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Out NYC Councilman Blasts Hypocrisy of 'Gays for Trump'

Out NYC Councilman Blasts Hypocrisy of 'Gays for Trump'

Corey Johnson

Are you LGBT and supporting Donald Trump for president? Corey Johnson wants you to rethink that.

Which presidential candidate is the best choice for LGBT people? Corey Johnson, a gay man who sits on the New York City Council, clashed with Christopher R. Barron, founder of GOProud, on this topic in a televised CNN interview Tuesday night.

Barron is behind Gays for Trump, a campaign that hopes to marshall LGBT support for presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump's White House bid.

"I know the left wants to scare gay people into not even thinking about voting for Donald Trump," Barron told CNN's Don Lemon Tuesday night, explaining his support for the billionaire businessman. "If you want people to have equal rights and dignity, then talk about combatting radical Islam."

But as Johnson pointed out, Barron's support of Trump differs markedly from his prior statements on the businessman. On Twitter, the gay conservative once referred to Trump as a "sociopath."

Barron expounded on those views in a March editorial for The Guardian, in which he wrote that Trump has "torn [the GOP] apart."

"Trump has played to the political cheap seats," Barron wrote earlier this year. "Instead of offering Republicans a positive vision for the future, he chose to play on some of our most base fears." He later added: "He has allowed his campaign to play footsy with xenophobes, white nationalists and unreconstructed bigots."

Barron, who urged Trump to run before he announced his campaign for president last July, previously told CNN he regretted that encouragement.

"He has unleashed forces with the conservative movement that we will be dealing with for years and years to come," Barron told the network in March. "If I would have known what I know now, I would have found somebody else."

On that point, Johnson agreed in Tuesday's discussion.

Although Trump has marketed himself as "the champion of the LGBT community," as Johnson argued, the likely GOP candidate has consistently aligned himself with some of the most extreme voices in the Republican Party.

"He met today in New York with a thousand evangelical leaders -- a who's who of the antigay right -- people who have made a professional career of demonizing and denigrating gay people," Johnson said. The same day, Trump announced his Evangelical Advisory Board, which includes noted antigay figures like Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr., Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, and former Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann.

"Donald Trump is against marriage equality," Johnson continued Tuesday. "Donald Trump says he wants to remake the Supreme Court and make it even more conservative. Donald Trump has never been there for the gay community -- he is a megalomaniacal, arrogant crazy person."

Barron has faced criticism for his views in the past.

The former head of GOProud, which disbanded in 2014, has previously compared GLAAD to a terrorist organization and pyromaniacs. Barron also has a history of defending right-wing pundit Ann Coulter, who proposed Disown Your Son Day in 2012 as an alternative to National Coming Out Day, praising her as a "strong ally of gay conservatives."

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