WIll Somebody Please Ask Phil Scott What He Thinks of His Party’s Burlington Chair?

Submitted for your approval: Christopher-Aaron Felker, notorious hatemonger, astoundingly unsuccessful candidate for elective office, anti-trans agitator, multiple-time banishee from Twitter, and — lest we forget — chair of the Burlington Republican Committee.

Felker is seen here leading a tiny group — I see ten or so in this video — of people protesting at Outright Vermont’s annual fire truck pull Saturday on Church Street. (Click on the link at your own risk; it’s a two-hour video taken on a smartphone by one of Felker’s associates.)

Felker apparently heads a Vermont chapter of the LGB Alliance, an alleged gay-rights organization whose only apparent interest is stirring up anti-trans hate.

More on the Alliance in a moment. First, the question must be posed: What does the VTGOP think of its hatemongering city chair? What does Gov. Phil Scott think of this guy being a public face of his chosen party? Will he go beyond the usual expressions of dismay and work to excise this carbuncle from the ass of the VTGOP? Or is he all hat and no cattle?

The LGB Alliance first started in Great Britain, where it’s attracted plenty of negative publicity for statements like, well, this:

Oh, there it is: Man on Dog in a more generic formulation. And the LGBTQ+ movement is, somehow, homophobic.

This is hateful, pure and simple. They try to deny it; one of its co-founders urped up this little gem: “We welcome the support of anyone – gay, straight or trans – as long as they support our commitment to freedom of speech and biological definitions of sex.”

Which essentially means that trans people don’t exist, or shouldn’t. A trans person would be accepted into the Alliance only if they denied their very existence. There’s a move in Britain to strip the Alliance of its charitable status on the grounds that its real purpose is “to restrict the legal rights afforded to transgender people.” Seems about right.

This is the group that Felker has chosen to affiliate with. It ought to disqualify him from a leadership role in the Vermont Republican Party. But it won’t, because the party hierarchy is largely of the same mind. Also, they’ve had a hell of a time finding anybody willing to chair that vestigial appendix of a once-proud city party. Felker has a pulse and he’s willing, so he qualifies.

He’s also, to judge by his occasional speaking appearances in that lengthy YouTube video, kind of an asshole. He makes some snide allusions to the tactics and personal hygiene of the Outright Vermont crowd.

Felker’s merry band mounted their ineffectual protest over the alleged mishandling of one Fred Sargeant, a veteran of the Stonewall riots and the birthing of the Gay Pride movement. In recent years, Sargeant has joined the likes of the LGB Alliance out of concern that “queer and trans activists have hijacked the gay rights movement.”

I think the term he’s looking for is “broadened” or “made inclusive,” but yeah.

Sargeant claims to have been assaulted at last month’s Burlington Pride Parade. If so, and I have my doubts, it’s probably because he was there to deliberately provoke a reaction. He was, by his account, ejected from 2021’s parade because he wore a T-shirt that said “‘Woman: Noun. Adult Human Female.” He sees parade organizer Pride Vermont as “an exclusionary gender identity organization focused on transing the gay away.”

And he attended this year’s parade with the goal of inflaming the crowd, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if parade participants took a dim view of his presence. Still, if they did assault him, they were in the wrong.

The police apparently did nothing about the incident. Which is more than a little strange, since Sargeant is a retired police officer and the blue usually backs its own. Unless, of course, it didn’t happen the way Sargeant tells it.

This information about Sargeant’s interactions with parade participants comes to us from Guy Page at the Vermont Daily Chronicle, an outlet that does not typically concern itself with LGB or LGBTQ+ affairs, nor with the heritage of the gay rights movement. But in this case, a former hero of the movement is now deeply critical of how the movement has grown and evolved since the late 60s. In short, he is a handy cudgel to accuse the LGBTQ+ community of public thuggery. He is a McGuffin and nothing more.

But I digress. Whatever happened (or not) to Sargeant, Felker’s group attended the fire truck pull to try to stir up trouble. They failed, except that they gave Page something juicy to write about. (I wonder how Page’s usual readership views this sudden outpouring of gay-themed content.)

The whole thing should have state Republican leaders offering Felker a choice: Confine his public activities to his party duties, or resign as city party chair. His Alliance activism makes him a hindrance to the party’s putative goal, to increase its appeal in one of the most liberal, inclusive cities in America. That should disqualify him from a high-profile party position. I bet it won’t.

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