The Log Cabin Republicans (LCR), the largest and oldest gay conservative organization in the United States, declined to endorse the Republican Party's nominee for President earlier this month. However, a number of local chapters are breaking away from the decision of the national group in order to throw their support behind Donald Trump.
Vincent Foster, president of LCR's Miami chapter, told NBC OUT when his group was made aware of the national chapter's decision, they were "livid" at the prospect of not supporting "the most pro-LGBT GOP presidential candidate we have ever had."
"People wanted to rescind their membership, or wanted to end our affiliation with the national chapter," Foster said. "Some people even said they should create a different organization."
Local LCR chapters are typically only able to endorse candidates on a state level, but conversations took place between the Miami chapter -- in the important swing state of Florida -- and Gregory T. Angelo, LCR's national executive director, to make sure the local chapter would be able to endorse Trump.
Foster said Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is an ineffective leader for LGBTQ people due to her affiliations with countries where it is "permissible to murder LGBT people" and her position on gun control reform. He said this combination "risks the LGBT community's safety at the hands of Islamic terrorists."
While the national chapter of LCR agreed that "Trump is perhaps the most pro-LGBT presidential nominee in the history of the Republican Party," the group concluded, in a recently released statement, that his affiliation with anti-LGBTQ advisers undermined his relative LGBTQ inclusiveness.
"As Mr. Trump spoke positively about the LGBT community in the United States, he concurrently surrounded himself with senior advisors with a record of opposing LGBT equality, and committed himself to supporting legislation such as the so-called 'First Amendment Defense Act' that Log Cabin Republicans opposes."
Trump has gone on record saying he would "strongly consider" appointing Supreme Court justices committed to overturning the ruling that legalized same-sex marriage. And he has also promised to reverse every one of President Obama's executive orders, which include protections against LGBTQ workplace discrimination.
Foster, however, believes these are just talking points that will not come to fruition, and he said appointing conservative Supreme Court justices who are pro-life and pro-guns is a good thing, as "gun rights are gay rights."
When asked about the anti-LGBTQ track record of Trump's running mate, Governor Mike Pence of Indiana, Foster said while he disagrees with his rhetoric on LGBTQ issues, "we are not voting for Pence, since the policy is put up by Trump."
In addition to the Miami chapter, local Log Cabin Republican groups in Georgia, Texas, Los Angeles, Orange County and Cleveland have broken with the national chapter's decision and have thrown their support behind Trump.