The Republican organization that represents LGBTQ party members said that a recent email sent by the official Colorado GOP, which characterized LGBTQ people as “groomers,” unfairly defines them and furthers an ideological rift in the party.

The email, which was sent on June 29, was “narrow-minded and pandered to the far right,” a statement from the Log Cabin Republicans of Colorado reads. “This rhetoric is an irritating splinter to the greater Colorado Republican Party & other common-sense voters in the state.”

The GOP email, intended for supporters with the subject line “Pride is evil,” featured an opening image in which the words “Pride Month” turn into the word “demon” — art actually created by a transgender artist — and accused LGBTQ people and Democrats of “indoctrinating children” and forcing “mutilation and chemical castration” on children.

“These degenerates want to violate our children and their innocence,” the Republican email reads. “They want boys and girls to think they can change their biological sex and encourage them to suffer barbaric medical procedures that are irreversible.”

This is in reference to gender-affirming care for transgender children, which can range from social transition measures, puberty blockers, management of gender-affirming hormones and, in some rare cases, surgery. Gender-affirming care, which was the subject of a shield law enacted by Colorado lawmakers this year, has become a central issue for conservatives as they seek to restrict its availability.

Throughout the email, the Colorado GOP referred to members of the LGBTQ community as “degenerates,” “radicals,” “reprobates,” “predators” and “creeps.”

The Colorado GOP recently selected former state Rep. Dave Williams as its chair. Williams testified against civil unions for same-sex couples at the state Capitol in 2013. In 2020, he signed on to a bill to ban gay marriage in the state.

Williams did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

It is unclear how many LGBTQ Republicans there are in the Colorado GOP. LCR Colorado, which is led by Valdamar Archuleta, wrote that the email reduces the chance that the state party could expand its membership to those other than its traditionally older, male base.

“Addressing these issues with care and refinement could have been an opportunity to reach out to young people, women, swing voters and moderate democrats growing weary of progressive politics. Instead, the presentation left many Coloradans feeling alienated,” LCR Colorado wrote.

Roger Hudson, a Castle Pines City Council member and deputy chief of staff for the Colorado House Republicans, agrees.

“This isn’t even about sexuality — this is really about welcoming people into the Republican Party,” Hudson said. “If we as a party are about inclusivity and about a bigger tent, then we must be welcoming. If we are about freedom and liberty, then we must stand for that. That doesn’t just mean on Sunday, when we go to church. That means every day, defending your right to say what you want to say, be who you want to be, and live the life you want to live.”

“It felt cartoonish and childish. It felt like (Williams) was talking about a figment of his imagination. There was no way to take it personally because to me it wasn’t based in reality,” Hudson said about the email.

Hudson was one of four Republicans who were reprimanded by Williams for signing on to a letter that objected to Montana House Republicans’ decision earlier this year to ban a transgender lawmaker from that state’s House floor.

LCR reiterated in its statement that it is supportive of parental rights to protect their children from “harmful premature medical procedures.”

“The Log Cabin Republicans of Colorado will continue to be outspoken in regard to safeguarding children, securing parental rights, and other conservative positions we firmly believe in,” the group wrote. “In the future we hope State leadership will find a more constructive path to help us all reach that goal.”

This article originally appeared in Colorado Newsline, which is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Colorado Newsline maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Quentin Young for questions: [email protected]. Follow Colorado Newsline on Facebook and Twitter.