In yet another of bizarre moment, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump today thanked the LGBT community, in apparent reference to the recent mass shooting at a gay club in Orlando, Florida.
In addition to, oddly, thanking the gay community, Trump then suggesting that he would be a better LGBT advocate than Hillary Clinton, whose support for the LGBT community goes back decades. (I’ve documented Hillary’s and Bill’s historic long-time support for the LGBT community here.)
First, Trump’s tweet, then we’re going to have a little talk:
And lest you think Trump’s tweet was a mouth spasm, he told the same thing in a speech in New Hampshire Monday. Yes, Donald Trump thinks the attack in Orlando is going to help with the gay community.
“Ask yourself, who is really the friend of women and the LGBT community, Donald Trump with his actions, or Hillary Clinton with her words?” Trump said. “Clinton wants to allow Radical Islamic terrorists to pour into our country — they enslave women, and murder gays. I don’t want them in our country.”
A) 49 people just died. Who exactly are you thanking, and why?
B) No one “brought in” anyone. The Orland shooter was an American born in New York City.
C) His parents are from Afghanistan. As Omar was born in 1987 in Queen, his parents were likely allowed into the country by Ronald Reagan.
D) You will fight for the LGBT community? How exactly do you plan on doing that? You’re not even in favor of marriage equality (Hillary is) or domestic partner benefits (which is at this point seriously retro). In fact, Trump has said that he would “strongly consider” appointing judges who would repeal gay marriage.
The rest of Trump’s positions are unclear. While Trump said back in 2000 that he was in favor of amending the Civil Rights Act in order to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation, that’s back when Trump was a Democrat praising Hillary Clinton. Who knows what he believes today.
As for Trump’s opinion on the Equality Act, umbrella legislation that would protect gays against discrimination in jobs, public accommodations and much more, Trump’s spokesman didn’t respond to MSNBC’s question. In fact, while Trump has said he doesn’t think you should be fired for being gay, it’s not clear whether Trump would support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, ENDA, which would ban such discrimination at the federal level.
Even the Log Cabin Republicans, known for enabling some of the worst anti-gay Republicans, tried to walk back an effort by some to claim Trump was the most pro-LGBT Republican ever:
“I think that might be going a little overboard,” said Gregory T. Angelo, executive director of the pro-LGBT Log Cabin Republicans, when asked if it was safe to call Trump 2016’s most LGBT-friendly Republican. Angelo added: “It’s important to point out that Trump is not the first GOP Republican candidate to say he supports nondiscrimination protections for LGBT individuals.”
In other words, is Trump less bad than a lot of Republicans? Possibly. Is he good? As it’s not what if any pro-gay legislation Trump supports, who knows?
And finally, a word about Hillary. Other than her late arrival to marriage equality in 2013 (mind you, Obama didn’t support it until 2012, and even Bernie Sanders wasn’t on board until 3 years earlier), Hillary has a near perfect record on gay and trans rights, as good any other Democrat. Hillary’s record was so good in 2008, that the LGBT community swarmed to her over Barack Obama.
Hillary embraced the AIDS community all the way back in 1991, long before it was politically “cool.” I’ve written at length about the Clinton record on LGBT rights, it was historic. Yes, there were a few setbacks like DADT and DOMA (and mind you, DADT was an improvement from the military’s anti-gay policy before 1993, and we only got DADT because Bill Clinton tried, and failed, to entirely lift the military’s gay ban in 1993, and failed). But the eight-year presidency was beyond historic, in terms of Clinton’s commitment on AIDS, his appointment of openly-gay senior officials (a first), and his overall open embrace of our community (something most senior party officials, of either party, simply didn’t do before Clinton came along).
And one final word about Donald Trump claiming he’s going to keep out all the anti-gay forces from destroying our community. Really, Donald? Along with Muslims, do you plan on banning Republicans too?
Oh, and one more thought about Donald Trump being so pro-gay: Guess who his good friend and mentor was?
(*Roy Cohn was a closet-case who was Joe “House Un-American Activities Committee” McCarthy’s henchman. Cohn was personally responsible for destroying the lives of countless gay federal workers who he witch-hunted for McCarthy.)
In the formative years of Donald Trump’s career, when he went from a rich kid working for his real estate-developing father to a top-line dealmaker in his own right, Cohn was one of the most powerful influences and helpful contacts in Trump’s life.
Over a 13-year-period, ending shortly before Cohn’s death in 1986, Cohn brought his say-anything, win-at-all-costs style to all of Trump’s most notable legal and business deals. Interviews with people who knew both men at the time say the relationship ran deeper than that—that Cohn’s philosophy shaped the real estate mogul’s worldview and the belligerent public persona visible in Trump’s presidential campaign.
Go away before someone drops a house on you.
UPDATE: Trump’s effort to pinkwash his campaign continues. A top uber-conservative anti-gay blogger, Jim Hoft aka Gateway Pundit, has just come out, and is urging gays to support Trump.