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Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, hosted a series of Pride Month events, angering several more liberal LGBTQ groups.
Youngkin, a former private equity CEO who ran on a conservative platform, namely supporting parental rights for schoolchildren, hosted a private Pride reception at the state Capitol in Richmond. All but one member of the Virginia LGBTQ+ Advisory Board boycotted the event, while The Washington Post reported that the group of openly gay, lesbian and transgender state lawmakers were not invited.
The only LGBTQ+ advisory board member who chose to attend, Michael Berlucchi, a Republican Virginia Beach councilman, told WRC-TV of Youngkin’s reception that “this display of awareness, genuine communication reflects the reason for which he was elected.”
“I accepted his invitation because I perceived it to be an honest and good faith attempt to engage all Virginians,” Berlucchi told The Post separately of the event that was attended. participated about 50 people. “There is obviously a gap there… My presence does not convey full endorsement of the Governor’s policies. Of course, we still have work to do, and that’s why dialogue and learning are essential.”
REPUBLICAN GOVERNMENT. GLENN YOUNGKIN EXPANDS HIS POLITICAL REACH OUTSIDE OF VIRGINIA
“The governor is committed to leading on behalf of all Virginians, and events like this help strengthen our communities and the spirit of Virginia,” Youngkin’s spokeswoman Macaulay Porter said in a statement. statement, nodding to his platform to be the unifier of the state on divisive issues.
Last week, Youngkin also traveled to Virginia Beach to meet with the Log Cabin Republicans, a conservative LGBTQ group.
“The Democratic Party and people on the left, leftist organizations, they castigate all Republicans for not embracing the gay community. And then when you do, they castigate and they lose their minds,” said Casey Flores, president. of the group’s new chapter in Richmond, told WRC-TV.
Meanwhile, more liberal LGBTQ groups in Virginia issued press releases announcing that they would not be attending the Pride Month reception at the Virginia Capitol. James Millner, director of Virginia Pride, said he appreciated the invitation but would decline because “it is premature for this administration to celebrate LGBTQ+ equality when it has yet to take meaningful steps to advance it”.
In the past, Youngkin, who is deeply religious, has said he privately opposes same-sex marriage but accepts the practice as law.
During his campaign, he also defended a teacher who was suspended for refusing to use students’ preferred pronouns and spoke out against transgender athletes playing on sports teams that do not match their birth gender. .
“The governor should meet with groups of citizens to discuss their concerns, but given that nothing less than total capitulation to the LGBT agenda will appease these groups, it seems like a distraction,” said Victoria Cobb, president. of the conservative Family Foundation of Virginia, which is advocates against same-sex marriage, said in a statement regarding the Youngkin’s Pride reception.
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Lisa Turner, another member of the state’s LGBTQ+ board of directors, criticized Youngkin for not issuing a Pride Month statement, but acknowledged that the governor attended his group’s recent meeting to publicly condemn the racist and homophobic messages and images they received online.
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