Texas Governor Greg Abbott speaks during a press conference on May 27, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas. (Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
The Texas Republican Party refused a booth to a gay conservative group this weekend, during an event where neo-Confederate party activists also declared the 2020 presidential election illegitimate and called to repeal the Voting Rights Act.The Log Cabin Republicans, a national group promoting the inclusion of gays and lesbians in the Republican Party, were denied a table at the convention, Log Cabin Republicans president Charles Moran said in a statement last week.
“It’s clear that inclusion wins, which makes the Texas Republican Party leadership’s decision to exclude the Texas Log Cabin Republicans from their convention not just narrow-minded, but politically short-sighted,” Moran said in a statement, which also credited former President Donald Trump as having “made clear that LGBT conservatives are welcome in the America First movement and the Republican Party.”
“Losers don’t get to change the course of our nation—only winners,” Moran said. “And inclusion wins.”Moran’s group has been denied a table at the convention for at least two decades, the Houston Chronicle reported in 2020. But the denial takes on added significance this year, as the far-right and the mainstream Republican Party have launched a full-throated attack against LGBTQ+ people, particularly targeting trans people and what they’ve falsely claimed are efforts to “groom” children by teaching them about inclusivity. The platform adopted by the Texas GOP convention this weekend says that “homosexuality is an abnormal lifestyle choice” and says the party “opposes all efforts to validate transgender identity.”
In February, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order directing state agencies to investigate parents of trans youth receiving gender-affirming care for child abuse. The family of one transgender boy, who attempted to kill himself the same day that Abbott’s order came down, has sued the state over Abbott’s order, Though the Log Cabin Republicans have existed for more than 40 years as an outlier in conservative politics, the group has followed the lead of the rest of the Republican Party in its renewed attack on LGBTQ+ rights. In January, Moran wrote a blog post defending Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law, which prohibits classroom discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in elementary school classrooms, saying that “parents are free to discuss these issues with their children as they see fit, but that decision is up to the parents and not to agenda-driven Leftists like the Buttigiegs,” referring to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and his husband Chasten. (Buttigieg is the first openly gay Cabinet secretary in American history.) The day before his statement about the Texas GOP’s decision, Moran denounced President Joe Biden’s Pride event at the White House, similarly saying: “LGBT conservatives will not support the federal government trampling over the rights of states to stop Leftist activists from infusing more woke identity politics into kindergarten classrooms.”In addition to restating their opposition to toleration of LGBTQ+ people and civil rights, the Texas GOP’s platform calls for the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to “be repealed and not reauthorized,” and says that Biden “was not legitimately elected by the people of the United States.” The platform also targets Texas’ relationship with the rest of the United States as a whole. The platform says the state “retains the right to secede from the United States, and the Texas Legislature should be called upon to pass a referendum consistent thereto,” and calls for a “convention of the states” to greatly limit the power of the federal government to make laws. Want the best of VICE News straight to your inbox? Sign up here.