No, Chris Barron, Roger Stone is no LGBT ally, and neither is Donald Trump.
Barron, a political strategist and cofounder of the now-defunct gay conservative group GOProud, wrote a defense of Stone that BuzzFeed published Friday under the headline “People May Hate Roger Stone, But He’s an LGBT Ally.”
Stone is a political consultant and major Trump supporter who has close ties to fringe commentator Alex Jones, and he’s nearly a match for Jones when it comes to promoting bizarre conspiracy theories. Stone has accused the Clinton and Bush families of multiple murders, has accused the CIA of trying to kill him, and has endorsed many of Trump’s most repugnant ideas, such as barring all Muslims from entering the U.S.
Barron took issue with a recent Advocate post in which LGBT activists objected to Stone’s evasive answer of “I’m trysexual” to questions about his sexual orientation. Activists said Stone’s orientation is relevant because he and Trump are working to harm LGBT people.
Barron begged to differ. “Each has a long history as an ally of the LGBT community — histories that are now dismissed by their opponents for purely partisan reasons,” he wrote in the BuzzFeed piece. Stone quickly accepted an invitation to be part of GOProud’s advisory council, worked with Barron on marriage equality supporter Gary Johnson’s Libertarian Party presidential campaign in 2012, and is a marriage equality supporter himself, having left the Republican Party because of its opposition to the cause, according to Barron.
“Roger was for marriage equality long before Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama figured out it was a political winner for them to support it,” he continued. “The same goes for President Trump … the first President to ever take office supporting marriage equality.”
In reality, Trump’s support for marriage equality has been tepid at best. He has at times said it’s settled law and should be left alone. He also, though, has promised to appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn the 2015 marriage equality ruling if they had the chance, and Neil Gorsuch certainly seems to be in this mold — in the mold of the late Antonin Scalia, often cited by Trump as a model justice. Trump has also nominated several anti-LGBT jurists to other federal courts.
Then there’s the reinstatement of the ban on military service by transgender people, the “license to discriminate” guidance issued by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the withdrawal of guidelines aimed at protecting transgender students’ rights — the list of the Trump administration’s anti-LGBT actions goes on and on. Barron did allow that these actions were “unwise” and said he is “concerned,” but contended that Trump is much better on LGBT issues than George W. Bush or Mitt Romney.
That’s a pretty low bar to set, and it still doesn’t make Trump an ally. Nor Stone. Appearing at a political forum in California in July, he did voice disagreement with the trans military ban, which is to his credit, but he apparently didn’t have enough clout with Trump to talk him out of it, if he even tried. There is no record of him trying to talk Trump out of any of his anti-LGBT actions; if there is, we’ll be glad to see it. Stone also has been quoted as using unspecified antigay slurs as well as racist and sexist ones.
And he tellingly supported Roy Moore, the deeply anti-LGBT former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice, in a runoff to determine the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate from the state. Moore ended up winning the nomination and will face Democrat Doug Jones in a special election in December.
I am really pulling for Roy Moore in Alabama. Luther Strange is a McConnell lap dog surrounded by the pungent aroma of corruption
— Roger Stone (@RogerJStoneJr) September 21, 2017
There is a record, by the way, of Stone and Trump having a mutual gay friend, one who never publicly acknowledged being gay and actually worked against LGBT rights: Roy Cohn. It was Cohn who introduced Trump to Stone.