RNC's McDaniel in hot seat with evangelicals after creating gay pride initiative

Meeting called for committee chairs Monday to explain inclusion effort to broaden party to gay voters amidst uproar.

Updated: November 14, 2021 - 10:59pm

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Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel is trying to quell a rebellion inside her own ranks after evangelical Christians lashed out at her newest initiative to recruit gay Republicans to the party.

According to multiple RNC committee members, McDaniel has called a meeting for Monday to address those concerned by the recent "GOP Pride" coalition she created in partnership with the pro-gay Log Cabin Republicans.

The new coalition showed up on the RNC's web site recently with a proclamation that "the GOP is the Party for all, we are the BIG TENT party!" and it then held a gala last week at former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort.

"Our newly formed GOP Pride Coalition is proud to partner with Log Cabin Republicans to invest in and mobilize Pride conservatives and allies across the country to elect Republicans up and down the ballot," the RNC said. "Our GOP Pride Coalition champions the values that make our great Republican movement so strong — America First, individual freedoms, limited government interference, and equality for all."

The new effort immediately drew a rebuke from Tony Perkins, a prominent Christian evangelical who heads the Family Research Center. He told a radio host last week that he fears the inclusion effort will undercut the RNC's pro-family and pro-faith agenda and make it look more like the Democrat Party.    

"The leadership of the RNC I think is moving the party in a direction that is incompatible with religious freedom, and many of the things that we see parents fighting for across the country," Perkins told the Todd Starnes Show on Wednesday.

Perkins said "we love all people, but we don't love all ideas" and his concern is that the coalition could lead to changes in the party planks or demoralize evangelical voters in future elections.

"As you move to be quote/unquote inclusive with those that have radical ideas on human sexuality, which are hostile to religious freedom, the Republican Party becomes just Democrat-lite," Perkins said.

Multiple RNC committee members confirm that McDaniel has called a phone conference for 1:30pm Monday to address the uprising.

A RNC official, who spoke only on condition of anonymity, told Just the News that McDaniel intends to assure committee members Monday that the new coalition and Log Cabin partnership aren’t a prelude to change the party plank or imitate progressives.

”The RNC Pride coalition is in no way an endorsement of the views of the far left, transgender activists, or radicals trying to teach sexually explicit material in schools,” the official said.

“Engaging with these voters does not change our party’s platform or values. We are not advocating for any policy changes,” the official said.

The GOP's effort has been embraced by some prominent figures, including former Trump Ambassador to Germany Ric Grenell and former First Lady Melania Trump.

Mrs. Trump and Grenell attended the Mar-a-Lago event, and she tweeted afterwards it was a "wonderful evening dedicated to celebrating our Nation's valued principals [sic] of equality & diversity for all."

McDaniel was herself honored at the event and tweeted: "Conservatives in Log Cabin share our vision for a free, secure and prosperous America. Now, let's go out and win in 2022!"

But soon, RNC committee members began receiving emails from unhappy Republicans, a barrage that made its way quickly to the top of the party, according to emails shared with Just the News.

"I do not believe in treating the LGBT with disrespect; however, we as Republicans, do not need to align ourselves with their movement at all," one emailer wrote. "To do so would cause harm to our party, and I hope you will be a spokesperson against such a movement. Furthermore, if Ronna McDaniel continues on this track, she should resign."

Added another protester: "Ronna McDaniels needs to go. this lgbt pride coalition is going to drive people away from the RNC. this is what we are trying to keep out of our schools."

In response to the evangelical disapproval of the GOP Pride Coalition, Grenell told Just the News: "I know lots of evangelicals who support a broad winning coalition that includes gay conservatives. We win by addition and not subtraction. Let's go Brandon."