By Parker Purifoy
A Virginia county Republican committee on Dec. 12 voted unanimously to censure outgoing Congressman Denver Riggleman, saying he betrayed the party’s values after he officiated a same-sex wedding.
In their resolution, the Appomattox County Republican Committee included a list of reasons for censuring Riggleman, who lost his reelection bid during a Republican state convention over the summer. Prominent among the list was Riggleman officiating a same-sex wedding in July 2019 for two of his campaign aides.
“[The wedding] goes against the values and principles of the Republican Party betraying and disregarding the concerns for the many Conservative and Christian voters in the 5th district who elected Denver Riggleman to the United States House of Representatives,” the resolution stated.
“My real belief is that government shouldn’t be involved in marriage at all, but if it is, everybody has to be treated equally before the law,” Riggleman told the Washington Post shortly after the wedding.
Riggleman has also been an outspoken critic of President Trump, and his claims of voter fraud, along with conspiracy theories like the QAnon conspiracy theory.
“This resolution was unanimously passed by the Appomattox County Republican Committee who are passionate about supporting our President Donald J. Trump,” the committee said in a statement to press on Facebook. “We will hold accountable all Republican elected officials to stand by the Virginia Republican Creed and National Republican Platform, and to support all our Republican nominees.”
Riggleman shot back on Twitter, accusing the Republican party of rigging the primary election against him.
“Glad the @VA_GOP finally admits they rig a convention because of the wedding. We already knew this, but here’s your sign,” he tweeted. “I believe in marriage equality and I despise conspiracy theories.”
Despite being a marriage equality advocate, Riggleman voted against the Equality Act, which would have added sexual orientation and gender identity to existing federal civil rights protections. He also voted against a resolution opposing a Trump policy that banned transgender people from serving in the military.
This article originally appeared in the Washington Blade and is made available in partnership with the National LGBT Media Association.