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Congressman accused of ‘betraying’ voters by presiding over same-sex wedding in deranged attack by homophobic Republicans

Emma Powys Maurice December 18, 2020
Republican

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

A Republican congressman who officiated a same-sex wedding has been officially denounced by a GOP committee, who say it constitutes an act of “betrayal” against voters.

The Virginia committee unanimously passed a resolution to censure representative Denver Riggleman, listing four instances of betrayal, the first being that he presided over the wedding of a same-sex couple.

Riggleman angered his fellow Republicans when he presided over the “fabulous gay summer wedding” of Anthony LeCounte and Alex Pisciarino, a couple he became friends with at a Log Cabin Republican event.

The congressman’s wife posted a picture from the wedding on Facebook alongside the caption “Love is love” — and it didn’t go unnoticed.

Shortly afterwards Riggleman was turned on by members of his own party as a group of Virginia Republicans tried to censure him. When the motion failed to pass they opted to oust him altogether.

Riggleman eventually lost his seat to a new Republican challenger in the 2020 election, but that wasn’t enough for the Virginia GOP.

On 12 December the Appomattox County Republican committee capped off Riggleman’s political career by voting to censure him, a formal condemnation to express severe disapproval.

“In July 2019, Denver Riggleman officiated a same-sex wedding which in turn goes against the values and principles of the Republican Party betraying and disregarding the concerns for the many Conservative and Christian voters in the 5th district who elected Denver Riggleman,” the statement reads.

Other criticisms of the GOP lawmaker included his condemnation of Donald Trump — along with the president’s voter fraud claims — and his congratulations to president-elect Joe Biden.

The censure will have no legal consequences but the formal statement of disapproval will mar Riggleman’s record and make any future bid for re-election extremely challenging.

The censure came as little surprise to the congressman, who was sceptical of the district committee’s decision to pick his successor through a convention rather than a primary, meaning that his position was determined by the votes of other delegates rather than the public.

“Glad the Virginia GOP finally admits they rig a convention because of the wedding,” Riggleman wrote on Twitter. “We already knew this, but here’s your sign. I believe in marriage equality and I despise conspiracy theories.”

More: Denver Riggleman, Republican Party, Same-sex wedding, Virginia GOP

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