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LGBTQ Agenda: Queer organizations call for Trump's removal following attack on Capitol

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At least 41 LGBTQ organizations have called on President Donald Trump to resign or be removed from office via the 25th Amendment. Photo: Courtesy Reuters
At least 41 LGBTQ organizations have called on President Donald Trump to resign or be removed from office via the 25th Amendment. Photo: Courtesy Reuters  

A total of 40 LGBTQ organizations are calling for the "immediate removal of President Donald Trump" in the wake of the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol by pro-Trump domestic terrorists that resulted in five deaths.

Meanwhile, San Francisco-based Twitter on Friday permanently suspended Trump's Twitter account, citing the possibility of a further incitement of violence.

The statement, spearheaded and released by GLAAD January 7, is brief: "As LGBTQ organizations and movement leaders, we call for the immediate and unequivocal removal of Donald Trump as President of the United States via the invoking of the 25th Amendment or by impeachment if necessary. Our nation's security and the personal security of every American is in grave danger, and we cannot afford to sustain even another day with this destructive and seditious man in the White House."

Many members of Congress, including some Republicans, are demanding that Vice President Mike Pence and the cabinet invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, which would effectively remove Trump from office on the grounds that he "is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office." Other lawmakers, such as Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) are demanding that Trump resign.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) said January 8 that Trump must face the choice of resignation or impeachment. Pelosi, of course, shepherded the 2019 impeachment of Trump through the House after he withheld foreign aid from the Ukraine in an attempt to damage the electoral prospects of now-President-elect Joe Biden. (Trump was acquitted in the Senate last February.)

House Democrats introduced one article of impeachment Monday with one week and two days remaining in Trump's term, for "incitement of insurrection."

In a news conference January 8, Biden did not say his thoughts on impeachment one way or another, choosing to focus much of his remarks today on his economic agenda. He called it "a judgment for the Congress to make."

Barbara Simon, head of news and campaigns for GLAAD, stated that it took less than one day to get the statement together.

"We checked with other leaders on Thursday [morning] and then asked other organizations if they were interested in joining a statement instead of putting out a singular GLAAD response," Simon wrote in an email to the B.A.R. "Mara Keisling from NCTE and Sarah Kate Ellis of GLAAD sent the sign on ask/draft statement to other national organizations together on Thursday afternoon. Lambda Legal and the LGBTQ Task Force already released individual statements calling for Trump's removal, but joined this statement too. We launched it to press and to social media around 8 p.m. Eastern."

GLAAD's Ellis thanked Twitter for permanently suspending Trump's account January 8.

"Thank you Twitter for doing the right thing and permanently suspending Donald Trump. GLAAD urges all social media platforms to follow suit," Ellis wrote. "We will be watching and holding these platforms accountable. Trump's rhetoric is dangerous, as was proved at the Capitol this week. Removing his ability to amplify misinformation and encourage further violence is a necessary step for the safety of all Americans."

Campus Pride is one of the organizations calling for Trump's removal from office.

"What we saw at the U.S. Capitol this week is an affront to all of us and what we believe in," Tom Elliott, a gay man who is chair of its board of directors, wrote to the Bay Area Reporter. "Tyranny and bigotry must not go unchecked, especially when it is marginalized communities that suffer the consequences, as we have seen throughout history. Campus Pride is proud to join other LGBTQ organizations and marginalized communities to ensure that America continues to move toward a more progressive, just, and equitable future."

Elliott echoed accusations that those who sacked the Capitol would have been treated differently if they'd been racial or ethnic minorities instead of overwhelmingly white.

"We wholly support the Black Lives Matter movement as well as other calls for social justice from other marginalized groups, and we can't help but notice the stark difference in law enforcement responses to this week's acts of insurrection against our nation compared to the peaceful protests to protect Black lives, trans lives, and queer lives of color across our nation," he stated.

"According to GLAAD's Trump Accountability Project, there are more than 180 documented anti-LGBTQ attacks both in rhetoric and in policy since he was elected, so it's not surprising that LGBTQ groups might not want him in the White House any longer," he added.

Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, a public interest law group whose attorneys have sued the Trump administration on many occasions, responded to a request for comment with its own statement.

"At the core of our work at Lambda Legal is the belief that the United States is a nation committed to the rule of law," gay Lambda Legal CEO Kevin Jennings stated, in part. "Our democratic processes must be defended, and we call upon our leaders to utilize any and all processes available to them, including the 25th Amendment, to ensure an orderly transition of power in accordance with the will of the American people as expressed freely at the ballot box in November."

The National Center for Lesbian Rights stated January 7 that Trump's removal is necessary "in order to protect the American people."

"Given the gravity of the president's role in inciting yesterday's violent attack on our nation's Capitol, we urge immediate action both to remove President Trump pursuant to the 25th Amendment and to initiate impeachment proceedings to ensure that he is held accountable for his seditious actions and can never again hold elected public office," NCLR Executive Director Imani Rupert-Gordon stated.

"President Trump's actions yesterday to incite violence and encourage a coup were traitorous, unethical, and anti-American," she added. "He is unfit to lead and his abuse of the office of President of the United States has put everyone in this country at risk. We urge Vice President Pence, the Cabinet, and members of Congress to exercise their constitutional responsibilities to take immediate action to remove President Trump from office and to hold him accountable for his criminal and treasonous conduct."

As of the afternoon of January 11, in addition to the agencies quoted, the signatories are the Ariadne Getty Foundation; Athlete Ally; the California Democratic Party LGBTQ Caucus; Comité Amplio para la Búsqueda de Equidad - CABE Puerto Rico; Coalición Orgullo Arcoiris Puerto Rico; COLAGE; Deaf Queer Resource Center; Equality Federation; Equality Indiana; Family Equality; Gender Justice; Gender Justice League; GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders; GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality; GLSEN; Hetrick-Martin Institute; the Los Angeles Blade; National Black Justice Coalition; National LGBT Cancer Network; NMAC; PFLAG National; Pride in Running; Pride Sports USA; PRISM; Puerto Rico Para Tod@; Qwear; RUSA LGBT; SAGE; STARR - Strategic Trans Alliance for Radical Reform; the Stonewall Democratic Club of NYC; The National Center for Transgender Equality; Transgender Law Center; Transgender Legal Defense And Education Fund; Trans Youth Equality Foundation; and Waves Ahead.

LGBTQ Agenda is an online column that appears weekly. Got a tip on queer news? Contact John Ferrannini at j.ferrannini@ebar.com

Updated, 1/8/21 This article has been updated to include Twitter suspended Trump's account.

Updated 1/11/21: This article has been updated.

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