Trump Planning to Meet with 400 Homophobic Evangelical Leaders a Week After Claiming to Be 'Friend' of LGBT Community

Election '16

In the wake of the Orlando terror attack, Donald Trump has claimed to be a friend of the LGBT community, as he ramps up attacks against presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. 

"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 at a press conference Monday.

Making this claim while representing a party whose members have, in the past year, simply shifted their focus from barring same-sex marriage to transgender bathroom bills, is totally laughable. Yet Trump continued this narrative mid-week, urging the audience at a rally today in Atlanta, Georgia, to "Ask the gays." 

When gay marriage was legalized nationally, Trump announced "I am for a marriage between a man and a woman," but noted his views were "evolving." And in April, two weeks after North Carolina's HB2 was passed, Trump told NBC he believes, "Transgender people should be able to use whatever bathroom they want." 

This coming Tuesday, June 21, the Trump campaign will hold will host its highest-profile event thus far to court evangelicals; "a private meeting with over 400 of the most bigoted, most homophobic and most influential anti-LGBT advocates in the United States — from Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins to James Dobson, founder of the Focus on the Family — the bedrock of the religious right, which has been a prominent part of the base of the Republican Party for decades," the Huffington Post reported.

The article also stated that "No GOP president has been elected in modern times without evangelical pastors railing from pulpits across the country, telling followers that the only way to save the country is to support the GOP presidential candidate." 

Family Research Council, in particular, has been labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and led the effort to ban gay conservative groups from CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) sponsorship. In fact, the gay conservative group Log Cabin Republicans was not allowed to participate in a panel discussion at the conference until last year. 

“The reasons kept changing,” Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director Gregory Angelo told Thom Hartmann, host of The Big Picture, when asked why CPAC had barred the group. 

“I’m not one to bring up the word homophobia, because I think it is, in some senses, overused," Angelo said. "But in looking at this, the reasons why Log Cabin Republicans is not participating. I will use it, because there’s no other explanation that I have."

"What I’ve long said is if you put everything else aside with Donald Trump, he is the most pro-LGBT nominee that this party’s ever had. But sometimes putting everything else aside with Mr. Trump is a Herculean, if not impossible, task," Angelo told Fox Business on Monday.

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