In a recent LGBTQ Nation analysis, it was discovered that at least 12 of the 34 candidates endorsed by The Log Cabin Republicans, an organization for LGBTQ Republicans, have records of anti-LGBTQ extremism, despite its mission which states that “equality for LGBT Americans is in the finest tradition of the Republican Party”.
“These candidates have earned our endorsement through their commitment to… ensuring equality under the law for all Americans,” LCR claims. However, many of them have been reported on by LGBTQ Nation in the past because of their opposition to equality.
The remaining candidates either do not make explicit statements about support for LGBTQ rights in their campaign materials, make vague references to “religious freedom” in their campaign materials, or have very insignificant or nonexistent records on LGBTQ issues. They were not included in the list of anti-LGBTQ candidates endorsed by the LCR.
The President and Vice President are the first on the list of supported candidates who have a history of LGBTQ extremism. LGBTQ Nation has already compiled a list of Donald Trump’s many attacks on LGBTQ equality since he was sworn into office in 2017.
Since then, he has rolled back protections for transgender people in homeless shelters, schools, and health care (some of these executive moves are being challenged in courts), banned transgender people in the military via Twitter, and asked the Supreme Court to limit civil rights protections for LGBTQ people. He is currently atempting to appoint a judge who has worked for an anti-LGBTQ hate group appointed to the Supreme Court.
Mike Pence has crafted a public image as a consistent opponent of LGBTQ rights, and has reportedly been at the center of the Trump administration’s anti-transgender efforts in his first term. His history of anti-LGBTQ activism goes back to 1992 when he said that being gay is “learned behavior”, as well as his 2000 House campaign where he advocated federal funds for conversion therapy to fight HIV.
Other anti-LGBTQ candidates include former media personality and one-term California Assembly woman Young Kim, who promised to overturn a California law allowing transgender individuals to use the restroom that conforms with their gender identity; Political newcomer Anna Paulina Luna, who is running as the Republican candidate for Florida’s 13th U.S. House District, and has stated that LGBTQ people are trying to make pedophilia socially acceptable; and former NFL standout safety and Super Bowl champion Clarence Burgess Owens, a QAnon supporter, who has called LGBTQ organizations “anti-God leftists against anything that the Christian faith is all about.”
Almost all of these candidates have consistently low ratings from the Human Rights Campaign, including Fred Upton, an incumbent U.S. Representative running for re-election in Michigan, who has voted against marriage equality, against LGBTQ discrimination protections, and against adoption protections for LGBTQ people. His opponent in this year’s race is out state Rep. Jon Hoadley (D), who would be the first gay member of Congress from Michigan. A Republican PAC in support of Upton has ran ads calling Hoadley “creepy” while also falsely claiming he is a meth addict and a “pedo sex poet,” in what has become considered one of the most homophobic electoral races in years. Upton has refused to denounce the ads.
Only two of the candidates that the Log Cabin Republicans endorse appear to be out LGBTQ candidates.
John Paul Moran would be the first gay Republican elected from the state of Massachusetts to Congress. He calls himself as an “openly gay former surf brand entrepreneur and an MIT space telescope scientist”, and believes he has a law proposal that will “finally bridge the gap of ensuring and guaranteeing LBGTQ rights with religious rights.” He is running against Democratic Rep. Seth Moulton.
The other out Republican candidate is George Devolder-Santos, who claims to be the first out GOP candidate in New York state history. He is running against Rep. Tom Suozzi for his seat in the House in New York’s 3rd District. LGBTQ equality and protections against discrimination are not mentioned in his explanation of his platform to Ballotpedia, but preventing “churches and synagogues from ever being mandated upon by the government” is.