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Former Log Cabin Republican On Why She Left


Jennifer Horn is a former chair of the New Hampshire Republican Party. Until recently, she also sat on the board of the Log Cabin Republicans, the party's LGBT organization. This past week, she resigned her post after the Log Cabin Republicans announced they were endorsing President Trump's reelection bid. Jennifer Horn joins us now to talk about her decision. Thanks for being with us.

JENNIFER HORN: Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate the opportunity.

FADEL: So the Log Cabin Republicans declined to endorse Trump's 2016 bid. What was the rationale for endorsing the reelection?

HORN: Well, you know, it's not a very large board. I think that there is a sense that they wanted the opportunity to work within the party to be able to have a voice. Those of us who opposed it felt very, very strongly that the president simply has not earned the endorsement. That's why I and, at this point, several others have resigned from the board.

FADEL: Now, you made this decision very publicly, and I just wonder why was that important to you but also very specifically what were the major factors in you saying not only am I going to step down, I'm going to talk about why I did that?

HORN: Sure. Listen, President Trump has an abysmal record on issues of equality and inclusion. And I think it's always important to stand up and to speak out when we're talking about such important issues to our country. I think it makes it easier for other people to stand up when they see somebody else doing it. And while I certainly respect that people have all sorts of reasons perhaps not to do so, from my perspective, the example that I want to set for my children and the reasons that I got involved in politics to begin with require that I make sure that my voice is heard.

FADEL: Since you resigned, one of the things I've heard from board members on the Log Cabin Republicans is, you know, actually they see the president as somebody who's been good on LGBTQ issues specifically and also that possibly what contributed to your resignation was that you worked on Bill Weld's campaign, who announced a primary challenge to Trump. How do you respond to that?

HORN: I have been speaking up against Donald Trump since April of 2011. He came to New Hampshire to kind of dip his toes in the primary waters at that time and was scared off by the strength of Mitt Romney's campaign. And I published an op-ed at that time warning the Republican Party what would happen if they took Donald Trump seriously. The idea that this has anything to do with anything other than a long record of trying to be consistent and principled in my positions on Republican values in Donald Trump is just - it's not the truth.

FADEL: And the idea that he's actually been beneficial for the LGBT community.

HORN: Yeah, I'm just - obviously I saw the endorsement op-ed that the organization wrote, and it talks about the fact that this president, you know, supports the idea that homosexuality should be decriminalized throughout the world and that countries that criminalize it should be held accountable in some way. That's just - how low a bar are we going to set? This president has a record of targeting the transgender community over and over again, in housing protections, in protections for students, you know, the trans military ban, in so many ways.

FADEL: Now, you mentioned your children and how important they were in making this decision. In your resignation letter you wrote, you could never endorse Trump for president of the United States and still look them in the eye. What's your hope for the future of the Republican Party for your children?

HORN: My hope is that we will return to the day when our party stands on principle, when we stand firm and at least try to fight for the high ground. I think it is immoral for us to try to suggest that Donald Trump is just like any other president. He's not. And what I would like to see is a party that is able to move forward in a much more inclusive manner. We will return to kind of that inspirational and aspirational idea that we were founded on the fight for freedom and equality and opportunity for all.

FADEL: That was Jennifer Horn, former board member of Log Cabin Republicans. Thank you so much.

HORN: Thank you so much. I appreciate it. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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