Several LGBTQ congressmembers and numerous LGBTQ organizations swiftly echoed the growing nationwide demands to impeach President Donald Trump for a second time or invoke the 25th Amendment to remove him from office after he encouraged a mob of his supporters to overrun the US Capitol building on January 6 in unprecedented fashion.
The flood of demands to immediately oust the one-term president grew exponentially in the hours following the sudden invasion of the Capitol at a time when lawmakers in both chambers were slated to certify President-Elect Joe Biden’s victory in the November election.
Rabid Trump supporters, many donning racist apparel and carrying Confederate flags, barreled into the Capitol and smashed windows, ransacked offices, and even entered the chamber. Some police officers were seen opening gates to allow them in, while other officers stationed in the Capitol Building appeared overwhelmed and retreated from their positions. The horrific scene devolved even further when the rioters displayed nooses as they brought white supremacy directly to the heart of the federal government.
The scene prompted the evacuation of lawmakers who were forced to delay their votes until the wee hours of the night. Less than 24 hour after out gay Rhode Island Congressmember David Cicilline sent a letter to the House Judiciary Committee calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment, he announced he was circulating Articles of Impeachment alongside Representatives Ted Lieu of California and Jamie Raskin of Maryland.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer both called for Trump’s immediate removal. Pelosi said on January 7 that Congress would move ahead with impeachment if Vice President Mike Pence and the cabinet do not invoke the 25th Amendment.
One of Cicilline’s newest colleagues, out gay Congressmember Ritchie Torres of the Bronx, stressed that the nation must not wait any longer to pull the plug on a president who has grown increasingly belligerent in his final weeks in office.
“President @realDonaldTrump has spent months telling inflammatory lies and instigating a violent mob to storm into the Capitol in an attempt at derailing the peaceful transfer of power,” Torres said in a tweet on January 7. “Invoke the 25th Amendment. Immediately. President @realDonaldTrump stood by passively while the US Capitol came under siege. It took the intervention of the Vice President to mobilize the National Guard. Again: Invoke the 25th Amendment. Immediately.”
Out LGBTQ Congressmember Sharice Davids of Kansas also joined in on the calls to remove the president as soon as possible.
“We cannot trust Donald Trump to uphold his oath of office over the next 14 days,” Davids said in a tweet. “The US Cabinet must invoke the 25th Amendment now.”
Out gay Representative Mark Pocan of Wisconsin stated on Twitter that he was in “full agreement” with Pelosi’s calls to invoke the 25th Amendment. Pocan went on to blast members of Trump’s cabinet who have suddenly started distancing themselves from the president.
“Trump administration officials who want to quit in protest two weeks before he’s gone anyway & politicians who said yesterday was like a banana republic but fed Trump bananas for 4 years should NOT be given any profiles in courage awards,” Pocan wrote. “Courage is standing up when it matters.”
Out gay Congressmember Mark Takano of California also did not mince words as he took aim at the president.
“Trump must be impeached and convicted immediately,” Takano said in a public video on social media. “He has shown himself to be a deranged demagogue that is a threat to our democracy. Yesterday’s assault and desecration of our temple of democracy, the US Capitol, was a direct result of his words and actions.”
Some other lawmakers were initially less clear in their positions regarding Trump’s final weeks. Out gay Congressmember Sean Patrick Maloney of New York, who turned to Twitter to post video footage documenting the moment when the House floor was invaded, originally did not mention taking any action against Trump. However, as pressure mounted following the attack, he spoke up more forcefully.
“The President must be immediately removed for inciting a violent attack on the Capitol,” Maloney said in a tweet on January 8. “A police officer died. Every Republican needs to decide if they stand with the Constitution or the mob.”
Out lesbian Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, who was also somewhat reserved early on, similarly grew more vociferous after her colleagues sought to expedite the president’s departure.
“I am calling for Vice President Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from office,” Baldwin said in a written statement on January 7.
LGBTQ groups, meanwhile, were far less filtered. A broad slate of groups brought a sense of urgency to the campaign to boot Trump from office, including Athlete Ally, GLSEN, the Equality Federation, GLAAD, Lambda Legal, the National Black Justice Coalition, SAGE, The National Center for Transgender Equality, Transgender Law Center, and the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund.
Janson Wu, the executive director of GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), said the attack on the Capitol by white supremacists was “outrageous, terrifying, and unacceptable.” “The President of the United States is sworn to defend the Constitution and the rule of law. Because President Trump has demonstrated that he is unable to discharge his essential and fundamental duty, he must be relieved of his powers.”
The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) also spoke up forcefully as the organization encouraged the firing of President Trump.
“Given the gravity of the President’s role in inciting yesterday’s violent attack on our nation’s Capitol, we urge immediate action both to remove President Trump pursuant to the 25th Amendment and to initiate impeachment proceedings to ensure that he is held accountable for his seditious actions and can never again hold elected public office,” Imani Rupert-Gordon, NCLR’s executive director, said in a written statement.
The National LGBTQ Task Force, a major advocacy group that has been in operation for nearly five decades, underscored the point that the president must be removed regardless of how many days are remaining in the Trump era.
“Even if today were January 19th, the time left in Trump’s term would be too long,” the group said in a written statement. “If Donald Trump were to stay in office for a mere 24 hours it would be too long and too risky. If Trump is able to make one more call to the Acting Secretary of Defense, it would be one call too many. If Trump is able to push through one more regulation, it would be one too many. He abandoned his post and responsibility long ago, and we have watched in horror with each swing of his golf club, as more Americans die.”
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