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Republicans are trying to unseat their own congressperson because he officiated a same-sex wedding

Emma Powys Maurice May 12, 2020
Republican

Republican Denver Riggleman lost his party's support after officiating a same-sex wedding (Facebook/Denver Riggleman)

Republicans in Virginia are attempting to oust one of their own house representatives for the simple reason that he officiated a same-sex wedding.

Denver Riggleman, a libertarian-leaning business owner and Republican congressperson, has represented Virginia’s 5th congressional district since 2018.

His party turned against him after he presided over the marriage of Anthony LeCounte and Alex Pisciarino, a “staunchly conservative” couple he met at a Log Cabin Republican event.

The couple celebrated a “fabulous gay summer wedding” in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains last year. Riggleman’s wife posted a picture from the event on Facebook alongside the caption “Love is love” — and it didn’t go unnoticed.

Shortly after, three GOP county committees voted to censure him, and he’s now being challenged for the Republican nomination for the upcoming election.

Because the district committee voted to pick the next congressional nominee through a convention rather than a primary, his position will ultimately be determined by the votes of other elected delegates, rather than the public.

And his challenger, Liberty University athletics director Robert Good, announced on May 6 that he has 62 per cent of the district’s delegates on his side — meaning he’ll likely defeat his more progressive opponent.

Good’s website says he has a “biblical view of marriage”, opposes a “transgender bathroom mandate”, and will defend “religious freedom” and “Judeo-Christian principles” if elected.

He also claims Riggleman doesn’t represent the “conservative values of this district”.

Rep. Riggleman isn’t really all that progressive.

It’s telling that Riggleman is being painted as too liberal for the state — his support for his gay friends’ marriage aside, the Republican doesn’t actually have the most LGBT-friendly record.

According to The Washington Post, during his time in office, Riggleman has opposed the federal Equality Act because it “infringed on parental rights”.

He is in favour of defunding Planned Parenthood and also voted against a resolution opposing Trump’s ban on transgender military service members because it’s “something that we’re still studying”.

That he is now supposedly too left-wing for his district will be a worrying prospect for the LGBT+ community he and his successor are elected to represent.

More: Denver Riggleman, log cabin republicans, Republican Party, Robert Good, Same-sex wedding, Virginia

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