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Colorado GOP faces backlash after anti-LGBTQ+ messages

Republicans say the messages from party leadership do not represent their views
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Posted at 3:04 PM, Jun 06, 2024

DENVER — The Colorado Republican Party is facing backlash after attacking Pride Month and calling for all Pride flags to be burned in an email to supporters this week.

The email’s subject line read “God Hates Pride.” The message, which was signed by party Chairman Dave Williams, accused Pride supporters of being “godless groomers” who want to harm children.

The party’s official X account also posted a message calling for Pride flags to be burned.

"I think the worst thing in there was the video they embedded into the email which was titled ‘God Hates Flags’ because of the obvious reference to the Westboro Baptist Church,” said Valdamar Archuleta, president of the Log Cabin Republicans of Colorado, a conservative LGBTQ+ group.

Williams said they will not back down, even as criticism grows.

“It's really bad optics. It's a really bad message,” said Archuleta. "All it's doing is being divisive and non-inclusive, and that's not who we are as Republicans."

Archuleta said he was disappointed when he saw the email.

"Because this isn't a reflection of who Republicans are in Colorado,” he said.

Archuleta, who's also running for the Republican nomination in the state's First Congressional District, rejected the endorsement the party gave him.

"Seeing that this endorsement came from the group of people who sent out that email — I'm just talking about the few people who are in the state party at the top— it was not something that I wanted to represent myself or my campaign," said Archuleta.

Abe Laydon, a Republican and a Douglas County commissioner, was also disgusted by the party’s messages.

"Messages of hate, bigotry and government control over people's lives are not Republican or Christian,” Laydon said.

Laydon publicly came out as an aesthete in 2022.

Colorado GOP faces backlash after anti-LGBTQ+ messages

"When I made that decision to publicly come out, you know, it was really significant to me,” he said. “There was a mom here in Castle Rock with a 14-year-old that said, "My daughter made a decision not to harm herself because of what you did.""

Laydon said the messages the party sent this week go against the values he and others in the party believe in.

"Reasonable Republicans respect freedom, dignity, and the humanity of all people. And we do better when we focus on including people and making a larger tent,” Laydon said.

But Williams, who’s also running for Congress in Colorado’s Fifth Congressional District, said he will make no apologies.

In a statement, Williams said, “We make no apologies for saying God hates pride or pride flags as it’s an agenda that harms children and undermines parental authority, and the only backlash we see is coming from radical Democrats, the fake news media, and weak Republicans who bow down at the feet of leftist cancel culture."




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