the anti-LGBT actions of the Trump-Pence administration, Henry has repeatedly criticised Trump.
“Anyone working with [Trump] is tainted by him.”
— Jerri Ann Henry
In September 2016, the campaigner told Huffington Post that she does not know any lesbians who support Trump.
She said of lesbian Trump supporters: “Geez. That is a tough one… I have wondered about it a bit. Are the same factors driving women away from Trump and (some) men towards him the main factor here, or are lesbians looking at other factors? I don’t have the answer.”
Her wife added: “There aren’t any [lesbian Trump supporters] because we are the smartest of the species.”
New Log Cabin Republicans chief Jerri Ann Henry has criticised Trump
Henry, a GOP strategist, has criticised Trump’s political strategy on several issues.
Responding to White House departures in August 2017, she told Roll Call: “At some point, he’s basically crossing out all of his allies… the more chaos he creates, the more [his base] like it. That’s what he ran on, after all.”
Speaking to the Boston Globe in December 2017, Henry said that the president “has been a drag” on the Republican ticket, adding: “Anyone working with him is tainted by him.”
In an interview with Rod Ungar on The Pod Complex on Tuesday, Henry said: “It’s important that there be a voice within the Republican Party on these issues. An absence of that voice allows the administration to do anything they want, without hearing any of the counter arguments.
“There have been some policies that look less than favourable. Sometimes it’s an oversight, sometimes it’s not, and it’s a legitimate problem. But we are committed to working with both Congress and the administration to speak from a position of shared values.
“We look forward to working with the administration, and that means that when it’s time, we’ll call the administration out, but when they do something that’s good, we may be the only LGBTQ group that says ‘good job.'”
Henry, who previously ran the Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry campaign, is the first woman to lead the Log Cabin Republicans.
In a statement, she said: “Log Cabin Republicans have a rich history of grassroots activism and a legacy of great leaders, and there is no other organization better suited to offer solutions to today’s challenging political environment than us.
“I’m humbled to step into this leadership role, and I don’t take it lightly — I believe my experience with the Republican Party and LGBTQ community, combined with this incredible team will allow us to build a strong, effective movement and grow the Republican Party of the future.”
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The Log Cabin Republicans are controversial
Critics have challenged the record of the Log Cabin Republicans, given the party’s continued hostility towards LGBT+ rights.
There were zero out LGBT+ Republican candidates standing for office in the recent US midterms, symbolic of the hardening views in the GOP under the Trump-Pence administration.
The Log Cabin Republicans have been criticised for their support for anti-LGBT candidates, lobbying heavily in favour of Trump’s Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in 2017 during her tight confirmation battle
Within months of helping to secure her confirmation, the group was protesting DeVos over her anti-LGBT+ actions, when she revoked discrimination protections for transgender kids put in place under President barack Obama.
In 2017, the Log Cabin Republicans held their gala dinner in a hotel owned by Trump, just weeks after he announced a ban on transgender people serving in the military.
The group has never had a public meeting with Trump, though the leader has posed with a number of anti-LGBT+ activists.