Gay conservative activist Brandon Straka is accusing an LGBT Center in Greenwich Village of discriminating against him because of his right-leaning political beliefs.
A complaint filed on Friday and obtained by the New York Post showed that Straka believes the LGBT center discriminated against him by canceling a planned 2oo-plus person WalkAway event “LGBT TownHall.” The March event was canceled days before it was scheduled to take place.
The event was canceled after the center received a letter signed by 280 people calling for Straka’s event to be canceled. The letter called Straka’s panelists “racist” and “transphobic” — For the record, Rob Smith, one of the planned speakers, is a black man.
Straka only found out about the cancellation of his event by reading the announcement on the center’s site.
“I was devastated — it felt like a betrayal,” said Straka. He had previously frequented the center for years.
In a statement explaining their decision to cancel the event, the center said, “We reserve the right to cancel any event that promotes discriminatory speech or bigotry; negatively impacts other groups or individuals … Permitting this event to proceed would make many of our community members feel unsafe.”
Straka’s complaint calls the statement from the center “intentionally defamatory.”
Straka is seeking $20 million in damages.
The WalkAway movement encourages people to leave the Democrat Party. The March event Straka planned was to feature two gay men and a transgender woman who had all left the Democrat Party.
Source: Fox News
Straka, who is a Harlem hairdresser and founded the WalkAway movement, told The Post that his treatment shows that many wish to suppress his voice.
“I’m considered a traitor. [The community] wanted to silence me, they wanted to roll over me and make me disappear,” he said.
Straka walked away from the Democrat Party in 2017. He voted for Hillary Clinton the year before. He said his last straw with the left was an episode of “The Rachel Maddow Show.”
“Rachel Maddow said on Twitter she had [President Trump’s] tax returns — a smoking gun — and to tune in that night. I said to myself, ‘OK, if she really has the smoking gun against Trump, I’ll forget about all the negative feelings I have about the liberal media and Democratic Party,'” he said.
Straka continued, “Finally, at the end of her show, she produced two pieces of paper from 2005 that showed he paid his taxes. That was the moment I decided I’m no longer a liberal or Democrat. That was the final straw for me.”
Straka eventually registered as a Republican last year.
Straka says that many in the gay community have turned their backs on him because of politics. The injection of politics into the gay community is also what keeps him away from pride month events.
“It was always my favorite day of the year,” he said. “It’s turned into one big anti-Trump rally.”
On the news of his new complaint, Straka tweeted, “I am no victim, to be sure. My message is not now nor has it ever been one of victimhood, revenge, or want to do harm to anyone. Quite the opposite. My message is one of true freedom. True liberation. True empowerment. I’ll stand and fight for my community.”
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