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Queer Fear as Michigan Republican Party Gives Top Spot to Election Denier Kristina Karamo

'Honest Abe is rolling over in his grave,' quipped gay Republican Casey Hoffman

By |2023-02-28T12:47:13-05:00February 27th, 2023|Michigan, News|

Known primarily for her spectacular loss to Jocelyn Benson in Michigan’s 2022 secretary of state race, queer-bashing Kristina Karamo, an election denier, has secured a seat as chair of the Michigan GOP in what some believe may lead to an irreversible march off the extremist deep end. Or a mass exodus.

“If aliens landed in Lansing and said, ‘Take me to your leader,’ about half of the Michigan GOP would direct the aliens to Mar-a-Lago, Florida,” said Casey Hoffman, an openly gay Republican attorney and former Michigan State House candidate who lives in Menominee with his husband. “Honest Abe is rolling over in his grave,” he added. Hoffman attended the Feb. 18 convention. He said not everyone in the Michigan Republican Party is a radical.

“The purpose of this convention was to elect strong MAGA leadership that would be submissive to Donald Trump should he claim victory in Michigan’s 2024 presidential contest,” said Hoffman, clear-eyed. “I worry that the 2020 election was a dress rehearsal for 2024.”

One Washington Post reporter in attendance described the convention as “chaotic,” “rowdy” and “contentious.” And while the event sounded like a three-ring circus — complete with an appearance by My Pillow Guy Mike Lindell — leaders like openly gay Jason Morgan are dead serious in their fear that the way political matters are conducted in this state have gone dangerously awry. Morgan is first vice president of the Michigan Democratic Party and a state representative from Ann Arbor.  

“My first thought was actually genuine and deep concern for the future of the Republican Party,” Morgan said, regarding reports of the convention, “because I very much believe that parties should have disagreements about policy and issues of legitimate concern, and that doesn’t happen when one party elects a leader who is just completely out of touch with reality.”

Karamo’s outrageous views about the queer community make clear just how out of touch with reality she really is. As reported by Media Matters, on her podcast, “It’s Solid Food,” Karamo claimed in 2020, “God did not intend for people to be transgender, or he did not intend for people to have sex with people of the same sex.” She believes “supporters of transgender youth are ‘agents of the devil’ who are ‘helping children go to hell.’” Readers should be warned, “The entire Pride Month is celebrating rebellion against God’s design for human sexuality.” Those are but a few examples.

Morgan referred to “an endless list of outlandish comments that [Karamo] has made.” As reported in Pride Source, Karamo blames the supposed rise of paganism and witchcraft on performers such as Ariana Grande because they celebrate female empowerment. Known as a QAnon conspiracist, Karamo also claimed, “Darwinian evolution is a total scam.” Add to that her persistent refusal to concede her 2022 midterm election loss — by 14 points. And her belief in the existence of demons.

“I absolutely see her as a threat to the queer community,” Morgan said. 

Morgan thinks the best parallel to Karamo’s election to chair the Michigan Republican Party is Trump’s victory in the 2016 Republican presidential primary. At the time, “a lot of Democrats and moderates were thrilled that he won that primary because it seemed like it would make it very easy for a Democrat to win that election,” Morgan said. However, that wasn’t the case. 

“I think that is an important lesson for everyone,” he continued, “that we should have the best candidates and the best leaders put forward in all of our political parties, so that no matter who is in charge, we have the most reasonable and sensible people there who are, at the very least, going to believe in the integrity of our electoral system.” 

On that point, Morgan and Hoffman agree. “The Michigan Republican Party needs to start acting like an adult organization,” Hoffman put forth. “I’m worried about the future of the Republican Party, and I don’t know if Kristina Karamo is going to be the unity candidate that we need to unite the MAGA faction and the old guard.”

Karamo won her election after three rounds of voting, ultimately beating Trump-backed Matt DePerno 58 to 42.

For the record, Hoffman did not vote for Karamo. He opted for Ted Nugent-endorsed Scott Greenlee.

“[Greenlee] was the only adult on the ballot, in my opinion,” Hoffman said. “He voted for President Trump, but is not owned by President Trump. He’s helped to win over 100 races. His platform was party unity; he talked a lot about fundraising and good finances. He seemed like a very credible pick.”

Hoffman sees no conflict with being LGBTQ+ and a Republican. 

“I think the Republican Party got it wrong by inserting itself into the business of marriage in the first place,” Hoffman said. However, “Where some see contradiction, I see logic: I can’t think of anything more conservative, or more Republican, than keeping the government out of my home or my marriage.” 

About the Author:

Ellen Knoppow is a writer who believes in second acts. She is the recipient of the 2022 award for Excellence in Transgender Coverage by NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists.
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