Georgia GOP lawmaker: Anti-gay policies driving party ‘toward extinction’
State Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon) says the prospect of Donald Trump in the White House “scares the bejeebies out of me” and laments that the party’s treatment of the LGBT community, Hispanics and African-Americans is driving the party “toward extinction.”
Peake made the comments about Trump in an interview with the AJC, then followed up with reporter Greg Bluestein a few hours later via email with what he calls his “Republican manifesto,” where he talked about the party’s treatment of minority communities.
After acknowledging that his assessment of Trump and the future of the GOP might be the “death blow” to his political future, Peake writes, “The reality is that Donald Trump as our nominee makes me incredibly fearful for the future of our party. We have alienated Hispanics and African-Americans, both groups who would support us if we stuck to an agenda focused on jobs and the economy. We have made ourselves enemies of the gay community. And from discussions with my gay brother, many would support us, because many are moderate on social issues but fiscally conservative.”
Peake also writes that millennials have written off the GOP because of the party’s stances on medical marijuana and marriage equality.
“So, as a party, we are basically working ourselves toward extinction,” he writes. “And if we don’t do some soul searching and make efforts to reach out to these groups, that’s where we end up.”
Peake was a co-sponsor of state Rep. Sam Teasley’s (R-Marietta) so-called “religious freedom” bill in 2015. He later opened up about the difficulties of supporting such bills due to them exposing his gay brother Merwin Peake to more anti-LGBT discrimination, and cited his brother again earlier this year while trying to work with Gov. Deal and House Speaker David Ralston on the controversial HB757.
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Republican state Rep. Allen Peake (r) with his openly gay brother Merwin (l) outside of a subcommittee meeting on SB129 in 2015. (File photo)