The country’s best known LGBTQ group that is affiliated with the Republican Party will not be endorsing Donald Trump for president. But the group made clear it is not withholding its endorsement because of Trump himself, but rather because he “surrounded himself with senior advisors with a record of opposing LGBT equality, and committed himself to supporting legislation such as the so-called ‘First Amendment Defense Act’ that Log Cabin Republicans opposes.” It marks the first time the group has not endorsed the Republican candidate for president since 2004, when then-President George W. Bush was running and campaigned in favor of a constitutional amendment to ban marriage equality.
The group spends a lot of time in its nonendorsement to praise Trump’s views. “Trump is perhaps the most pro-LGBT presidential nominee in the history of the Republican Party,” the Log Cabin Republicans say in their statement. “His unprecedented overtures to the ‘LGBTQ community’—a first for any major-party candidate in our nation’s history—are worthy of praise, and should serve as a clarion call to the GOP that the days of needing to toe an anti-LGBT line are now a thing of the past.”
Despite these positive words, “rhetoric alone regarding LGBT issues does not equate to doctrine,” the group said. In addition, the group’s board decided it couldn’t trust Trump due to the “many vacillations” on numerous issues, Gregory T. Angelo, the organization’s president, tells Politico. “Could Donald Trump be the most pro–LGBT president that this country has ever had? He might well be,” Angelo said. But there were “enough reservations such that the board did not feel comfortable putting the full face of our 40-year-old brand behind the Republican Party’s nominee for president.”