|How will Trump explain attending anti-lgbt conference?|
Aside from his absolutely clueless comments yesterday implying that Hillary Clinton needs to be assassinated, GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump has also come under fire for a decision to attend an anti-lgbt conference in Orlando held tomorrow.
According to the Miami Herald:
Liberal and LGBT activists are condemning Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his former adversary, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, for planning to speak at an “anti-LGBTQ” conference of 700 conservative pastors and spouses later this week in Orlando — exactly two months after the Pulse Nightclub shooting.
Equality Florida and several other organizations will have a peaceful rally and press conference in protest of the conference. The organization put out the following statement:
On the two-month anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shooting, we are outraged that Donald Trump and Senator Rubio have the audacity to headline an extremist anti-LGBTQ event in Orlando. In the midst of our grief, we demand an end to hatred and bigotry of all kinds, call for the passage of fully inclusive anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people, and urge our elected officials to support common sense gun violence prevention measures to honor the 49 lives cut short by hatred.
Initially, it was Rubio who was being criticized for his decision to attend. But when it was learned that Trump would be there, the controversy increased. In a statement last week, Rubio defended the conference, claiming that it is merely a meeting of religious leaders:
“The event I will be speaking at in Orlando is a gathering of local pastors and faith leaders. Leave it to the media and liberal activists to label a gathering of faith leaders as an anti-LGBT event. It is nothing of the sort. It is a celebration of faith."
However, it should be pointed out that Rubio's statement was highly deceptive. The conference is being sponsored by the American Renewal Project. According to People for the American Way's Right-Wing Watch:
Self-described “political operative” David Lane founded the American Renewal Project as a way to mobilize conservative Christian voters and inspire right-wing pastors to run for elected office. He told (Jennifer) Jacobs (of Bloomberg News) that he intends to quiz Trump on how he plans to fight “homosexual totalitarianism” and the gay rights “militants.” Lane, a vocal opponent of LGBT equality, has said that “homosexuals praying at the Inauguration” in 2012 would cause “car bombs in Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and Des Moines, Iowa” as a sign of God’s judgment and that the “pagan onslaught” of the LGBT rights movement will lead to the destruction of America.
In addition, the speakers at this conference will include:
Mat Staver, whose Liberty Counsel Action sent out the invitation to the event and who is scheduled to speak, has gained a national reputation by representing Kim Davis and Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore through the affiliated Liberty Counsel. Last month, Staver denounced memorial gatherings for the victims of the Orlando nightclub attack as “homosexual love fests.” Staver has claimed that gay people are “demonic,” seek to abuse children and are similar to terrorists, and has warned that gay rights victories could lead to “forced homosexuality” and “another civil war.” At the same time, he has praised countries that outlaw same-sex relationships.
David Barton, a Republican Party activist who styles himself as a historian, thinks that God is justly preventing a cure for HIV/AIDS because it is a divine “penalty” for homosexuality, and has lamented that public schools try to “force” students “to be homosexual” when homosexuality really should be regulated by the government.
Maine pastor Ken Graves preaches against “militant homofascism” that he says “seeks to take over our land and make it Sodom” and argues that gay people cannot build happy families because they are “depressed.”
Bill Federer, a Religious Right activist and conspiracy theorist, believes that gay rights are bringing about the Islamist takeover of America.
Trump's attendance contradicts his earlier statements that he is an lgbt ally.