Cory Gardner: Rainbow Warrior?

POLS UPDATE: LGBTQ rights organization One Colorado minces no words:


(More like rainbow washing – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sens. Cory Gardner & Susan Collins at LGBT GOP fundraiser

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner was one of three swing-state Republican senators to receive money from a fundraiser hosted by American Unity Fund (AUF), a conservative LGBT rights group.

First reported by North Carolina conservative blog the Daily Haymaker, AUF hosted the $250 per person event on Tuesday at the Washington D.C. office of Hogan Lovells, a white shoe law firm with a large Denver presence.

Longtime AUF supporter Jay Timmons, president of the National Association of Manufacturers, posted a picture of Gardner and U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) posing with Timmons and his husband at the event.

Last month Timmons and his husband were honored by Equality Virginia for their advocacy for the right of same-sex couples like themselves to become parents. In 2007, then-State Rep. Cory Gardner voted against a bill to allow Colorado gay and lesbian couples to adopt children.

Since Gardner’s election to the U.S. Senate in 2014, the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT rights organization, has published two congressional scorecards. Gardner scored 12 percent and 16 percent.

The Family Research Council (FRC), designated an anti-LGBT hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, published similar scorecards. Gardner received perfect 100 percent scores both times. The FRC score included Gardner’s vote to confirm LGBT rights opponent Kyle Duncan to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the 5th Circuit. Local religious right leader Jeff Hunt of Colorado Christian University’s Centennial Institute celebrated Gardner’s FRC score with an opinion column.

Reached for comment, Daniel Ramos, Executive Director of One Colorado, the state’s leading advocacy organization for LGBT and queer Coloradans and their families, offered this statement:

“Let me be crystal clear – Senator Cory Gardner is neither a friend nor an ally for LGBTQ Coloradans and their families. In the last eight years during my time at One Colorado, he has never reached out to discuss policy or legislation, and has never attended one of our events. If he was the LGBTQ ally that he claims to be, he would be enthusiastically supporting The Equality Act. He would be standing with the 15,000 transgender service members who are now unable to serve in the military. He would be working to strengthen Title IX protections instead of weakening them. As a nonpartisan organization, we are proud to support our Republican allies, and he is no ally to our community.” Daniel Ramos, Executive Director, One Colorado

Neither Gardner nor the American Unity Fund responded to a request for comment. This story will be updated with any statements they provide.


12 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

    Maybe he's playing proxy for Lindsay

  2. RepealAndReplace says:

    American Unity Fund? What happened? Did somebody burn down the Log Cabin Club?

  3. The realistThe realist says:


    __ Rainbow warrior

    __ Rainbow washing

    Stay tuned for results . . .

    Nevermind. Washing wins by a landslide.

  4. JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

    "American Unity Fund, a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization, is dedicated to advancing the cause of freedom for LGBTQ Americans by making the conservative case that freedom truly means freedom for everyone." [AUF's website]

    Everybody SING! "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose

    Nothing, and that's all that Bobby left me

    Feeling good was easy Lord, when he sang the blues …."

  5. DaftPunkDaftPunk says:

    Look, two soon to be former Senators!

  6. kwtreemamajama55 says:

    There are plenty of conservative gay people. Although most studies indicate that gay youth, in particular, are struggling, as they often are not supported by their families, and risk getting fired if they are “out” in their entry-level jobs.

    A small percentage of gay white men may have higher disposable personal incomes, and so are receptive to a lower-taxes, "I'm not paying for the irresponsibility of the breeders" message. Lesbians tend to have kids and lower personal incomes. Gay people of color tend to have lower incomes across the board.

    The modern Republican party can't afford to alienate any of them. 

    Links to studies (sorry, don’t feel like coding for html this am)
    Prudential shows males make more $$ than women across sexual orientation; also that the SCOTUS Obergefell decision has led to more financial stability in the queer community, as people tend to stay in relationships and have children.

    UCLA/Williams shows self-identified LGBT younger, more educated than general population


    The survey finds that the LGBT population is distinctive in many ways beyond sexual orientation. Compared with the general public, Pew Research LGBT survey respondents are more liberal, more Democratic, less religious, less happy with their lives, and more satisfied with the general direction of the country. On average, they are younger than the general public. Their family incomes are lower, which may be related to their relative youth and the smaller size of their households. They are also more likely to perceive discrimination not just against themselves but also against other groups with a legacy of discrimination.

    • Conserv. Head Banger says:

      Log Cabin Republicans have been around for a number of years. But they keep getting hassled by the far right wing Christian nationalists and theocrats.

      "The modern Republican party can't afford to alienate any of them….."  Too bad that the god, guns, abortion crowd in the Colorado party has yet to figure that out. 

    • VoyageurVoyageur says:

      A lot of gays would be conservative if Republicans would let them.  I know a number of gay businessmen who share the usual too- much-regulation bias of that breed.  Many are " Dinks" — double income, no kids — and don't like higher taxes for free stuff they don't use.  And having been long persecute d by government, they are skeptical about programs to protect them.

      Even the Metropolitan Community Church near me has a very evangelical Christian me ssage, albeit one shorn of the hate of the Franklin Graham screamers.

      But R&R nailed it.  If your party screams that gays will burn in your non-existent hell, the Old Lady with the very detailed interest in fisting sets your tone and your goons beat gays to death and leave them on fences to die, they will fight for the dignity that is their right.

      In the long run, the attitudes of young voters will prevail and eventually  the hateful treatment of lgbt people will be as historically condemned as slavery is.

  7. Curmudgeon says:

    There will always be those who will side with those who seek to oppress them as long as they're seeing some personal benefit. 

  8. Arvadonian1Arvadonian1 says:

    While I'm disgusted with Gardner trying to gain cover for his draconian record on LGBT issues, I'm even more disgusted at this "AUF" and the Uncle-Tom- equivalent Timmons and spouse for providing him cover.  While there were real LGBT allies among congressional Republicans a couple of years ago (I'm looking at Ileana Ros Leitenen and Charlie Dent who were listed as "Special Guests" on the flier), they've largely been drummed out of the party—Gardner never was one of them and no amount of posing for pictures with a gay person will hide the fact that if he had his way, LGBT people wouldn't be able to marry, serve in the military, adopt, have workplace and employment protections….in short, be a full citizen of the country.

  9. kwtreemamajama55 says:

    Cory Gardner will get his chance to vote on the Equality Act, which the House just passed and  sent to the Senate. Leader McConnell said that there is "no scheduling" to debate the Equality Act – which is a cheap and cowardly way to avoid voting on this legislation. Gardner probably loves that easy out.

    The Equality Act would

    prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation, and for other purposes.

    In case you feel like calling your  Senators to support the Equality Act, or at least to give it a hearing, here's their contact info:

    Senator Michael Bennet , 202-224-5852 (DC), Contact Form and Office InformationFacebook@SenatorBennet

    Senator Cory Gardner, 202-224-5941(DC), Contact FormOffice InformationFacebook@SenCoryGardner


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