AUSTIN (KXAN) — A group representing the state’s LGBTQ Republicans blasted the Texas Republican Convention as a bunch of “crazy people.” The tough words come in response to a new state party platform that includes language calling homosexuality “an abnormal lifestyle choice.”
“These are just crazy people,” said Michael Cargill, who owns an Austin gun store and is the acting chairman of the Log Cabin Republicans of Texas. “It’s a small minority of people that are being un-Christian-like and spewing this hateful language.”
At its biennial convention in Houston, one speaker said it is important to call “a spade a spade.” Another said she supports calling homosexuality “abnormal behavior because it is.” Some members opposed the language, with one saying it was bad for the party. Attempts to soften the language were voted down.
“We’re the Republican Party of Texas,” the delegate said in protest. “We’re not the Westboro Baptist Church.”
Cargill is upset that his group, along with chapters in Fort Worth and Houston – where the convention was held – were rejected from running a booth this weekend. He said this isn’t the first time that’s happened.
“It’s not their job to judge anyone. That’s up to the Lord to judge,” he said in front of the steps of the state Capitol. “They need to dig deep into the Bible, spend a little time in church on Sunday and listen to what the Lord says about loving all of his children.”
The president of the Houston chapter, which was blocked from being able to set up a booth, called the anti-LGBTQ vote “gratuitous and disappointing.”
“Log Cabin Republicans have repeatedly demonstrated our commitment to individual liberty, limited government, fiscal responsibility, and a strong national defense,” said LCR Houston president Chris Halbohn in a statement to KXAN. “LCR thanks Melania Trump, Donald Trump Jr….and the allies we encounter from across Texas for supporting our inclusion in the Republican Party. We will never stop advancing the niche voice of LGBT conservatives in this country. And we’ll never stop growing our party’s tent to ensure its success for years to come.”
Cargill urged the party to create a big tent and focus on inclusion.
“We need to spend a little more time loving people and bringing more people into the party,” he said. “And growing the party.”
This weekend, delegates also agreed that Republicans should oppose “all efforts to validate transgender identity,” including gender affirmation surgery and hormone treatment for anyone under 21.
This was the same convention where, on Friday, Republican Sen. John Cornyn was heckled and booed. The criticism came as a response to his work to broker a bipartisan compromise on gun safety following the Uvalde school shooting that left 19 children and two adults dead.
The Texas GOP convention usually represents the most conservative faction of an already conservative base. Roughly 5000 Republicans voted on the party platform compared to more than 1.8 million Republicans who voted in the state’s March primary. Cargill said the far-right attendees do not represent “the majority of the GOP.”
“It is 2022,” said one woman at Lockhart’s first-ever Pride Fest on Sunday. “The only thing ‘abnormal’ is homophobia.”