Republican National Convention starts today  

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Openly-gay former Ambassador Grenell to address the GOP

The 2020 Republican National Convention begins today with plans to formalize President Trump as the party nominee for re-election, but little else known about how, exactly, the convention will play out.

most of the delegates are expected to leave after the roll call

The Republican Party’s plans, released Sunday, include one openly gay speaker as part of the program. According to the program, former Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, who also served briefly as acting director of National Intelligence, will speak on Wednesday evening. A video of Grenell posted on a gay Republican website last week gives a glimpse at what his convention speech will likely be about—an attack on Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s early career positions against equal rights for gays and a picture of President Trump as a champion of LGBT equality.

Meanwhile, reports have been varied about how many days Trump will speak to the convention, with some suggesting he may address delegates all four days. The latest plan calls for him to deliver his acceptance of the nomination on Thursday from the White House.

About 2,500 delegates and alternatives have been selected. Only 336 are being allowed to participate on site in Charlotte, North Carolina because of the corona virus pandemic. That is when a roll call on the nomination is slated. The Charlotte Observer reports that most of the delegates are expected to leave the city after the roll call today.

Log Cabin Republicans, the national gay Republican group, endorsed Trump for re-election in August of last year, an action that prompted the resignation of its executive director, Jerry Ann Henry. It announced its decision in a commentary to the Washington Post, with Board President Robert Kabel and vice-chair Jill Homan as authors.

“While we do not agree with every policy or platform position presented by the White House or the Republican Party,” stated the endorsement, “we share a commitment to individual responsibility, personal freedom and a strong national defense…. We are committed to letting all qualified Americans serve in the military, and Log Cabin Republicans was a leader in the legal fight to end the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy. We oppose the transgender service restriction and will continue to press the administration to reconsider.”

“To be treated equally, fairly and justly under the law is our goal, and we know that ‘Inclusion Wins’ is a mantra we share with the president,” concluded the essay.

In June, the corona virus pandemic prompted the Republican party to forego a meeting of its platform committee this year and adhere, instead, to the platform it adopted in 2016. It was a platform that had prompted Log Cabin Republicans to place a full-page ad in USA Today, calling the platform the “most anti-LGBT platform in the Republican Party’s 162-year history.”

On July 29, the Log Cabin Republicans issued a press release announcing a public education program, Outspoken (at getoutspoken.com), to “articulate our conservative voices and amplify them across the nation.” The most recent posting criticizes video comedian Randy Rainbow for his “anti-Trump” videos.

In an August 20 video for getoutspoken.com, Grenell tells viewers, “President Trump is the most pro-gay president in American history.” He says he is “America’s first openly gay cabinet member.” (Some historians will point out that his two-month post as acting national intelligence director was a “cabinet level” post, not specifically a post in the cabinet). Grenell says Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, as U.S. senator, said gays would be a security risk, opposed marriage for same-sex couples, and voted for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

“Donald Trump is the first president in American history to be pro-gay marriage from his first day in office,” says Grenell. President Trump re-posted the video on his Twitter post.

The 2016 Republican National Convention included one openly gay prime-time speaker, Paypal founder and Facebook board member Peter Thiel.

Broadcast of the Republican National Convention begins each night, Monday through Thursday, beginning at 8:30 p.m. Like the Democratic convention last week, the Republican convention will be broadcast and livestreamed on various networks and social media platforms.

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