Jerri Ann Henry, the first woman to be named executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans, is resigning after less than a year in her post.
“This is a long time coming,” Henry told CNN in an exclusive interview. “The history and legacy of this organization is so rich. I wish we were able to find a way forward, but I think leaving the organization is best for all of us.”
The Washington Blade was first to report on Henry’s resignation.
In a statement to CNN, Charles Moran, a spokesperson for the Log Cabin Republicans, said Henry resigned on Monday and thanked her for her service to the group.
“The final date of her employment is undetermined at this time,” Moran said in an email. “The Board’s Executive Committee will proceed with an orderly transition to ensure nothing falls through the cracks. We thank her for her service to our organization and wish her well in the next chapter of her career.”
Henry’s resignation is the latest in a long line of defections over the past few months, including Robert Turner, Jordan Evans, Rachel Hoff, Jennifer Horn, Eli Lehrer, Rich Tafel and Sarah Longwell.
The group, which claims to be “the nation’s largest Republican organization dedicated to representing LGBT conservatives and allies,” published an op-ed in the Washington Post last week endorsing President Donald Trump, which sparked Turner, Horn and Evans’ departures.
Horn, a longtime Republican operative, said of her resignation from the organization’s board, that she could no longer represent a group who endorsed another four years of the Trump administration and his targeting of gay and minority communities.
“It’s not just the LGBTQ community this President targets. When we look at immigrants, people – anyone that he thinks he can somehow use to anger his base – he doesn’t care if he has to divide on racial lines, on ethnic lines, on educational lines,” Horn told MSNBC. “He will divide and damage and destroy this country in any manner he thinks he needs to advance his own political power.”
Henry, a lesbian Republican activist who fought for marriage equality as head of Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry, however, says her resignation wasn’t just about the Trump endorsement. Instead, she has been frustrated with the group has been going as of late, a direction she described as becoming more like a social club that serves as a chapter of the Republican National Committee or Young Republicans.
“Log Cabin was once a civil rights organization with conservative principles,” Henry said. “That’s why I joined on. Now it’s mostly about happy hours.”
“They weren’t involved in the marriage fight at all,” Henry said. “When the Equality Act passed, and no one (from Log Cabin Republicans) said anything, I don’t know if I was relieved – because of what they might have said – or disappointed that none of our chapter heads even noticed.”
When asked if she thinks the group can survive, she said, “I’m not sure. My recommendation would be to shut it down, or just become the YR’s of the gay community – Republicans who just happen to be gay.”