Last of two parts.
B efore he took office, Rep. Denver Riggleman’s stance on LGBTQ rights might have been hard to predict.
Mr. Riggleman is the second of two area lawmakers immersed in a brouhaha. But unlike Del. Nick Freitas (whose difficulties we discussed on Aug. 8), Mr. Riggleman’s troubles seem no worse than ironic.
Mr. Riggleman successfully ran on the Republican ballot last year, espousing conservative values — yet also campaigned from a libertarian perspective and promised to follow a conscience-driven independent path in Congress.
Votes on LGBTQ rights, however, have upheld the Republican dogma: He opposed the Equality Act addressing sexual orientation and gender identity, for instance, and cast a “no” vote on a resolution against President Trump’s ban on transgender service members.
Yet he recently officiated at the wedding of a same-sex couple.
And that’s gotten him in hot water with some members of his party.
The couple, Anthony LeCounte and Alex Pisciarino, were former campaign volunteers for Mr. Riggleman. The ceremony was held last month at King Family Vineyard in Albemarle County. (Mr. Riggleman owns a distillery next door in Nelson County.)
“My real belief is that government shouldn’t be involved in marriage at all, but if it is, everybody has to be treated equally before the law,” Mr. Riggleman told The Washington Post. “And that is part of our Republican creed. And it also comes down to love is love. I’m happy to join two people together who obviously love each other.”
However, the Republican “creed” is to uphold “traditional marriage,” according to the party’s 2016 platform.
The Cumberland County Republican Committee unanimously passed a “no confidence” measure critical of his action in presiding over the wedding, and also for supposedly being insufficiently tough on border and immigration security.
A censure vote from the larger 5th District committee failed to gain traction, however.
Our view is that while Mr. Riggleman is indeed primarily holding to the Republican Party line, he can be a maverick now and then. We’d like to see more of that independent thinking which he touted during his campaign.