August 12, 2017 at 4:48 pm EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
LGBT groups condemn white nationalist rally in Charlottesville
Charlottesville, gay news, Washington Blade

White nationalists march in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Charles Butler)

LGBT rights groups are among those who have condemned a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday that descended into violence.

“Everyday we partner with people and organizations across the state to make Virginia a more inclusive place where all can thrive,” Equality Virginia Executive Director James Parrish told the Washington Blade in a statement. “Through sharing our stories, listening to intersectional voices, and working for fairness we strive for a more equal commonwealth. Intimidating communities with taunts and violence has no place here. Anyone who doesn’t strongly condemn the Unite for the Right rally is complicit in supporting this dangerous and racist agenda.”

Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin on Twitter wrote “hate and bigotry on display in Charlottesville must be challenged wherever it rears its ugly head.”

Danica Roem, a transgender woman who is running against Virginia state Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince William County), issued a short statement in which she said, “get that neo-Nazi white supremacy BS out of our commonwealth.”

The Associated Press reported one person died and 19 others were injured on Saturday when a car plowed into a group of counter-protesters in downtown Charlottesville. Two Virginia State Police officers died a few hours later when their helicopter crashed outside the city.

White nationalists and counter-protesters clashed throughout the day in the city in which the University of Virginia is located. Reports indicate some of the white nationalists shouted anti-gay slurs as they marched through Charlottesville.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides,” President Trump told reporters during a press conference at his golf course in Bedminster, N.J. “It’s been going on for a long time in this country.”

Trump also called for a “swift restoration of law and order and the protection of innocent lives” in Charlottesville. Griffin on Twitter said Trump has “emboldened this ugly hate and bigotry.”

“The violence we are witnessing is horrifying, but is merely the latest manifestation of the growing racist, anti-immigration, anti-Semitic, sexist and anti-LGBTQ hate in our midst,” said Stacey Long Simmons, director of the National LGBTQ Task Force’s Advocacy and Action Department, in a statement. “The continuing escalation of hate and white nationalist sentiment we are experiencing during the Trump administration has come to this — targeted violence in the streets of Virginia led by the Klu Klux Klan and neo-Nazi organizations.”

Vice President Pence, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Virginia Congresswoman Barbara Comstock and former Republican National Committee Chair Ed Gillespie are among those who have publicly condemned the white nationalists.

“Our country encourages freedom of speech, but let’s communicate w/o hate in our hearts,” said first lady Melania Trump in a tweet. “No good comes from violence.”

Log Cabin Republicans President Gregory T. Angelo in a statement to the Blade applauded Trump’s response to the violence.

“Log Cabin Republicans stands with and echoes our president and his forceful statement today: All Americans must unite in condemnation of hate, regardless of our background, regardless of our political affiliation,” said Angelo.

Hundreds of white nationalists on Friday who marched through the University of Virginia campus with torches clashed with counter-protesters. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Saturday declared a state of emergency in Charlottesville.

“Sad note to leave the East Coast today after such a great week with all this racism in my hometown area,” wrote Troy Elmore, a gay man who grew up in Stuarts Draft, which is roughly 25 miles west of Charlottesville, on his Facebook page on Saturday. “And of course this idiot of a president is silent. He is a worthless piece of garbage. This Nazi-style protest should have been condemned immediately.”

Hunter T. Carter, a New York-based lawyer who works to advance marriage rights for same-sex couples in Latin America, is a University of Virginia alum. He told the Blade on Saturday that he is “proud of my university and disgusted by what’s happening in Charlottesville.”

“I’m in Canada at the moment and this is hard to explain,” said Carter.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

  • Were any LGBT Trump supporters part of this Alt right demonstration? If you support the fake POTUS, I would assume you also support this ideology? One recently told me he was the head of one of the chambers of Commerce and whining about how Trump was saving America from being destroyed. What a joke given that Trump’s agenda including for GLBT does just that, destroy America as we know it so that it only favors a rich white male christian majority in education, housing, job opportunities and tax treatment at the expense of everyone else. The GLBT seem to pretend that sexuality won’t matter here as long as they get everything else. Yet they fail to realize that when it comes to advantage, heterosexuals will make sure they are on top not YOU! You may be the last minority to be screwed but not one that is excluded from it!

    Remember from history that Ernst Rohm (an openly gay man who lead the SA) supporting Hitler and his rise to power. They were friends. But one day, after Hitler got what he wanted and felt Rohm was a threat ordered this thugs to make Rohm shoot himself. When he refused, he was then shot! You are used to help secure power then later purged as undesirable!

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    • The local organizer for the rally Jason Kessler is Jewish so it couldn’t be what CNN claims

      • Oy vey, so all those swastikas I saw held up by your alt right buddies couldn’t be what it looks like? Really?! You do realize that there were some Jews that helped the German Fascists in Germany to round up other Jews for concentration camps and that exceptions were made for some Jews or half-blood German Jews to be party of that regime? Goering had such a friend and the widow of Wagner’s son had a Jew in her performing group she had your Fuhrer allow to continue working at her request.

        Obviously just like we have gays that support individuals and groups that work to oppress, strip away, and prevent the rights of LGBT Americans such as yourself! Did you wave your rainbow flag at the values convention that conservative held or was it unnecessary because you are a flaming neon sign?

        Oh, and don’t assume because you support an alt right ideology that you will be immune from a purge by it one day. Take a lesson from Ernst Rohm and his fate despite his friendship and dedication to the leader of his party!

  • So where are the condemnations from “LGBT groups” against the violence perpetrated by Antifa and Black Lives Matter? Where are the condemnations of the dozens of red communist flags with hammers and sickles being waved by the permitless “counter protesters?

    • Same place a where Obama denounced the black moslem who shot 12 Dallas cops.
      When moslems mow down pedestrians CNN says Not All Moslems Are Like That, but when Antifa pounds on cars its Trumps fault someone didn’t want to become another Reginald Denny. Boston Antifa even said stabbing cops horses is valid tactic.

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