Support of homosexuality has traditionally been taboo in the Republican Party. However, the Young Republican Federation of Virginia just approved a resolution to recognize June as “Pride Month” on a 19-5 vote.
The Young Republicans Federation of Virginia is made up of over 25 voters from an Executive Board and local and county units. The resolution that they approved recognizes June as Pride Month while also discussing the importance of individual rights and the inherent equality of every individual.
Evan Draim, the Representative from the 10th District, wrote and introduced the bill at the quarterly-meeting. He posted on Facebook that he is thankful to his “fellow board members for their support in creating a party that is open and welcoming to all.”
Draim talked with Richmond 2day about introducing and supporting this resolution: “There are LGBT citizens throughout our commonwealth who believe what we believe and would identify with the Republican Party, all other things being equal. However, they cannot reach that point as long as the perception persists that our Party dislikes and excludes people like them.”
Andrew Hull, the 2nd Congressional District Young Republican Representative, talked to Richmond 2day about voting in support of the resolution. “I voted yes, despite some reservations over some of the language, because overall I believe the resolution spoke to individual rights and our equality as human beings, as well as to the necessity of the GOP to truly be the Big Tent Party that we say we are.”
Supporters of the resolution believe that this will help the Republican Party appeal to more people that share the same concerns as them on other matters. Hull continued – “The biggest issues of our time, such as the economy, national debt, security, etc. are not ones that have anything to do with one’s orientation. We all have bills to pay, and we all want to be safe. The GOP is supposed to be the party that runs on answers to these problems. Why would we turn around and alienate a segment of society that might well agree with our views on these issues that affect us all such as they do?”
The Young Republicans in Virginia were not in total agreement with the decision and its potential benefit for the party. A former-unnamed-Republican believes that no matter what the Young Republicans do, the religious-right will always be louder.
Christian Raymond, a member of the Lynchburg Area Young Republicans (LAYR), expressed his displeasure with the voting results on social media. “Though I’m the Executive Director and not the current Chairman, the current Lynchburg Area Young Republicans (Official) Executive Board rejects the YRFV’s “Celebrating Pride 2018 Resolution,” which passed 19-5 moments ago. We’ll be working on a statement soon on this matter.” We reached out to him and he said that the LAYR are working on a statement to release this week.
LAYR Chairman, Isaiah Knight, voted against the resolution. They announced on the LAYR Facebook page prior to the vote that he would not be supporting the resolution. “For the sake of accountability towards our LAYR members, our LAYR Chairman, Isaiah Knight, will be voting NO on this resolution.” Knight also expressed his disapproval of their Delegate Scott Garrett for voting for Medicaid Expansion saying he is “incredibly disappointed”.
We asked Andrew Hull if he has received any backlash after the vote. He said he has received some, but it doesn’t surprise him because “it’s politics.” With the majority of the younger faction of the Republican party trying to move the party in a slightly-different direction, you can expect some resistance from the farther-right members of the party.