LGBTQ for Trump? That's what the Republican presidential candidate is selling on his website, even if his stances on equality leave you feeling more "LGBTQ against Trump."
Donald Trump has been aggressively suggesting he's the better candidate for LGBT people. After the horrific attack in Orlando that left 49 people dead and 53 others wounded at a gay nightclub June 12, the Republican candidate said, “Ask yourself, who is really the friend of women and the LGBT community. Donald Trump with his actions, or Hillary Clinton with her words?” A simple fact-check would answer that question.
One outspoken critic of Trump's attempts to depict himself as an LGBT rights supporter is Michelangelo Signorile, the host of The Michelangelo Signorile Show on Sirius XM Radio's OutQ and the editor at large for Huffington Post Queer Voices. In a story published Thursday with the headline "Reporters Still Claim Donald Trump 'Talks Openly About Gay Rights.' WTF?" Signorile wrote that "there is absolutely no evidence anywhere of Donald Trump promoting gay 'rights' or talking openly about them — except to take them away."
Signorile is right. Trump doesn't support marriage equality. In fact, he's pledged to reverse it by selecting antigay Supreme Court justices, and several judges on his list of potential picks have a record of being anti-LGBT. He also doesn't support transgender people having the right to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity because, he claims, it is "too expensive."
Whoever buys the shirt would also have to overlook that the man Trump picked for vice president, Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana, is one of the most anti-LGBT governors in the country. Indiana passed and Pence signed a Religious Freedom Restoration Act in 2015 that cost Pence's state a record $60 million in revenue. The law gave businesses and individuals the right to refuse service to LGBT people on the basis that it offends their religious beliefs. It was amended in the face of outrage.
Still, a Politico article contends that Republicans who support LGBT rights feel hopeful about Trump. The Washington Post published a story that claimed "Donald Trump is teaching the GOP a different way to embrace gay rights." Some have patted him on the back for being the first candidate to use the LGBTQ acronym onstage at the Republican convention. “As your president I will do everything in my power to protect LGBTQ citizens," said Trump.
It was at that very same convention, though, that Trump sat idle as the Republican Party passed a vehemently anti-LGBT platform. The Log Cabin Republicans, the gay conservative group, has yet to endorse Trump for president. Its president called the new Republican platform the "most anti-LGBT ... in the Party's 162-year history." It even includes support for so-called conversion therapy.
Trump might be selling "LGBTQ for Trump" T-shirts, but just because you print something on a shirt doesn't make it true.