September 28, 2017 at 6:00 am EDT | by Chris Johnson
Log Cabin celebrates 40 years at Trump hotel — with no talk of Trump

Carly Fiorina speaks at the Log Cabin Republicans Spirit of Lincoln Dinner at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 27, 2017. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The nation’s premier organization for LGBT Republicans held its annual dinner for the first time at the Trump International Hotel in D.C. — but not once did any speaker on stage mention President Trump.

Keynoting the Log Cabin Republican dinner Wednesday was 2016 Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, who delivered a heavily autobiographical speech on moving from being a secretary to CEO that sought to inspire leadership goals among those at the dinner.

“A leader challenges the status quo,” Fiorina said. “A leader never accepts the way things are. That’s why there’s so many leaders here in this room.”

Fiorina mostly avoided LGBT issues before the estimated 250 attendees, although she alluded to advances made in LGBT rights without explicitly mentioning them and credited the “community” for making progress.

Among her vignettes was a story about an openly gay worker she knew in 1981 and identified as “Bill,” whom she said was forced to take service jobs when he’d rather serve in a sales position.

“Bill refused to be someone other than who he was,” Fiorina said. “And because he was open about who he was, the corporation had no idea what to do with Bill.”

Although Fiorina said Bill was initially denied employment in his preferred capacity, she said he later shined when given the opportunity to work in a sales position “and he went and sold his socks off.”

“Everyone has to be free to be who they are,” Fiorina said.

Taking a knock at Washington for having too much concentrated power, Fiorina also emphasized the importance of affording localities the authority to solve problems.

“Actually most of the Constitution is about preventing the concentration of the abuse of power, and a whole bunch of the Constitution is about making sure that people locally have the opportunity to solve their problems,” Fiorina said.

Founded in 1977 in California to thwart the Briggs Initiative, a measure opposed by soon-to-be President Ronald Reagan that would have banned gay teachers from schools, Log Cabin celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2017 — a milestone that was emphasized at the Trump International Hotel event.

Log Cabin held the dinner at the Trump International Hotel as the president faces criticism for refusing to put his assets in a blind trust amid suspicions wealthy and foreign interests would conduct business at his properties to influence public policy.

But not once during the entire celebration did Fiorina or anyone else on stage mention Trump or his policies. Among his administration’s actions to undermine LGBT rights: revoking Obama-era guidance assuring transgender students restroom access in schools, ordering the U.S. military to ban transgender service members and staffing a Justice Department with attorneys arguing against legal protections for gays before the federal judiciary.

Attendees offered a nuanced assessment of the president and whether his approach to LGBT issues should be celebrated at the event.

New Hampshire State Sen. Dan Innis, among those in attendance, said “we shouldn’t be crying” over Trump’s record on LGBT rights at the dinner even if they’re not cause for celebration.

“He’s done some positive things for our community, but again, the more he gets to know us, I think the more he’ll see that we can be very important to him and the Republican Party — and we are,” Innis said.

Innis added, “I think one of the nice things is that we have a seat at the table at the White House — something we haven’t had in a long, long time.”

Jim Driscoll, a gay Nevada-based HIV activist who supported Trump in the election, took issue with Trump’s ban on transgender service in the U.S. military.

“I think it was a mistake on his part, and I think he’s being pressured by the Mueller probe, and he wants to do anything to get the evangelical base totally aligned with him as protection,” Driscoll said. “I think that’s why he did it rather than he thinks there was something that needed to be. I think it’s a political move on his part, and if we didn’t have the Mueller probe and all these problems, probably advice from Jared and Ivanka would have prevailed and he would have done nothing.”

Gregory Angelo, president of Log Cabin Republicans, said the celebration was focused on the 40th anniversary of the organization when asked why no mention of Trump was made at the dinner.

“I don’t think that’s out of the ordinary,” Angelo said. “We certainly don’t shy away from talking about him. We have an event in the hotel that bears his name tonight, so the focus of tonight was two things: It was Carly Fiorina, and it was Log Cabin Republicans’ 40th anniversary. That’s it. And that’s what was driving the messaging tonight.”

Asked if Trump’s approach to LGBT rights should be celebrated at the dinner, Angelo replied, “We’ve gone on the record in the past praising Trump when he needs to be praised and we’ve criticized him when criticism was due.”

“This was not about stoking more divisions within the GOP, or even amongst our members,” Angelo said. “It was about being unified in celebration of our four decades, and I think that’s what we saw here tonight.”

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

  • ““I don’t think that’s out of the ordinary,” Angelo said. “We certainly don’t shy away from talking about him.”

    If that’s your statement – you truly don’t think.

  • See no evil. Hear no evil. Speak no evil.

  • So does that indicate LCR will be helping that pillar of Alabama jurisprudence, Roy Moore, replace Jeffy Sessions?

    Keep filling we Dems with resolve for November and next year, LCR.

    \“This was not about stoking more divisions within the GOP, or even amongst our members,” Angelo said.”//

  • They just can’t bring themselves to say anything critical about the party that would sooner throw them in the oven than see them as equals. What a shame. When arrogant pride and selfish greed are more important to you than the future of your community or even the nation itself. Some patriots. It’s a who’s who of self-loathing and denial.

    • I’m not an LCR member, but…….Republicans would “throw them in the oven”?? You’re more aptly describing those particular Dems who wanted Hillary Clinton in the White House.

      • Hahaha oh that’s rich! Very funny. In no twisted alt reality would Hillary have rescinded or harmed LGBT protections and social progress as Trump has already begun to do. I could *maybe* have an ounce of respect for the LCR if they would at least have the courage to say “yeah, we know the Republicans are anti-gay but we don’t care because we’re more concerned with slashing government, giving huge tax breaks to the wealthy, and keeping minorities oppressed so white people keep the power” – if they could do that, at least they’d be honest. But any person who claims to value social progressiveness and civil rights, has NO BUSINESS voting for Republicans. Republicans are the anti-civil rights party, the party of social regressive, not progressive. The party of NO. Which tells me that the LCR don’t really care THAT MUCH about LGBT progress, because yay tax breaks for millionaires and Trump corruption! Get real. The Democrats are not perfect by any means, but our party platform does not include outright bigotry, prejudice, and discrimination!

        • Yeah…Hillary just would have quadrupled the Muslim population of the U.S. As she grandly stated during the debates, “Islam is not our enemy-y-y-y!” Uh, maybe not YOUR enemy, Hillary, but it sure is the enemy of gay men, worldwide. And in the U.S., one Pulse massacre was enough for me.

          • “Quadrupled the Muslim population of the US” a lie, and irrelevant since white “Christian” Americans have done more damage to gays than have American Muslims. But the braindead, tax-cuts-for-the-rich gayKK will always find a way to justify its support for homophobic Nazi-apologist extremist Treason Trump.

            Hillary has been in support of civil unions since the 90s, was the only national politician to publicly stand by Gavin Newsom when he legalized gay marriage, made her first act as First Lady flying to California to meet with negelected AIDS activists, remains the only White House official to march in gay Pride, made her first act at State Dept granting full benefits to gay famimilies, and made worldwide support for gay rights part of the US diplomatic portfolio.

            Trying to link Hillary to one mass shooting by one American-born Muslim as an excuse to support Repubican politicians who have done nothing for gays and who are actively trying to deny basic human and civil rights to gays is stupid af. And jus a lame excuse for white gays to embrace right wing white supremacy and greed, which is the real reason behind it.

          • No, Hillary would have quadrupled the Muslim population of the U.S., and one Pulse massacre was enough for me. And one attempt to bomb San Francisco bars. One attempt to blow up Uncle Charlie’s in NYC, and just bomb Chelsea in general. And of course the one who tried to burn a thousand gays to death by setting the Neighbors Nightclub on fire (luckily some military gays sttopped him). So you and Hillary can just pantsuit away to Haiti (where they LOVE her so much, just ask..)

          • No, HIllary would not have quadrupled the Muslim population of the US, you are a liar. The Pulse massacre is just an excuse for you to ignore the millions of gays killed and harmed by Republicans’ antigay policies. You don’t care one bit about the Pulse victims. White Republcians have issued more bomb and death threats against gays tand caused more death and destruction to American gays than any group. So I’ll stay right here in America where gay-rights-supporter and popular vote winner Hillary has the #1 bestselling political book of all time, while antigay bigot Treason Trump and the gay-hating Rehtuglican Party hit record lows in approval because Americans despise them.

          • Oh..shush, and show some respect for the white men who rule. Luckily.

          • That moment when your white supremacist Russian bot trolling fails spectacularly.

          • Shush or I’ll ship you to Jamaica.

          • And …(lol!)…you would look at the Muslim majority countries around the world, how gays are treated in every single one (including public canings and execution)….and then vote for a pantsuit that grandly announced during the debates, “Is-LAM is not our enemy-y-y-y-y!!!” Uhh…..self-hating, much ?

          • And LOL you have to try (and fail) to change the subject to Muslims thousands of miles away to distract from the antigay policies and antigay abuses of Republicans right here at home, and your vote for an antigay bigot who is arging that businesses should be allowed to discriminate against gays and pledged to “repeal the awful gay marriage decision.” Meanwhile, most American Muslims voted for the pro-gay Democratic platform. American Muslims are bigger supporters of gay rights that self-loathing white supremacist gay Rethuglicans.

          • Bow down, Pantsuit.

          • Drop dead, Vladimir.

        • “government, giving huge tax breaks to the wealthy, and keeping minorities oppressed so white people keep the power” Actually, I don’t mind wealthy Asians and wealthy gay men keeping the power too. And it’s the whites who gave us gay marriage.

          • Actually, the majority of whites vote for Republicans, so if it was left up to whites, there wouldn’t be gay marriage. Nice try though.

          • Look at the countries and states that have gay marriage, or got them first. As white as snow. And compare Europe to Africa.

          • Look at the Americans who support gay marriage: Democrats and those who vote for them. Look at those who don’t support gay marriage: Republicans and those who vote to empower politicians who hate gays and want to deny rights to gays.

          • Vermont, N.H., Iowa, Maine…… and…the Netherlands, Belgium, Argentina, Iceland, Spain, Canada..

          • Republicans are opposed to gay rights.
            Democrats support gay rights.

            None of your deranged ranting and raving can change this fact.

          • Moreso, numbers-wise, yes. But it doesn’t matter, because Democrats throw gays under the bus for Muslims.

          • Gay rights and the Democratic support of gay rights while Republicans actively try to deny basic human and civil rights to gays. American Muslims consistently vote for the Democratic Party and its pro-gay rights platform. White supremacist Republicans gays are doing more to harm the rights of Americans than Democrats or American Muslims. Gays are not stupid. Nice try tho!

          • No, most gays are pretty dumb. And American Muslims have tried to kill gays in mass numbers five times already in the U.S. Only Pulse was successful. The less of them the better, but the self-hating disagree with me. (European gays are the ones who’ve had to learn the hard way about Muslim homophobia).

          • So earlier it was “the greatest men in history were gay” now its “gays aren’t smart” LOL You can’t even keep up with your own lies. No, most gays are highly intelligent, which is why they didn’t fall for Treason Trump’s bull. Even Trump knows his supporters are stupid af: he himself called them “poorly educated” and you idiots hate yourselves so much you *still* support him. European gays hate the evil, corrupt sleazeball Trump as much as Americans do.

          • Gays used to be Francis Bacon, Plato, and Alan Turing. Today they’re pretty stupid, overall.

          • Well at least you’re now letting your hatred of gays fly. No wonder you support gay-hating thug Treason Trump

          • Only gays and leftists would believe Hillary Clinton when she spoke of getting the letter from a woman whose adopted son saw Trump on TV and fearfully asked her, “Mommy, if he gets elected will I have to go back to Ethiopia ??” Yeah….sure Hillary…

          • Now that the pathetic attempt at trolling has failed, the homophobia starts showing up lol wow you are bad at this

      • You are nothing short of delusional, when the most support for the Gay rights movement has come from Democrats. Name a single holder of a national office, from the Democratic Party, who is advocating for the idea that “homosexual conduct should be illegal”?

        Yet, the Republican nominee for the Senate in Alabama (Roy Moore) has stated that opinion routinely and he will receive party funding to take that opinion to the US Senate.

        I say this as a straight guy, who supports equal rights for everyone, but you need to inform yourself because you are way off from the reality of the situation.

        • ” who is advocating for the idea that “homosexual conduct should be illegal”?” Rev. Ruben Diaz right here in NYC, and just about every Muslim.

        • And I know your type. You’ll defend Islamic homophobia to the very end, including their right to speak of killing gay men as “freedom of…religion” or something. You’re in no danger as a heterosexual man (until you draw a pic of Mohammad or do something equally blasphemous).

          • You know nothing about me and couldn’t be more wrong. I condemn this imam as much as I condemn those freaking idiots from Westboro church. Advocating violence or death does not qualify as “free speech.” Trust me, I’m the last person you are going to find defending someone this vile based on their religious views.

          • You’ll say that but you still espouse unrestricted immigration of Muslims into the western world, and that’s exactly what will kill men like me eventually. And you’ll rest easily, because you had to choose between us and them and you chose them.

          • House gays: “Ignore what Republicans are doing to harm gays in America right now, but be very, very worried about what Islamophobes claims Muslims might do to gays in the future.”

            No wonder gay Republicans are a complete laughingstock.

          • Some of them ARE laughingstocks. More gay Democrats are laughingstocks presently, though. Gays who are Independent are the smartest people.

          • Yeah, we know “independents” love to pretend to be outsiders to try to be rebels for rebelliousness sake. Yawn, that stopped being cool in high school. Gays who don’t support the only party fighting for their rights are morons and self-loathing traitors.

          • No, it never stopped being cool.

          • And you comparing a bunch of silly sign-holders to a mass murder of 49 people in a nightclub shows how warped your values are.

          • Meanwhile, white conservatives Americans have brutally bashed to death thousands and thousands of gays over the years, bullied thousands more to death, and ruined the lives of millions of gays with their homophobia. Yet selfish, braindead, self-loathing sellout house gays use one incident as an excuse to continue enabling a party diamettrically opposed to gay human rights. Talk about warped.

          • Sorry, no conservatives ever tried to hurt me. Muslims, on the other had, tried to kill me three times already in NYC, and once directly because of my sexuality. So…since I’ve dealt with death and reality I couldn’t care less about your fantasies about conservatives and Jewish plots.

          • Sorry, but the world does not revolve around you and your bs stories. All American gays have been hurt by conservative policies, and white conservatives have hurt and killed more gays than any other group beyond a doubt. Which is why most American gays don’t care at all about your Islamophobia and will never join you in enabling the antigay Republican Party.

          • Too many gays have an internal need for more punishment so they embrace Is-LAMic immigration to the west (since Christianity eased up and turned more gay-accepting). That’s why they’re furious Trump won the election. They wanted Hillary to bring more Muslims to the U.S. so we could have nail bombs at Ariana Grande concerts here too.

          • Nah, gays are furious antigay homophobe Treason Trump cheated his way info office via Russia treason because, unlike the gay-hating Republican Party, most gays are patriots who love America and who aren’t going to disrespect themselves by supporting a party opposed to their rights. No matter how many times you try (and fail) to change the subject to your stereotypes about Muslims, gays are not ever going to support the Republican Party, because Democrats support gay freedom, equality, and rights and Republicans do not. Trumpanzee white suprmeacists are idiots who are easily manipulated by fear — it doesn’t work on gays. Sorry, Vladimir!

          • Don’t be sorry. I’m glad Trump is in office and will be for the next seven years. Hillary would have been a disaster. And I still enjoy the election night memory of the b.f. walking into the room at about 2:00 am and telling me, “You know Trump is the President…?” I hadn’t had the coverage on TV (too stressful) and honestly wasn’t sure he’d win, but…..what a relief. And (though it’s sorta mean) I do enjoy watching coverage of the other side on election night :fat female homophobes and castrated males..

          • I’m glad Treason Trump is going to jail and has no way to cheat himself to power twice without Putin’s help. I do enjoy Democrats picking up red seats everywhere, Hillary winning the popular vote by millions of votes and getting standing ovations everywhere and having the #1 bestselling political book ever while her TV interviews set ratings record, while fat scumbag Treason Trump’s approval rating falls to a pathetic 32% because nobody supports him but ugly homophobic loser tech nerds who can’t get laid. All this for what? To permanently alienate youth voters and be unable to pass a healthcare bill because your gay-hating trash political party sucks so badly LOL

          • I just wish I could have seen the group (Hillary, Bill, Chelsea, Huma, and Anthony Wiener) when the results came in. But…who doesn’t want to see THAT one?? The only recording we have is she and Bill jumping up and down like goofs early on when they seemed to be ahead.

          • I just wish I could be in the White House watching hated, unpopular corrupt loser Treason Trump and his evil crime family flail, cry and whine as Mueller closes in on them, forcing the isolated fake president to lash out on twitter knowing Hillary is thriving while he is headed to prison LOL

          • LOL. Well…you can just pretend away..

          • Meanwhile, you defend the bigotry, racism, greed and homophbia of white Republican America to no end. White American men have killed more gays and done more damage to gay freedom and equality than Muslims or any group, and it isn’t even close.

            White gay Republicans actually don’t give a crap about homophobia among Muslims — they just need an excuse to publicly embrace the greed and white supremacy of the right. That’s all it is.

          • Yup, it’s typically gay to adore Muslims and despise Republicans. Understandable, seeing the way Republicans are executing gay men in the U.S. (or just men caught in homosexual acts). Oh…wait…

          • Typically lying house gay to try to falsely change the subject to their false stereotypes of Muslims to justify selling out to a racist, bigoted, homophobic, unpatriotic party that hates them and is openly trying to make gays second class citizens. Understandable, since their self-loathing and need for the white daddy’s approval causes them to have their pathetic heads buried up Treason Trump’s butt.

            Hillary supports gay rights, unlike you and your Rethuglican masters. Nice try tho.

          • LOL. False stereotypes….right. And nothing wrong with white daddies. Hush now, Pantsuit. Trump is the President for the next seven years. Luckily.

          • LOL you can’t be president after you go to jail for treason and you can’t hang onto 70,000 Rust Belt votes without Russian vote suppression cyberattacks. Sorry to burst your bubble, Russian bot.

          • And I’m not into white supremacy, though I find nothing wrong with it. White gay men have been the greatest men in history. But I do admit I think Asians have the higher I.Qs, which is probably why they all voted for Trump. Indians too. High standards.

          • Finding nothing wrong with evil is supporting evil, so yes, you are a white supremacist — but that was obvious from your support for the Nazi-apologist, racist-to-the-core Rethuglican Party traitors. So in addition to being a bigot, you’re also a liar, since Hillary won over 65-80% of the Asian-American vote. Just one more explanation for your supoort for the homophobe Treason Trump and his antigay administration: you’re both pathetic pathological liars.

          • Well…white men, and white gay men, certainly created this computer we’re using. And everything else. (The Chinese did give us paper, though, I grant them).

  • Just mentioning Gay republicans blows my MIND! it’s sorta like Jews for Jesus. The republicans just want their vote! plain and simple! Other than that, they could care less about any LGBTQ rights or equality!!!! SAD!!!!!

  • Gays For Islam is the better analogy. Self-destructive insanity.

    • You have to love the intellectual dishonesty and desperation of sellout right wing house gays trying to fearmonger about Islam to justify their support for a party that has prompted thousands of gays to commit suicide with its determination to make gays second-class citizens. Anything for the gayKK to justify its white supremacy and daddy issues.

      • Is THAT it ? I guess I just made up stories about what’s going on in Egypt. Thanks.

        • No, you’re just desperately trying to change the subject from what’s going on right here in America with the antigay policies of Treason Trump and the Rethuglican Party..

          • Your biggest nightmare is that nothing bad will happen to gays in the slightest. Because that’ll make all your warnings (and you) irrelevant. So you hang on so tightly to the hopes that gay marriage will be made illegal, etc.

          • Treason Trump already rescinded antidiscrimination orders that protected gays, normalized homophobia by filling his cabinet with white supremacists who hate gays, and is attacking LGBT soldiers. Your biggest nightmare is that unlike “poorly educated” toothless hillbilly Trump trash, gays continue to be far too sophisticated to fall for your Russian propaganda and lies. Hang on tightly to the hope that gays will ever not know that Republicans hate gays and are opposed to gay rights, hence their election of Nazi-apologist gay hating homophobes Trump and Pence.

          • Your greatest fear. And it gets worse as ….nothing happens.

          • Your greatest fear. And gays continue to not fall for your crap.

  • LOL – Carly Fiorina. Probably the only Republican they could get that would headline their dinner. She’s never held office – and been quickly dismissed from appointments because she’s so out of touch. so she’s a lot like gay republicans, completely out of touch and heads in the sand. I love the NH Senator Dan Innis spoke to the blade – – he’s about as messed up as possible. a far right wing conservative. I’d love to hear one single positive thing that Trump and his administration have done for gay people. I can’t name one.

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