The bizarre history of Log Cabin’s presidential endorsements

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Log Cabin Republicans have a history of endorsing and not endorsing Republican candidates. (Photos of H.W. Bush and W. Bush public domain; Washington Blade photos of Romney and Trump by Michael Key)

Perhaps no organization has inspired greater controversy within the LGBT community than the Log Cabin Republicans.

The group gets blamed by other LGBT advocates when GOP administrations attack the community. Meanwhile, straight Republicans are often unwelcoming to the gay Republican group, even hostile.

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Iceland LGBTI group criticizes Pence ahead of visit to country

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The president of an LGBTI advocacy group in Iceland has criticized her country’s government’s decision to host Vice President Pence next month.

Þorbjörg Þorvaldsdóttir, president of Samtökin ’78, the National Queer Organization of Iceland, in an op-ed that Vísir, an Icelandic newspaper, published on Aug. 11 wrote Pence is “against our marriages” and is “in favor of us being discriminated against.” Þorvaldsdóttir also noted Pence as governor of Indiana in 2015 signed a controversial religious freedom law that sparked widespread outrage among LGBTI activists and their supporters.

“He feels it is natural for people to deny us service for who we are,” wrote Þorvaldsdóttir.

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Former D.C. Log Cabin head leaves group over Trump endorsement

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Robert Turner, the former president of the D.C. chapter of the national LGBT group Log Cabin Republicans, announced in a Facebook message on Aug. 15 that he has withdrawn his membership in the organization after it announced in an op-ed column in the Washington Post that it endorsed President Donald Trump for re-election in 2020.

“It saddens me greatly to say that today, I am ending my association with Log Cabin Republicans, an organization I’ve been heavily involved with for the last decade–including serving as president of the D.C. chapter for three years,” Turner said in his Facebook post.

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Trump: ‘I’ve done very well’ with LGBT community

By : THE WASHINGTON BLADE STAFF, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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President Trump for the first time on Tuesday acknowledged last week’s endorsement of his 2020 campaign by the Log Cabin Republicans.

The Washington Blade’s Chris Johnson asked Trump a question while on pool duty at the White House. The exchange follows.

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Trump admin to Supreme Court: It’s OK to fire workers for being trans

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Donald Trump, Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key.

Defying massive case law, the Trump administration urged the Supreme Court late Friday to issue a ruling that federal civil rights law doesn’t cover discrimination based on gender identity, therefore firing workers for being transgender is perfectly legal.

In a 54-page brief signed by U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco, the U.S. Justice Department argues Congress didn’t intend to include transgender people when it passed Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars discrimination on the basis of sex in employment.

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Log Cabin Republicans endorse Trump for re-election

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Donald Trump, Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key.

In a turnabout from 2016, the National Log Cabin Republicans has endorsed Trump for re-election, asserting he “met his commitments” to LGBT people.

Robert Kabel and Jill Holman—who both are gay and serve as chair and vice chair of Log Cabin, respectively—announced the endorsement Thursday in an op-ed for the Washington Post.

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Bucking Trump’s promise, Labor Dept. to undercut Obama LGBTQ order

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Donald Trump, photo by Michael Vadon via Flickr.

In an apparent contradiction to President Trump’s promise to keep “intact” an Obama-era executive order against anti-LGBT workplace discrimination, the Department of Labor has signaled it would expand the scope of the religious exemption for federal contractors seeking to deny employment to LGBT workers.

In the proposed rule, the Labor Department proposes regulations to clarify the scope and application of the religious exemption in Executive Order 11246, an 1965 executive order signed by President Johnson which bars federal contractors from discriminating against workers based on race, sex and other characteristics.

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Education Dept. agrees to take up anti-trans complaint from girl athletes

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Betsy DeVos, Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.

The Trump administration has agreed to investigate a complaint from an anti-LGBT legal group contending a Connecticut’s school trans-inclusive policy has “denied equal athletic benefits and opportunities to girls.”

The complaint was filed by Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of three teen athletes and accepted by the Department of Education Wednesday at a time when opponents of LGBT non-discrimination measures are stoking fears over men playing in women’s sports to derail those efforts.

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Equinox, SoulCycle customers threaten boycott over Trump fundraiser

By : Mariah Cooper of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: SoulCycle, photo courtesy SoulCycle.

Stephen Ross, chairman of real estate company Related Companies, is facing backlash for hosting a fundraiser for President Donald Trump’s reelection at Ross’ home in the Hamptons on Friday.

Related Companies owns luxury fitness club Equinox Fitness, the parent company to fitness clubs PURE Yoga, Blink Fitness and SoulCycle. Ross is also the owner of the Miami Dolphins, the Hard Rock Stadium, the Time Warner Center and Hudson Yards.

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Military reports no discharges under trans ban, advocates have doubts

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Donald Trump’s tweets, image via The Washington Blade.

More than two years after President Trump tweeted he’d ban transgender people from the U.S. military “in any capacity,” the military services say the policy hasn’t resulted in denials of service for otherwise qualified individuals—a claim transgender advocates say is dubious at best.

The Washington Blade reached out to each of the military services—the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard—to obtain numbers of discharges and denials of enlistment of transgender people since the Defense Department implemented the policy, DTM-19-004, on April 12.

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Mary Rowland is first LGBTQ Trump judicial nominee confirmed by Senate

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Mary M. Rowland, Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.

With little fanfare, the U.S. Senate confirmed lesbian judicial nominee Mary Rowland to a seat on the federal bench in Illinois, marking the first confirmation to the judiciary of an out LGBT Trump nominee.

The U.S. Senate confirmed Rowland—who has ties to the LGBT group Lambda Legal—to a seat in the U.S. District Court of Northern Illinois by voice vote on Wednesday with no recorded opposition.

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U.S. Embassy in Germany hosts meeting with LGBTI activists

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, photo public domain.

The U.S. Embassy in Germany last week hosted a group of LGBTI rights activists from around the world as part of a Trump administration initiative that encourages countries to decriminalize consensual same-sex sexual relations.

Harvey Milk Foundation President Stuart Milk; Caine Youngman of Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LeGaBiBo); Hadi Damien of Beirut Pride in Lebanon and Hourvash Pourkian of International Women in Power in Germany are among the activists who participated in a July 26 panel that took place at the embassy in Berlin.

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