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Log Cabin Leader Quits After Trump Endorsement

Other leading members of queer GOP group have ditched it in response

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The executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans became the latest member of the group to step down following the organization’s controversial decision to endorse Donald Trump in his 2020 re-election campaign.

Jerri Ann Henry, who ascended to the top of the LGBTQ GOP group’s leadership team in November of last year, tendered her resignation on August 26, Log Cabin spokesperson Charles T. Moran told Gay City News in a written statement.

“The final date of her employment is undetermined at this time,” Moran said. “The board’s executive committee will proceed with an orderly transition to ensure nothing falls through the cracks. We thank her for her service to our organization and wish her well in the next chapter of her career.”

Henry follows behind board member Jennifer Horn and former Log Cabin DC Chapter leader Robert Turner, who both also ditched the group after the endorsement and offered scathing criticism on their way out.

According to the Washington Blade, which first reported on Henry’s resignation, she opted to step down after engaging in “harsh” discussions with board members. It is not clear exactly what was discussed — Log Cabin Republicans did not answer Gay City News’ questions about the circumstances surrounding Henry’s departure — but her resignation nonetheless raised questions about the power dynamics between some board members and an executive director who was notably the first woman to lead the group.

In a Facebook post announcing his resignation, Turner hinted at friction between board members and Henry, saying that she could not “seem to get anything accomplished because of a board of directors who won’t get out of her way.”

The endorsement and subsequent resignations have generated widespread attention on the group, which has been widely blasted by LGBTQ folks and others for backing a president who has chipped away at LGBTQ rights since taking office. Log Cabin did not endorse Trump during his 2016 campaign.

The August 15 Washington Post op-ed announcing the endorsement, written by Log Cabin’s chair Robert Kabel and vice chair Jill Homan, was riddled with head-scratching statements about Trump’s record in the LGBTQ community: Kabel and Homan spoke of Trump’s supposed dedication to ending the spread of HIV/ AIDS without mentioning that the president has sought ways to cut funding for research tied to the epidemic; they mentioned the administra­tion’s initiative to end the criminalization of homosexuality, but failed to say that the State Department has scaled back its LGBTQ-related human rights efforts around the globe; and they highlighted the reality that LGBTQ folks “can still be fired just for being gay in a majority of states in America” just one day after Trump rolled out an executive order scaling back the rights of LGBTQ employees of businesses that win federal contracts.

Meanwhile, Log Cabin’s former executive director, Gregory T. Angelo, commended the group for throwing its support behind the homophobic president.

“Bravo to @LogCabinGOP for endorsing @realDonaldTrump for reelection — this statement reads like it could have been issued in 2016 (and it should have been!). Nonetheless, glad to see gay Republicans united as we head toward victory in 2020.”

Prior to leading the national group, Angelo had run the Log Cabin chapter in New York State.

Hours after news broke of Henry’s resignation, Angelo resurfaced on Twitter with a cryptic question.

“Miss Me Yet?”

That question, and many others, will need to be answered by Log Cabin Republicans as the group’s members continue to grapple with their role in a party that overwhelmingly continues to reject their own rights.

But one of the most important questions — would an LGBTQ group support the anti-LGBTQ president — has been settled.

“The Log Cabin Republicans endorse Donald Trump for reelection as president,” the op-ed stated.

Updated 10:34 am, August 28, 2019
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