During a press gaggle Tuesday, President Donald Trump took a question from The Washington Blade’s Chris Johnson, who has long been a member of the White House press pool, though rarely called upon.
Johnson asked if Trump was okay with the way his administration has made it easier to discriminate against LGBTQ workers; Trump ignored the question and instead boasted that gay Republicans seemed to like him.
“Well you know I just got an award and an endorsement yesterday from the exact group. You saw that,” Trump said, referring to the Log Cabin Republican endorsement that was in fact from last week. “They gave me the endorsement yesterday, and I was very honored. Log Cabin. The Log Cabin group. And I was very honored to receive it.”
“No, I’ve done very well with that community,” Trump continued. “Some of my biggest supporters are of that community, and I think they — and I talk to them a lot about it. I think I’ve done really very well with our community.”
He also referenced support from Republican billionaire and venture capitalist Peter Thiel, who is openly gay, and once more mentioned the endorsement from “the Log Cabin group.”
Just last week, Trump’s Labor Department issued a new rule that would allow federal contractors to wantonly discriminate against LGBTQ workers as their religious beliefs dictate. The Justice Department also submitted a brief to the Supreme Court arguing it should be totally legal to fire people for being transgender, an argument that would weaken sex discrimination protections as well.
Those were only the two most recent examples in a long litany of actions the administration has taken to dismantle LGBTQ protections — especially those protecting transgender and non-binary people.
The endorsement of the Log Cabin Republicans (LCR) has also proved incredibly divisive among those who previously belonged to the organization. Casey Pick, a former LCR leader, penned a lengthy reflection about how the organization she once knew no longer exists, concluding, “Call me any name you please — and I know folks will — but please, don’t call me a Log Cabin Republican.”
Robert Turner, former head of the Washington, D.C. LCR chapter, also withdrew his membership, claiming the endorsement of Trump “is a step too far” — one that leaves him “sad.”
Jennifer Horn, a member of the LCR national board, submitted her resignation Monday night over the Trump endorsement. “There is no world where I can sit down at the dining room table and explain to my children that I just endorsed Donald Trump for president,” she told The Washington Post. “It is contrary to everything that I have ever taught them about what it means to be a good, decent, principled member of society.”
For all the internal fallout, today’s comments suggest the LCR endorsement is accomplishing exactly what it intended: to provide cover despite Trump’s atrocious anti-LGBTQ record. The organization may represent an exceedingly minuscule number of people, but it still gives Trump something to talk about instead of the actions he’s actually taken.