By John Wright
Progressive groups are planning a cocktail party to protest GOP Congressman John Culberson’s appearance at a Log Cabin Republicans event on Saturday night in Montrose.
Culberson, whose 7th Congressional District includes parts of west Houston, will be the keynote speaker at the gay GOP group’s annual Houston Lincoln Dinner at Theo’s Restaurant.
A few steps away at the Rosemont, other pro-LGBT groups will stage “Cocktails with Culberson?“—and they’ve invited the congressman to meet with them, too. Culberson’s office didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
Culberson received a zero, the lowest possible score, on the Human Rights Campaign’s most recent Congressional Scorecard, which measures federal lawmakers’ support for LGBT equality. However, Log Cabin Republicans National President Gregory T. Angelo—who’ll also attend Saturday’s Dinner— defended the Houston chapter’s decision to invite the GOP congressman.
“Instead of protesting, I think we would all be better off as a community if we celebrated this,” Angelo told OUTSMART, noting that Republicans control the White House and both chambers of Congress.
“If we’re going to achieve advances in LGBT equality, we’re going to have to engage with a full spectrum of Republicans,” Angelo added. “To me, it shows that he’s interested in engaging with all of his constituents.”
Daniel Cohen of Indivisible Houston, one of the groups behind the cocktail party protest, said the idea of Culberson coming to Montrose “didn’t sit well,” given not only his record on LGBT rights, but also his stance on immigration and support for repealing the Affordable Care Act.
“We wanted to do something fun and we wanted to do something a little bit different,” Cohen said, comparing the protest to a recent LGBT dance party outside Vice President Mike Pence’s home.
“If he’s going to come into the neighborhood, let’s have a party and invite him,” Cohen said. “We might dance out and show him we’re out there and say hello. The main thing we want to do is talk to him.”
Katy Jewett, a regional field director for the Texas Democratic Party, which is also supporting the protest, said the fact that Log Cabin invited Culberson “makes perfect sense.”
“They’re Republicans. He’s a Republican,” Jewett said. “I’m sure if Trump were in town, they’d invite him, too.”