Yet another major player in the Log Cabin Republicans has resigned over Trump endorsement
The executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans has become the latest official to resign in protest at the conservative LGBT+ group’s recent endorsement of Donald Trump.
Jerri Ann Henry, a lesbian activist who fought for same-sex marriage in the US, handed in her resignation on Friday, August 23, following “harsh” discussions with board members.
The Log Cabin Republicans had previously refused to support Trump in 2016, but announced it would be changing its position earlier this month.
Henry told CNN that her resignation was “a long time coming.” She said: “The history and legacy of this organisation is so rich. I wish we were able to find a way forward, but I think leaving the organisation is best for all of us.”
Log Cabin spokesperson Charles Moran confirmed to the The Washington Blade that Henry had resigned but declined to comment on the circumstances of her departure.
But sources said that Henry’s discontent with Trump and dissatisfaction with Log Cabin’s approach to defending its Trump endorsement were key reasons for stepping down.
With this endorsement, we turn a blind eye to the plights and fears of our colleagues in the queer movement
The group’s former board member, Jennifer Horn, and former Washington DC president, Robert Turner, also left the group after denouncing the Trump endorsement. Other members to have resigned include Rachel Hoff, Eli Lehrer, Rich Tafel, Sarah Longwell and Jordan Evans.
Evans, an elected official in Massachusetts, announced his departure in a scathing article for The Advocate, which declared the organisation had “lost all credibility” by supporting Trump.
“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 antagonised the LGBTQ+ community through an endless array of rollbacks and rule changes,” he wrote.
The Log Cabin Republicans claim to be “the nation’s largest Republican organisation dedicated to representing LGBT+ conservatives and allies”. Two senior officials defended the organisation’s support of Trump in a Washington Post article.
They wrote that “since taking office, president Trump has followed through on many of his commitments to the United States, including taking bold actions that benefit the LGBTQ community”.
They cite his efforts to end the spread of HIV/AIDS, persuading other nations to adopt modern human rights standards, and introducing tax cuts benefiting LGBT+ families.
But many of Trump’s policies put LGBT+ communities at significant risk of persecution and have “devastating consequences” for LGBT+ healthcare.
Since his election he has introduced hostile immigration restrictions for LGBT+ asylum claimants, banned 13,700 transgender people from serving in the military and officially proposed legislation to allow businesses to discriminate against LGBT+ people on religious grounds.
Trump’s administration has also allegedly drained HIV/AIDS funding to pay for child migrant detention, considered ways to legally erase trans people, been linked to numerous anti-LGBT+ hate groups and made LGBT+ migrants 97 times more likely to be sexually assaulted while in detention.
There are currently no LGBT+ Republicans serving in Congress or Trump’s cabinet, and the president has appointed fewer openly LGBT+ ambassadors to senior roles than predecessor Barack Obama.
Prior to Henry’s resignation, Casey Pick, who served as Log Cabin Republicans programs director from 2010 to 2013, wrote in a Facebook post of the organisation’s “slide toward Trump apologism”.
She said that “[Henry’s] hands have been tied from the beginning” and that the remaining members of the group increasingly fulfil the stereotype of “gay men who are indifferent to the experiences of women, transgender Americans, or LGBT people who lack the financial or social resources to protect them from the discrimination that they so often deny even exists”.