Colorado Republicans Attempt to Oust GOP Chair After ‘God Hates Pride’ Email

By: Alex Trent | Published: Jun 11, 2024

The state chairman of the Colorado Republican Party Dave Williams recently kicked up dust after controversial comments made attacking the LGBTQ community as “godless groomers” and insisting that “God hates pride.”

Now a group of over 100 Republican leaders across Colorado are making plans to start the process for his ouster, starting a petition that could see Wiliams removed from his chair position.

Williams’ Email

The GOP chairman wrote an email on June 3 reported by the Denver Post that had the title “God hates pride.”

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Colorado Republican Chair Dave Williams sits and listens at a meeting.

Source: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia

In the email, Williams wrote about how supporters of LGBTQ are “godless groomers” and posted a video of a pastor that had a thumbnail reading “God hates flags.”

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Burning Flags

In an X post responding to news of the email being reported on, the official Colorado Republican Party X account put out a post commanding followers to “Burn all pride flags this June.” Some commenters, even Republicans, were displeased with the post.

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A rainbow colored flag flying on a flag pole.

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“Burn flags? I’m a Colorado Republican. I don’t celebrate pride month. This is a terrible message and so anti free speech it’s disgusting. You guys should be ashamed of yourselves,” said X User Craig Denny.

Stolen Flags

After the Colorado GOP X post calling upon followers to burn flags, KDVR in Colorado reported that pride flags were stolen in the following days.

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A large Pride flag waving proudly under a clear blue sky, mounted on a pole beside a street lamp

Source: Wikimedia Commons

“We woke up to a text from a neighbor down the street asking if our pride flag had been destroyed or taken. And sure enough, when we came out in the morning, we noticed it was missing. After connecting with another neighbor that we know had a pride flag out, it sounds like the person stole their flag, banged on a window and yelled an obscenity about the gay community,” said a mom from Arvada Colorado who didn’t want to be identified to KDVR.

Public Outrage

As the story of Williams’ email started to receive mainstream coverage, a barrage of backlash was unleashed against him and the Colorado Republican party.

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A person holding both hands together. Each hand has one of the letters for LGBTQIA+ on.

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“As we enter Pride Month, a time for the LGBTQ community to celebrate who we are and find connection with others, some groups would still wipe us from existence if they could,” said Rocky Mountain Executive Director Mardi Moore. “We know that these extremist groups do not represent all Coloradans, but that doesn’t make statements like the Republican Party’s call to burn Pride flags or the rhetoric from the anti-LGBTQ activists leading efforts to put hateful measures on our November ballots any less harmful.”

Pushback From Republicans

In addition to those on another political side from Williams, he also received pushback from fellow Republicans in the state who viewed his comments as harming Republican political efforts.

The logo for the Republican Party in the United States.

Source: Republican Party/Wikimedia

“I think the worst thing in there was the video they embedded into the email which was titled ‘God Hates Flags’ because of the obvious reference to the Westboro Baptist Church,” said Valdamar Archuleta, leader of the state’s Log Cabin Republicans which is a pro-LGBTQ group. “It’s really bad optics. It’s a really bad message. All it’s doing is being divisive and non-inclusive, and that’s not who we are as Republicans.”

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Pressure to Resign

Colorado Republican Chair Dave Williams has been a controversial figure before these recent comments, but some Republicans are now applying more intense pressure for him to resign in the wake of national attention to his latest email.

A macro shot of an iPhone screen displaying a red notification bubble indicating 6,753 unread emails on the Mail app

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“This last email — that was it, we’re done,” said Jefferson County GOP Chairwoman Nancy Pallozzi to Colorado Politics. “It was disgusting. I don’t encourage burning the Pride flag. It was a message that should not have been sent out by the Republican Party.”

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History of Controversy

This email from Williams is not the first time the GOP chair’s actions have generated controversy.

The China flag flies in the wind.

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In March. revelations emerged about alleged business dealings Williams had with China during the COVID-19 pandemic, which his critics allege show he has close connections with the US adversary.

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Unprecedented Step

The move to ouster Williams in this way is being seen as unprecedented but some Colorado Republicans feel that it is important to offer an aggressive rebuke to the language displayed in Williams’s email.

A woman wearing Nike shoes works out and runs up stadium steps.

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“It is an aggressive move, but what Dave has been doing for the past few months is just unacceptable anymore,” said Pallozi to Colorado Politics after launching the petition campaign to ouster Williams.

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Former Chair’s Comments

The former chair of the Colorado Republican Party Dick Wadhams agreed with the outpouring of criticism toward Williams over his comments.

A close-up of a Lady Justice statue.

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“Dave Williams has violated every norm, tradition, and bylaw that have governed the party for more than a hundred years all in an effort to redefine the party in the narrow, divisive, exclusionary agenda he represents,” said Wadhams.

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Democrats in Colorado

Colorado Democrats accused Williams’ of bigotry for these comments and are keen to hold the state’s GOP accountable for the chairman’s actions.

A taped sign that tells the reader to vote blue for Democrats.

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“Until they grow a backbone and dismiss this, we will assume that the CO GOP is speaking for [the state’s Republican elected officials] and all GOP nominees and we’ll make sure CO voters know it,” wrote Democrat Colorado Chair Shad Murib in an X post.

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Williams’ Primary Bid

This controversy pressuring Williams comes in the midst of a fierce primary battle he is in with opponent Jeff Crank for Colorado’s 5th Congressional District seat. The two had a debate on June 6 following the email scandal where Williams defended his comments.

A close up look at part of the US capitol building in Washington D.C.

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“I do not care what some Pride organizers think about what we’re doing,” Williams said in response to a question about the email. “What I care about is protecting our children. What I care about is advancing biblical principles, and what I care about is what the Lord has to say. If that cost me this election, if that cost me everything, so be it.”

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