Republican leader backtracks on LGBTQ + awareness after backlash

Above: Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel with Donald Trump and Michigan Republican Party Co-Chair Terry Bowman in Battle Creek, Michigan in 2019; photo by Max Elram / Shutterstock

Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel looks back on heralded efforts to reach LGBTQ + voters after eliciting backlash from the religious right.

McDaniel announced the formation of the RNC Pride Coalition at the Log Cabin Republicans’ annual Spirit of Lincoln dinner, held on November 6 at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Resort in Florida. She said the coalition would involve the RNC, Log Cabin and other groups in mobilizing voters for the midterms of next year and beyond.

“The Conservatives at Log Cabin don’t just share our vision for a free, secure and prosperous America – they enrich it by adding unique perspectives to our party and by recruiting even more diverse candidates and supporters to join our cause.” , she said at the dinner. , according to Fox News.

But as the coalition moves forward and will have a dedicated RNC member, it will do nothing to “undermine our values,” she told RNC members in an email this week. The email came after a conference call with members on Monday, in which McDaniel declined to answer questions, saying reporters may have listened to the call.

“We are actively engaged in fighting the radical left on cultural issues and in defending religious freedom, family values ​​and republicans of faith,” she said in the statement. E-mail, which was obtained by Just the news, a conservative website.

The LGBTQ + outreach effort had been condemned by prominent figures on the religious right such as Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council. “As you move to be included in quotes with those who have radical ideas about human sexuality, who are hostile to religious freedom, the Republican Party is just becoming a light Democrat,” he said. said last week on the radio show of his right-wing colleague Todd Starnes.

But McDaniel is there to reassure the Republican base that this will not happen. “The RNC hiring this new staff member does not mean that we are advocating for ANY RNC policy or platform change on these issues,” she wrote in the email. “As you know, the Platform Committee will meet at the Republican National Convention in 2024 to decide on our platform. This committee is made up of members from each state and territory and elected at the local level. And that certainly does not mean that we are trying to make changes to the core values ​​of our party. The 2016 platform, which was condemned by Log Cabin at the time, included opposition to marriage equality and transgender rights, as well as support for conversion therapy – and the party n has not adopted a new platform in 2020.

McDaniel did not name the staff member in question, but it was reported that Richard Grenell, who was Ambassador to Germany and then Acting Director of National Intelligence under the Trump administration, joined the RNC to lead awareness among LGBTQ + voters.

She added that the Pride Coalition “is part of the comprehensive outreach program that we have within the RNC Strategic Initiatives team, including for Evangelical Americans, Catholics, Jews, Hispanics, Veterans, Youth, Blacks and Asians. -pacific. The goal of these outreach efforts is to mobilize voters from all walks of life to attract new voters to our party. “

McDaniel further noted that there was a Trump Pride coalition of LGBTQ + voters in the 2020 presidential election and that the new coalition will simply continue this work.

McDaniel and Grenell both received awards at the Log Cabin event, as did former First Lady Melania Trump and Republican United States Representative Chris Stewart from Utah. Stewart shared a table with Donald Trump; ahead of the gala, it was said but not confirmed that the former president would be in attendance. Stewart said in Salt Lake City News from Déseret that he had “substantial conversations” with Donald Trump at dinner, but was not sure Trump would run for president in 2024. “Honestly, I don’t think it’s decided,” Stewart said. “I think he’s waiting to see.”

McDaniel made headlines for several other reasons this week. One of them was finally concede that Trump lost the 2020 election to Democrat Joe Biden. “Sadly Joe Biden won the election, and it’s very painful to watch. It’s the president. We know that, ”she said at a breakfast Thursday hosted by The Christian Science Monitor in Washington, DC on Wednesday she had refused a report by ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl that Trump was quitting the party.

The Democratic National Committee released a statement Thursday blaming McDaniel for backing down on LGBTQ + awareness. “While it wasn’t already brazenly clear that any attempt at inclusiveness by the Republican Party is nothing but a political coup, Ronna McDaniel’s rush to reverse her empty support for the LGBTQ + community confirms this really, ”said DNC Coalitions director and spokesperson Lucas. Acosta. “His letter only further underscores the sectarianism of the Republican platform, and any awareness can be attributed to false engagement. Not only does the LGBTQ + community deserve better, it also deserves leaders who will fight tirelessly for their interests every day, not just when it is politically convenient. The Democratic Party will continue to run for the LGBTQ + community every day, and we remain committed to fighting for LGBTQ + equality in every corner of our country.

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