“Passing this resolution sends a strong and united message that this barbaric persecution must be brought to an end,” said Issa, R-Vista. “We cannot stand by idly as this chilling tragedy continues.”
But local leaders of the LGBT community had contrasting takes on Issa’s role in the resolution, OK’d Tuesday by voice vote.
Gina Roberts, transgender president of the San Diego chapter of Log Cabin Republicans, which represents the conservative LGBT community, said Issa has been one of her biggest supporters and “has supported Log Cabin Republicans every time we have asked.”
However, she conceded that Issa has voted against many LGBT bills in Congress because most are attached to must-pass kinds of bills “and the important thing is to vote for the main bill.”
“I like Congressman Issa a lot,” Roberts told Times of San Diego via email. “He is a man of great integrity and compassion that is continually beat up by the LGBT community for the wrong reasons. But then again, he is a Republican and went after their flag-bearer, Hillary, so no logic or reason is required.”
Speaking for the liberal counterpart club, Democrats for Equality, Will Rodriguez-Kennedy saw incongruity in the action.
“While we are glad to see that Congressman Darrell Issa at the very least thinks that LGBTQ+ people’s shouldn’t be slaughtered and oppressed abroad, it is a direct contradiction of his own record of supporting institutional discrimination against American LGBTQ+ citizens,” said the club president, also by email.
He said Issa has voted to oppose marriage equality and against anti-discrimination laws that protect the LGBTQ+ community from discrimination in employment and housing.
“He has consistently held an F rating from the Human Rights Campaign, which denotes a history of opposing LGBTQ+ rights,” Rodriguez-Kennedy said.
He called for voters in the 49th Congressional District to “eject him from office next election cycle.”
In statement Tuesday, Issa added: “In passing this resolution, we make clear to Chechen leaders, the Russian government and the international community that these heinous violations of basic human rights will not be tolerated against anyone, anywhere, regardless of their political viewpoints, religious beliefs or their sexual orientation.”
Issa is a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee who introduced the resolution May 23 with GOP Reps. Ed Royce of California, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida and Chris Smith of New Jersey along with Democratic Reps. Eliot Engel of New York and David Cicilline of Rhode Island.
They joined after reports surfaced that Chechen authorities were arresting and torturing citizens as part of an effort to purge their country of those suspected of being gay.