Donald Trump spent this past weekend at rallies in Texas, and continued speaking out about the LGBT community in light of the recent Orlando massacre. According to ABC News, Trump said this at a rally in Dallas: “The LGBT community —- these are people that had a place —- this was a place of safety.” He went on to describe how some Muslim countries treat people of homosexual orientation by saying, “As far as gays are concerned they throw them off buildings. They kill gays in these countries. So you tell me who’s better for the gay community or for women than Donald Trump. We have to stop people with hate in their heart from coming into this country,” he said.
During his campaign, Trump has had mixed reviews from the LGBT community because of his stance on several key items. Trump wrote about his dream of a nation “unencumbered by bureaucratic ineptitude, government regulation, confiscatory tax policies, racism, discrimination against women, or discrimination against people based on sexual orientation” in his 2000 book, The America That We Deserve. In the past, he has discussed amendment of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, and said recently on “The Today Show” that he agrees with transgender people “using the bathroom that they feel is appropriate.” But Trump also feels that transgender laws should be decided by state governments, and according to Fox News, has also said that he would “strongly consider” appointing Supreme Court judges to overturn the same-sex marriage decision.
The LGBT Community Speaks Out
But post-Orlando LGBT community support for Trump is on the rise. Many from the historically Democratic community were not persuaded by messages from both Clinton and Obama about new gun control laws and continued caution about putting Islam in a negative light. Trump’s alternate message that all Americans must be protected from radical Islamic terrorism is resonating. 23-year-old Stephen Zieman told Fox News that “I knew I had to fully support Trump because he called out the threat for what it was — radical Islamic terrorism.” Zieman went on to praise Trump because “he stood up for the LGBT community and called himself a friend. It’s something we all needed and he was there — Hillary was not. She was making excuses for the religion and calling for gun control, which is not what I needed to hear.”
Randy Ross, a political activist and Trump supporter, says that support has grown for Trump since he intensified his message for the U.S. to be much tougher on extremism. “In the last three days, I would say there were no less than 50 requests to be added to our volunteer listing, but moreover, it’s been a gradual progression over the last few months,” he said, noting the influx was mostly gay men. Ross continued by saying, “[Trump] has never come out and attacked the LGBT community. If you want your freedom to come together and to be protected, if you want all those things, he’s the right person to do that because I don’t believe that’s what we’re seeing on the Hillary Clinton side.”