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Log Cabin President Criticizes Trump's Transgender Ban But Still Considers Him to be Pro-LGBT

Thursday July 27, 2017

The on-again, off-again romance between gay conservative organization Log Cabin Republicans (LCR) and Donald Trump was switched to off on Wednesday. Or was it?

Following the president's directive via Twitter banning transgender Americans from military service "in any capacity," LCR President Gregory T. Angelo issued a pithy statement admonishing the president.

"This smacks of politics, pure and simple. The United States military already includes transgender individuals who protect our freedom day in and day out. Excommunicating transgender soldiers only weakens our readiness; it doesn't strengthen it," wrote LCR President Gregory T. Angelo. "The president's statement this morning does a disservice to transgender military personnel and reintroduces the same hurtful stereotypes conjured when openly gay men and women were barred from service during the military's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' era."

But as The New Civil Rights Movement's David Badash points out, Angelo's words came one day after he bragged about his organization's relationship with the White House, calling Trump "a quiet ally" and "'do no harm' guy."

Despite Trump's appointment of anti-LGBT officials to his administration, along with his failure to acknowledge June as LGBT Pride Month, and his rollback of protections for transgender students, Angelo has traditionally reserved his criticism for LGBT civil rights organizations.

"For months now we've heard that Trump is going to 'roll back' advances made by the LGBT community, and time and again those rumors were proven to be unfounded," he told CNN in an interview in June. "All of this chicken-littling has turned the self-styled 'Resistance' into little more than a hollow cliche."

In light of the president's recent actions banning transgender service members in the military, can we expect Angelo to shift from calling LGBT activists "chicken littles" to eating crow? Don't count on it.

In an interview with Salon on Wednesday, Angelo remained firm in his assertion that the president is a pro-LGBT Republican with a positive relationship with the community.

"[W]hat you have in Donald Trump is someone who has long had interactions with members of the LGBT community, going back to his days as a real estate tycoon in New York, continuing through the days of reality television, and perpetuating through until today," Angelo said. "So there is an awareness and a sympathy that Donald Trump has for the LGBT community regarding his personal relationships. When that intersects with policy, that's where things can get a little muddy. But it doesn't contradict the fact that Trump brings a cultural awareness of the LGBT community to the White House in a way that past Republican presidents have not."

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