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LGBTQ Trump supporters tiptoe away from president after U.S. Capitol attack

One-time won’t commit to forcibly removing Trump from office



LGBTQ Trump supporters are minimizing their previous support for him.

In the aftermath of the assault on the U.S. Capitol instigated by President Trump, his one-time LGBTQ supporters are now distancing themselves from him without outright renouncing their previous support.

Many LGBTQ Trump supporters didn’t respond to the Washington Blade’s request for comment. Others condemned the violence at the U.S. Capitol, but sought to artfully distance themselves from Trump while minimizing their previous support for him as an incumbent president running for re-election in 2020.

One-time Trump supporters — amid talk of Trump being forced to resign, impeached and removed from office or being stripped of the presidency through never-before invoked powers of executive officers under the 25th Amendment — wouldn’t commit to supporting any of those outcomes.

Charles Moran, managing director of Log Cabin Republicans, condemned the assault on the U.S. Capitol as “a dark day in the current chapter of American history,” but compared it to racial unrest of 2020 and said “it brought into the new year the anger and violence that we experienced only recently in the summer of 2020.”

“That said, the violence and un-American acts committed yesterday by those who stormed the Capitol building were completely unacceptable and those who took part in trying to forcefully stop our democracy from working should be identified, arrested, tried and punished to the fullest extent of the law,” Moran said, “Full stop, no exceptions.”

Moran said Log Cabin Republicans, which endorsed Trump in the 2020 election, learned from the success it enjoyed in increasing the LGBTQ vote for the Republican presidential nominee (according to exit polls) but said those efforts were never about Trump himself.

“While the gay left has had a deranged obsession with Donald Trump, our movement has never been about one man,” Moran said. “We can and will achieve continued success, with or without Donald Trump.”

Moran also side-stepped the issue of what should happen with Trump amid talk of removing him from office before end of his presidential term.

“President Trump’s last day in office will be January 20, when Vice President Biden will be sworn into office,” Moran said. “I don’t know what President Trump will do next. The Republican Party today, however, is transformed, and I think for the better.”

Chad Felix Greene, who wrote a self-published book “Without Context,” disputing each of the LGBTQ media watchdog GLAAD’s accounts of anti-LGBTQ attacks by Trump, told the Blade the assault on the Capitol was “an act of domestic terrorism and should not be tolerated.”

“The right has attracted a population of people that think anarchy and obscenity are political activism,” Greene added. “White supremacists, antisemites and other assorted idiots latched onto the MAGA movement because it was rebellious and counter culture and controversial.”

Greene said he lost his respect for Trump “when he began behaving as a conspiratorial voice leading his followers into madness,” and is now looking to Mike Pence for leadership, despite the vice president’s long anti-LGBTQ record.

“While I appreciated [Trump’s] policies as a leader, he proved himself to be a threat to everything we built over the last four years over his ego,” Greene added. “Pence is the perfect mirror image of this. Consistent. Calm. Trustworthy and a man of integrity. He’s not the face of what MAGA became as an aggressive and passionate movement. He reminded us of what good Republican and conservative leadership can be.”

Greene said he expects Trump to “leave office” and “won’t support” him in future political efforts, but at the same time doesn’t back efforts to forcibly remove the president from office before the end of his term.

“Honestly it’s in two weeks,” Greene said. “He reluctantly gave a statement on an orderly exit. I think current efforts at removing him are political and short-sighted. We’ve completely forgotten the stimulus and vaccine rollout that needs attention. Trump is done. Further political theater seems petty and unnecessary to me.”

Dan Innis, a Republican former New Hampshire state senator who supported Trump and after the 2020 election said on Twitter he wouldn’t accept the results, told the Blade the assault on the U.S. Capitol was “very sad,” but wouldn’t give up his previous position.

“My concerns about the validity of the election remain,” Innis said. “If the election was fair, and I hope it was, show us. Why the secrecy? If there is nothing to hide, don’t hide it. However, given yesterday’s events, we will never know the truth about the election. As a result, millions of Americans, me included, will forever doubt the integrity of the American election process.”

Innis also sought to minimize Trump as a leader of the conservative movement, adding “vanquishing” him “will not change my views, or the views of those millions” who don’t trust the nation’s leaders and institutions.

“Trump was nothing but a figurehead of a larger movement, and that movement is not going to just go away just because Trump goes away,” Innis said. “If the Democrats, including Joe Biden, think that is going to happen, I think they will be surprised.”

The distancing from Trump corresponds to the growing list of administration aides resigning in the aftermath of the assault on the U.S. Capitol.

Among them was Tyler Goodspeed, who’s gay and was acting chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, who resigned Thursday. “The events of yesterday made my position no longer tenable,” Goodspeed was quoted as saying to the New York Times.

But several other LGBTQ officials with ties to Trump had little to say for themselves and didn’t respond to the Blade’s request for comment. Among them was Richard Grenell, who was the face of LGBTQ outreach for Trump’s re-election. Although Grenell condemned the assault on the U.S. Capitol on Twitter as it was unfolding, by the next day his focus shifted to California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Iran, Big Tech and the media, but not Trump.

Brandon Straka, the gay conservative who founded the “Walk Away” movement and was among the speakers at the “Stop the Steal” rally that led to the assault on the U.S. Capitol also didn’t respond to the Blade’s request for comment.

After the assault, Straka posted on Twitter a one-hour video skirting the violence and expressing outrage at the rioters and issued a call to “completely gut the conservative movement and start again.” On Friday, Straka indignantly tweeted about Facebook disabling the “Walk Away” campaign on the social media platform.

Also not responding to the Blade was Gregory Angelo, who cheered Trump on after stepping down as head of the Log Cabin Republicans and later took a job at the Trump White House; and Rob Smith, a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” activist who later became a chief spokesperson for the pro-Trump student group Turning Point USA.

Other LGBTQ conservatives who spoke to the Blade, but didn’t support Trump for re-election in 2020, weren’t shy about saying the assault on the U.S. Capitol confirmed their fears about him.

Brad Polumbo, a D.C.-based conservative journalist and host of the podcast “Breaking Brad,” said the Trump administration yielded good policy — including for LGBTQ people, despite Trump’s anti-LGBTQ reputation — but the recent events proved him right.

“The crazed mob attack on the Capitol and President Trump’s denial of the election results that fomented it, for me, vindicate the decision to never get on board the Trump train,” Polumbo said. “From tax cuts to deregulation to the confirmation of several excellent Supreme Court justices to Middle East peace deals and an unprecedented openness to gay Americans, there are many successes gay conservatives like me can take away from the Trump presidency. But recent events have also served as a painful reminder to LGBT conservatives, and all conservatives, really, that policy aside, our leaders’ character matters.”

Jennifer Williams, a New Jersey-based Republican transgender advocate who challenged Trump over his supporters using anti-trans campaign tactics that ended up failing in the 2020 election, denounced the assault on the U.S. Capitol.

“The people who stormed and violently entered the Capitol to disrupt yesterday’s election certification acted not as Americans, but as vandals to democracy,” Williams said. “Every single one of the perpetrators should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. These people did not act as Republicans, because what they did is not in the spirit of what Republicans stand for or how we conduct ourselves. However, that is the least of my worries. I fear our children seeing our country as they saw it yesterday.”

Williams, who said the results of the 2020 election are clear, issued a clarion call that the time has come for Trump to step down before the end of his term, or that officials should do the job for him.

“President Trump should consider stepping down and/or ceding his day-to-day authority to Vice President Pence for these last few days in order to restore a sense of peace to our country,” Williams said. “The president and his son — after using strong anti-transgender and vulgar language in his own speech — encouraged the protesters to march on our Capitol building. That is unconscionable and every American, liberal or conservative and LGBTQ or not, must recognize this. We are a country of laws and freedom, not anarchy and mob rule.”

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McAuliffe participates in Virginia Pride roundtable

Gubernatorial candidate highlighted plans to keep Va. ‘open and welcoming’



Terry McAuliffe, gay news, Washington Blade
(Washington Blade photo by Lee Whitman)

Terry McAuliffe on Monday met with Virginia Pride in Richmond to discuss his plans to keep the state “open and welcoming” for the LGBTQ community.

“Great opportunity to speak with @VA_Pride in Richmond this AM,” McAuliffe tweeted following the roundtable that took place at Diversity Richmond’s headquarters. “VA is the #1 state for business because we are open and welcoming — but that’s all at risk this November. Glenn Youngkin’s far-right social agenda would harm LGBTQ+ Virginians and send our economy into a ditch.”

McAuliffe and Youngkin are running a close race for the governorship, according to a Washington Post-Schar School poll released Saturday that shows the former Virginia governor leading by a 50-47 percent margin among likely voters.

The Human Rights Campaign endorsed McAuliffe, who was governor from 2014-2018, for his record of supporting LGBTQ rights, including supporting marriage equality and signing an executive order prohibiting discrimination against LGBTQ state employees as his first action in office. 

“LGBTQ leaders in Richmond had a great meeting with Gov. McAuliffe where he was able to lay out his agenda for building on the tremendous progress Virginia has made towards equality,” said Virginia Pride Program Director James Millner in an email to the Washington Blade. “The governor talked extensively about his record on LGBTQ issues and promised to work with us to ensure that every LGBTQ Virginian is able to live openly and authentically.”

McAuliffe’s legacy includes welcoming businesses turned off by North Carolina’s passage of its anti-transgender “bathroom bill.” 

When North Carolina’s House Bill 2, a law requiring students to use public restrooms and locker rooms aligned with the gender on their birth certificates, took effect in 2016, McAullife recruited CoStar, a real estate information company that operates databases for, and similar companies, to move its headquarters to Richmond. This recruitment brought 730 jobs to the state.

David Dorsch, a senior vice president at Cushman and Wakefield, which represented CoStar nationally, told the Charlotte Business Journal that CoStar’s primary reason for choosing “Richmond over Charlotte was HB 2.”

Youngkin is a former business executive who previously ran the Carlyle Group, a private equity firm named by the HRC in 2019 as a “Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality” in its annual Corporate Equality Index. HRC, however, has called out Youngkin for “anti-LGBTQ and transphobic language” during his current campaign.

McAuliffe in April released an LGBTQ rights platform that includes a call to repeal the so-called “conscience clause,” which allows religious-based adoption agencies to discriminate against same-sex couples.

Governor Ralph Northam, who was McAuliffe’s former lieutenant governor and has signed historic LGBTQ-inclusive legislation during his time in office, also endorsed McAuliffe for governor.

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Biden recognizes 10th anniversary of end to ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

Pete Buttigieg, Gina Ortiz Jones named in White House statement



President Biden recognized in a statement on Monday the tenth anniversary of the end to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” a law that once discharged service members from the military for being openly gay or bisexual.

“Ten years ago today, a great injustice was remedied and a tremendous weight was finally lifted off the shoulders of tens of thousands of dedicated American service members,” Biden said. “The repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ which formally barred gay, lesbian, and bisexual service members from openly serving, helped move our nation closer to its foundational promise of equality, dignity, and opportunity for all.”

Biden recognized high-profile openly gay appointees in his administrations who are also veterans, naming Air Force Under Secretary Gina Ortiz Jones and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. Biden also names Shawn Skelly, assistant secretary of defense for readiness, who would have been discharged from the military under President Trump’s transgender military ban.

“On this day and every day, I am thankful for all of the LGBTQ+ service members and veterans who strengthen our military and our nation,” Biden said. “We must honor their sacrifice by continuing the fight for full equality for LGBTQ+ people, including by finally passing the Equality Act and living up to our highest values of justice and equality for all.”

Technically speaking, the anniversary of Obama signing repeal legislation was in December. Today is the anniversary of defense officials certifying the military is ready, which put an end to the policy.

Read Biden’s full statement below:

Statement by President Joe Biden on the Tenth Anniversary of the Repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
Ten years ago today, a great injustice was remedied and a tremendous weight was finally lifted off the shoulders of tens of thousands of dedicated American service members. The repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, which formally barred gay, lesbian, and bisexual service members from openly serving, helped move our nation closer to its foundational promise of equality, dignity, and opportunity for all. It was the right thing to do. And, it showed once again that America is at its best when we lead not by the example of our power, but by the power of our example.

Despite serving with extraordinary honor and courage throughout our history, more than 100,000 American service members have been discharged because of their sexual orientation or gender identity—including some 14,000 under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Many of these veterans received what are known as “other than honorable” discharges, excluding them and their families from the vitally important services and benefits they had sacrificed so much to earn.

As a U.S. Senator, I supported allowing service members to serve openly, and as Vice President, I was proud to champion the repeal of this policy and to stand beside President Obama as he signed the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act into law. As President, I am honored to be Commander-in-Chief of the strongest and most inclusive military in our nation’s history. Today, our military doesn’t just welcome LGBTQ+ service members—it is led at the highest levels by brave LGBTQ+ veterans, including Under Secretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones and Assistant Secretary of Defense for Readiness Shawn Skelly, who served under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. I was gratified to appoint the first openly gay Senate-confirmed Cabinet member, Secretary Pete Buttigieg, a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserve and Afghanistan veteran who joined the military under the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. And during my first week in office, I proudly delivered on my pledge to repeal the discriminatory ban on open service by patriotic transgender service members.

On this day and every day, I am thankful for all of the LGBTQ+ service members and veterans who strengthen our military and our nation. We must honor their sacrifice by continuing the fight for full equality for LGBTQ+ people, including by finally passing the Equality Act and living up to our highest values of justice and equality for all.

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JOH llama ‘enemigos de la independencia’ a defensores de derechos de poblaciones LGBTQ, las mujeres y el territorio

Activistas criticaron al presidente de Honduras por su discurso



(Gráfica por Reportar sin Miedo)

Reportar sin Miedo es el socio mediático del Washington Blade en Honduras. Esta nota salió en su sitio web el 15 de septiembre.

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras — La oposición desfila al mismo tiempo que los representantes del gobierno hondureño, los discursos oficiales retumban en los megáfonos al lado de los gritos de reclamo de los grupos de denuncia.

Mientras el oficialismo celebra lo que considera sus “logros”, la oposición se lamenta por 200 años de desigualdad, discriminación, pobreza, robo, hambre, saqueo, genocidio, corrupción, impunidad, machismo, LGBTI+ odio y expulsión forzada. 

En medio del ambiente de contrastes en que se conmemora hoy el bicentenario de independencia en Honduras, sobresale el discurso del presidente hondureño Juan Orlando Hernández, quien llamó “enemigos de la independencia” a los defensores de los derechos de las poblaciones LGBTIQ+, las mujeres y el territorio.

“Hoy salen con más fuerza otros enemigos de la independencia: el ataque a los principios cristianos, el ataque al concepto de la familia, los que promueven los matrimonios entre personas de diferente sexo y la preservación de la vida de los niños no nacidos”, dijo JOH en el estadio Nacional de Tegucigalpa durante los actos conmemorativos del bicentenario.

El mandatario hondureño cometió un grave error al decir “los matrimonios entre personas de diferente sexo”. Sus críticos opinan que JOH iba a decir “matrimonios entre personas del mismo sexo”, pero en el último momento se echó para atrás y cambió la frase por alguna razón.

El gobernante se refirió con la frase “enemigos de la independencia” a las organizaciones que promueven el derecho a decidir sobre el cuerpo de las mujeres, así como los derechos de la diversidad sexual y lxs defensorxs de territorio que están exigiendo a diario que se deroguen las ZEDE.

Este es el primer pronunciamiento público de JOH tras que el 28 de junio de este año, la Corte IDH condenó a Honduras por el asesinato de la trans Vicky Hernández y otros en el marco del golpe de Estado liderado por Roberto Micheletti contra el expresidente Manuel Zelaya. 

En su sentencia, el órgano judicial pidió al Estado hondureño continuar las investigaciones del homicidio y llevar a cabo “un acto público de reconocimiento de responsabilidad internacional”.

También le solicitó crear la beca educativa “Vicky Hernández” para mujeres trans, capacitar a los cuerpos de seguridad y reconocer la identidad de género en los documentos de identidad y registros públicos.

Finalmente, la Corte IDH le exigió al gobierno instaurar protocolos para seguir e investigar casos de violencia contra personas LGBTI.

En el discurso que duró casi media hora, JOH pronunció en varias ocasiones las palabras “Dios” y “cristianismo”. Eso indica que su gobierno tiene una fuerte influencia de las Iglesias evangélicas y católica.

El discurso del mandatario contradice lo que dice la Constitución, la cual señala que el Estado hondureño es laico.

Piden derechos igualitarios 

“No hay independencia sin el derecho a decidir”, exclamaron las seguidoras del colectivo Somos Muchas en las calles de Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, Choluteca y otros municipios. Somos Muchas exige que las mujeres hondureñas tengan acceso a un aborto seguro y gratuito por las tres causales: cuando el embarazo es consecuencia de una violación sexual, cuando la vida de la mujer está en riesgo y cuando el feto tiene complicaciones graves que le causarán la muerte al nacer.

La directora de Acción Joven, Jinna Rosales, manifestó que el discurso de Hernández es “terrible” y de “doble moral” porque se vive en un estado de narcodictadura, asesinatos, crímenes, etcétera.

“A Hernández se le olvidó la vida de las personas ya nacidas porque todos los días se reportan feminicidios, crímenes contra las niñas, niños, niñes y adolescentes. También miles huyen a diario de Honduras porque no tienen las condiciones básicas para sobrevivir”, argumentó Rosales. 

Desde ese punto de vista, los grupos conservadores hondureños rechazan el aborto, que consideran un atentado contra la vida. Sin embargo, no toman en cuenta los ataques contra mujeres, pues desde enero hasta el 31 de julio del 2021 se han registrado 174 feminicidios. Además, según las cifras oficiales se han cometido 3,496 homicidios en Honduras en el año 2020. Mientras tanto, la Secretaría de Salud reportó más de 12,000 egresos por aborto en 2019 y 9,749 en el 2020. 

Tampoco el gobierno de JOH ha actuado con eficacia para reducir la inseguridad alimentaria, que se ha duplicado en Honduras. Los 1.8 millones de personas sin alimentos seguros antes de la pandemia han subido a 3.3 millones publica la ONU.

Por otro lado, en enero del 2021, el Congreso Nacional criminalizó el derecho a decidir de las mujeres y las uniones igualitarias. 

El activista LGBTIQ+ de Honduras, Osman Lara, expresó a Reportar sin Miedo que el mensaje de Hernández es un ataque directo al programa de gobierno que impulsa la candidata Xiomara Castro de Zelaya por el Partido Libre en las próximas elecciones a celebrarse el 28 de noviembre del 2021.

Hernández lo que está provocando es desinformación, según Lara. “Quiere confundir a la población, ya que las personas LGBTIQ+ no buscamos reconocimiento religioso, sino legal, que nos avale y garantice los derechos civiles, económicos, sociales y patrimoniales cuando te unes a otra persona de forma igualitaria”, agregó. “Su ataque es misógino, promueve el odio a las poblaciones de la diversidad sexual”.

En Honduras, desde el 2009 hasta el 2021 han sido asesinadas 389 personas LGBTIQ+, de las cuales en este año han sido asesinadas 10 gays, tres trans y tres lesbianas, según el monitoreo de muertes violentas que mantiene la Red Lésbica Cattrachas. 

JOH le teme al pensamiento distinto

“Nuestros pueblos deben avanzar aceleradamente a la integración económica porque unidos somos invencibles. Los pueblos centroamericanos deben de ser esa nación fuerte, próspera, visionaria por la que lucharon los padres de la independencia”, expresó el presidente Hernández en su discurso de bicentenario. 

Sobre las palabras del mandatario se pronunció el coordinador general de Arcah y defensor de territorio, Christopher Castillo. Para Castillo, el gobierno nacionalista ha abonado el camino para que la población rechace los avances progresistas. 

“Ahora están avalando el más grande proyecto colonialista como son las ZEDE”, dijo Castillo. “El Partido Nacional ha caído en popularidad y teme un despertar de las conciencias en temas torales que tratan de impedir que la sociedad avance”. 

El gobierno de JOH ha respondido a los críticos de las ZEDE asegurando en un comunicado que las ciudades modelos ofrecen “oportunidades de inversión, construcción y operación de empresas de servicios públicos”.

Las ZEDE tienen “un régimen fiscal especial, un régimen financiero independiente, están autorizadas a utilizar sus ingresos financieros exclusivamente para sus propios fines”, según fuentes gubernamentales.

Por medio de esta iniciativa, Juan Orlando Hernández asegura que va a atraer inversión extranjera supuestamente para lograr un crecimiento acelerado dando empleos masivos y mejorando la vida de la población.

Por otra parte, el defensor de territorio Christopher Castillo agregó que JOH busca, “por medio de su discurso, deslegitimar las propuestas progresistas de los partidos de la oposición que proponen nuevos modelos de familia y nuevas formas de coexistir entre los géneros. Necesitan legitimar la violencia para justificar el uso de más violencia”.

Castillo agregó que el discurso de Hernández reconoce que ha avanzado la construcción de un pensamiento distinto. 

“Eso les atemoriza porque pone en juego toda esa construcción derechista que han intentado imponer. Tratan de seguir legitimando las propuestas de las ZEDE como Próspera porque traen para ellos una cultura de éxito y de prosperidad del pensamiento capitalista y conservador”, dijo Castillo.

El discurso de JOH se da después de que el pasado martes 14 de septiembre unas 29 organizaciones hondureñas pidieron al Consejo Nacional Electoral que sancione las campañas con mensajes de desinformación y discriminación utilizadas por algunos partidos políticos.

“Exigimos al Ministerio Público actuar de oficio contra cualquier persona natural o jurídica, pública o privada que públicamente promueva, incite, difunda mensajes desde cualquier medio o canal de comunicación, a la discriminación, tal como se contempla en el código penal en su artículo 213”, señalan las 29 organizaciones en un comunicado.

La reacción de estos organismos se debe a los mensajes de grupos cristianos en las redes sociales contra el plan de gobierno de Libre que promueve el derecho a decidir y el matrimonio igualitario. 

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