October 14, 2016 at 7:18 pm EDT | by David Lampo
A gay defense of Donald Trump
gay Republicans, gay news, Washington Blade

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Political pundits call this the “silly season” because of all the absurd, dishonest and hypocritical statements made by and on behalf of candidates at election time. There is no better example of this than the hysterical screeds against gay Republicans (including Log Cabin Republicans) simply because they support Donald Trump or haven’t gotten on the #NeverTrump train. The premise that LGBT voters should oppose Donald Trump because he’s anti-gay (among many other false reasons) is absurd, and it typifies the political myopia that affects so many in our community who view everything through a gay lens, demanding complete conformity to their politically correct agenda, unless, it sees, you’re a Democrat.

After all, Bill Clinton gave us “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the Defense of Marriage Act, yet he was enthusiastically supported by LGBT organizations. It was the same with John Kerry, who not only opposed same-sex marriage but also supported two state constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage in Missouri and Massachusetts. Of course, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama also opposed marriage when they ran, coming out in support just recently, only after it was politically safe and necessary for them to do so. Yet none of them were labeled bigots or anti-gay because of their positions. It’s only when it’s a Republican who disagrees that the gay knives come out.

The fact is that any honest look at Trump’s record and views on gay rights shows that most of the attacks by gay Democrats on his views are simply incorrect.

Trump, of course, has been a New York Democrat and social liberal for most of his adult life, chummy with many Democratic politicians, including the Clintons, and active in many charities, including support for AIDS charities. He has a long record of public support for expanding gay rights, including adding sexual orientation to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He stated support for employment nondiscrimination as far back as 2000 in his book, “The America We Deserve,” in which he wrote of his support for a country “free of racism, discrimination against women, or discrimination against people based on sexual orientation.”

He publicly supported repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and in an interview with The Brody File (a very conservative radio show) in 2011, in response to a question about civil unions, he said, “First of all, I live in New York. I know many, many gay people. Tremendous people. And to be honest with you … I haven’t totally formed my opinion. But there can be no discrimination against gays.”

During the Republican primary campaign, he was famously accused by some of his rivals, particularly Ted Cruz, of supporting “New York values,” code words for gay rights, but he never backed away from his support, stating in February that the country would continue to see “forward motion” on gay rights under his presidency, hardly the stuff of anti-gay bigotry.

After the horrific terrorist attack on the gay nightclub in Orlando by radical Islamist Omar Mateen, Trump gave an impassioned speech denouncing it, specifically citing the long history of homophobia in the Islamic world, where gays are imprisoned or killed in many Muslim nations. While many other Republicans were afraid to explicitly make the connection between radical Islam and homophobia, Trump was not, and yet for that he was attacked by the likes of HRC’s Chad Griffin, a sycophant for Hillary Clinton.

Trump and his surrogates repeatedly raised the issue of gay rights during the Republican convention, and Trump himself chose the well-known gay entrepreneur Peter Thiel to give the keynote address, in which he publicly announced his sexual orientation to the cheers and applause of many in the audience. Yet instead of celebrating its symbolic importance, the gay media and establishment ignored or dismissed it in their continuing role as shills for the Democratic Party.

Put perhaps the most dramatic expression of Trump’s fundamental support for gay rights was his heartfelt acknowledgement of the “GLBTQ community” in his acceptance speech at the convention, a truly historic step, one that would have been applauded by the Blade and gay politicos if it had been uttered by a Democrat.

It is certainly fair to criticize Trump for telling social conservatives that he would consider appointing justices to the Supreme Court who oppose the Obergefell decision, yet it would be extremely unlikely that even if Trump truly wanted to reverse it that he could do so.

There’s no doubt one can find much to criticize in Trump (and, for that matter, Hillary Clinton), but to label him anti-gay or a mouthpiece of the religious right is so off-base and incorrect it calls into question the credibility and honesty of those making such accusations.  According to a recent poll of gay voters by NBC News, 36 percent of registered LGBT voters support a candidate other than Clinton, with 28 percent supporting either Trump or Gary Johnson, the Libertarian. It’s time for gay Democrats to stop reviling anyone who doesn’t agree with their political perspectives and try instead to exhibit the same tolerance they demand of everyone else.

David Lampo is the author of ‘A Fundamental Freedom: Why Republicans, Conservatives, and Libertarians Should Support Gay Rights’ and served on the boards of Equality Virginia and Log Cabin Republicans.

61 Comments
  • It’s not that Trump is specifically anti-gay, but simply that he has no concern for anyone but himself. His position on anything is going to be to go towards what he thinks will win him adulation and support. Since he is running as a Republican, it is likely that he will, given no incentive to do otherwise, support the Republican viewpoint that homosexuality is a sin, and should not be encouraged or supported. If you think Donald Trump is a champion of anything but himself, you are likely to be disappointed.

    • Seriously? You post this stuff? Republicans view it as a SIN? Wow. Educate yourself. You do realize there are evangelical, pro-life Democrats throughout this country, right? If you open your mind and heart, you will find there are more Republicans than not who are strictly fiscal conservatives, and are highly annoyed by the “social conservatives” who talk stupidity as much as the ultra left radicals hurt the message of the Democrat party.

  • Are you fricking kidding me? What is this, Breitbart’s new gay news outlet?

  • The second Trump picked Mike Pence for his running mate we learned everything we needed to know about how Trump views the LGBT community.

    And of course, like many white gay men, you are conveniently ignoring his blatant racism and mysogony. Go sell this bullshit elsewhere, Aunti Tom.

    • I switched to Gary Johnson immediately after Mike Pence was chosen as Trump’s VP choice.

      • Why bother to vote at all? Johnson can never win. You only help Trump by not voting for Hillary. It’s not about voting for her. It’s about keeping him out of office!

        • I too voted for Johnson, because I live in a blue state, knew my vote didn’t count, and sought to get him to the 5% needed to invite a 3rd party to the table in 2020. I did that not because of Pence, but because Trump didn’t seem to have a filter, and Hillary was deceptive and probably criminal, getting a pass. It’s a conscience vote, and we’re all entitled to it. I expected Hillary would get elected, but that just meant more war, more debt, and another generation of poverty produced by sh** inner city schools controlled by teacher unions.

    • Now this is a good point.
      Trump is Certainly not anti gay, black, etc….
      But Pence is a dirt bag.
      It’s quite odd.
      Maybe to win…you have to add some dirt.

  • Doesn’t this author understand that Trump;s past “views” mean nothing? He has sold out to the Christian Right for his own power. He would be a raving liberal if he thought it would win him the election.

    Talk about naive. And gay issues are only a tiny part of it. Who knows what Trump’s positions are about anything? What we do know (e.g. foreign policy) is terrifying. Then there is the issue of character and temperament.

    Trump is nothing but a cult of personality, and his rallies are sounding like 1930s Germany. I think we know know how societies can crumble due to a charismatic evil person.
    No one who picks Mike Pence as a running mate is every going to be our “friend” What makes you sure the marriage law can’t be overturned? Don’t you think they will try?

    Mr. Lampo – you need to wake up.

    • The author is doing the Cato Institute’s propaganda work. Whatever he realizes or doesn’t realize, he is doing the job he is paid (undoubtedly very well) to do. If the Blade wants to publish dissenting opinions arguing why we should put our country and possibly the world at risk by placing a madman in the White House, I would have a lot more respect for the newspaper if it published a strong independent opinion and not one formulated by propaganda wizards at a Koch-funded think thank.

      • I get it, AL. I sometimes wish I could rule the world too…with only *MY* opinions. However, that’s not the appropriate function of great news and opinion publications.

        But do you understand this is an *OPINION PIECE*?

        How about giving Blade readers credit for their ability to sort facts from opinions? And to consider your ‘drill-down’ commentary, as well?

        Moreover, whether you are ‘for’ or ‘against’ any given issue, knowing how your opponents think about their positions– well, doesn’t that strengthen your ability to refute them?

        IMHO, the Blade is doing its readers a service in providing a robust opinion section –plus– an easy-to-use commentary section for nearly every article, whether news or opinion.
        ———-
        \ I would have a lot more respect for the newspaper if it published a strong independent opinion and not one formulated by propaganda wizards at a Koch-funded think thank.//

        ** OPINION PIECE**

        \An opinion piece is an article, published in a newspaper or magazine, that mainly reflects the author’s opinion about the subject. Opinion pieces are featured in many periodicals.

        Opinion pieces may take the form of an editorial, usually written by the senior editorial staff or publisher of the publication, in which case the opinion piece is usually unsigned and may be supposed to reflect the opinion of the periodical. In major newspapers, such as the New York Times and the Boston Globe, editorials are classified under the heading “opinion”.//

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_piece

        • Everyone has opinions. Not everyone’s opinions deserve sharing, and not every person can articulate a case for why an opinion should be considered.

          The only point I can take from this “opinion” piece is that Trump isn’t as bad on gay issues as some on the left would paint him. That’s not an affirmative case for why anyone, much less an LGBT person, should vote for him.

          I’d be happy if the Blade could find a rational person to articulate the case for Trump. The fact that they apparently couldn’t should tell you a lot about the candidate.

        • Thanks for the schooling, but “opinion piece,” even as described by Wikipedia at the page you linked, refers to newspaper editorials, columns, and op-eds. This article is an op-ed that states the opinion of its contributor, not necessarily of the newspaper, whereas as you observe an editorial is typically authored by a newspaper editorial board or senior editorial staff. Both would qualify as “opinion pieces.”

          Semantics aside, for the sake of transparency, the newspaper should disclose when op-eds, other opinion pieces, advertorials and sponsored content represent the views of a third-party organization–which this certainly does. Its author is a top communications staff member from the Cato Institute, which is a conservative think tank funded by Charles Koch. This is not disclosed in the body of the op-ed, nor is it disclosed in the author’s bio.

          There is nothing wrong with publishing an opinion that readers may find unpopular or distasteful; however, there is something wrong with publishing a story that purports to represent the viewpoint of a single private individual when that individual is financed by an undisclosed organization that has specific political motivations. Doing this can mislead readers; it is no different than if the vice president for communications at Pepsi were to publish an opinion piece denouncing Coca-Cola and only mention the author’s volunteer positions and not that she makes a living from Coca-Cola’s primary competitor.

  • Donald Trump is not “anti-Gay.” But I still couldn’t vote for him. I worry about the damage he could potentially do to the Supreme Court. Beyond that, he is simply everything I find utterly repugnant in a human being.

  • It is the people that Trump surrounds himself with which makes makes him an unacceptable choice for President. The people who would make policy in a Trump administration are a rogues gallery of anti-gay sentiment.

  • Donald Trump makes people feel comfortable with their prejudices. Don’t think for a minute that you’re immune from what his followers are emboldened to do against our community.

  • I couldn’t continue reading this when I saw Bill Clinton’s name.

    Bill Clinton isn’t running for president and it’s clear that Trump’s P*ssy grabbing antics seem to be overshadowing Hllary’s own odious actions.

    Frankly I am resenting having to vote for Hillary just to keep Trump out of the WH.

    • “Frankly I am resenting having to vote for Hillary just to keep Trump out of the WH.”

      Now *that* is a legitimate position with sound supporting arguments that this newspaper should consider discussing–not preposterous insinuations that a Trump-Pence administration would be good for LGBT people (Pence supports conversion therapy, for God’s sake!), but how we should choose wisely between two corrupt candidates and what the outcomes of our decisions may be for LGBT Americans.

    • Smart comment.
      It sucks.
      A criminal/con artist/Getting rich off gov and private Funding.

      Or.

      A big mouth short fuse.

      I hope he does a good job. At least. But some of his cabinet choices already…

  • FOR ALL YOU TRUMP SUPPORTERS PLEASE LIST THE GOOD THIS MAN HAS DONE FOR THE COUNTRY AND FOR OTHERS. YOU CAN KEEP IT SHORT IF YOU LIKE.

    • Paid taxes so many didn’t have to. Guaranteed loans. Invested millions in capital and took risks. Hillary and President Stupid just pissed away trillions of OPM.

  • Giving only a passing nod to the argument against a Trump presidency that he would appoint anti-gay justices to the supreme court and then glossing it over with the idea that Trump, personally, could not accomplish an overturn of Obergefell is actually the key reason LGBTs should not support Trump. Appointments to the Supreme Court will live on far beyond a single Trump term in the White House. Let’s say Trump manages to feed red meat to congress by appointing two justices like Scalia, who was certainly anti-gay. Gay rights and equal rights for LGBT people would be endangered for decades. Why even take a chance that we would be living under such a Damocles sword, where a final swipe at some future date did reverse Obergefell? Early on, as an Independent, I noted Trump’s off-the-cuff supportive remarks about LGBT people. But once he indicated the kind of nominees he would consider for the Supreme Court, I withdrew in horror. Compound that with his ongoing self-destructive, petulant temperament, and anyone can rightly see that he is simply not fit to be the President.

  • I don’t care if you call Trump a bigot or not. I only care about what he says he will do.

    And then Lampo writes, “It is certainly fair to criticize Trump for telling social conservatives that he would consider appointing justices to the Supreme Court who oppose the Obergefell decision, yet it would be extremely unlikely that even if Trump truly wanted to reverse it that he could do so.”

    First “Trump” can’t “reverse it” any more than ANY president can change a constitutional holding of the Supreme Court. But appointing Supreme Court justices who would overturn Obergafell would lead to a Supreme Court that ABSOLUTELY CAN AND WILL overturn it. Obergefell was only a 5-4 decision.

    The Supreme Court overturns their prior holdings any time they get 5 votes to do so. The fact that David Lampo glosses over this by (1) misdirecting the focus onto Trump as president rather than the SCOTUS and (2) dishonestly saying this is unlikely — all leads me to conclude that Lampo does not care about LGBT civil rights and wants a right-wing president (Trump will do) no matter who gets hurt.

  • Umm… no mention of Mike Pence, who’s as anti gay as they come (and let’s all remember that a Trump/Pence winning ticket now sets Mikey up quite nicely for a presidential run in another 4 years). No mention of Rick Santorum, Michelle Bachmann, and a bunch of other insignificant names that I can’t remember at the moment, all comprising an “advisory council” of sorts to Donnie- every last one of them anti gay. No mention of the fact that Republicans have shown open hostility for years towards gays, and all the religious exemption bills making their way through state legislatures, or the GOP desire to craft a national version of such a bill. And yes, an ultra conservative Supreme Court would be a bad thing for not only gays, but women too. A lot of us gays- and there are quite a few- have thoroughly thought of the ramifications of a Trump presidency, and want no part of it. And besides, he’s becoming more unhinged by the minute. The man can’t even deal with Alec Baldwin making fun of him on SNL. What’s he going to do if some foreign leader somewhere makes fun of him? Arm his nukes? Donald Trump- mental institution material, yes. Presidential material, no.

  • No “defense” deserves to be taken seriously when it simply erases Trump’s vows to repeal LGBT executive orders, sign the anti-gay FADA bill, and appoint ultra-conservative judges to eradicate our right to marry. This isn’t even a good piece of propaganda. http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2016/10/07/trump-will-roll-back-obamas-lgbt-rights-protections-mike-pence-confirms/

  • Lampo is apparently just another Trump troll on Putin’s payroll

  • “Oh noes! Trump said mean things about women! I better vote for Hillary who wants to import thousands who practice and promote oppression of women and executing gays! Screw the victims in Orlando! We need more like Omar Mateen to prove to the world how compassionate we are!”

    Why bother with the FRAUDS that are the gay left? They don’t care that WikiLeaks showed their champion is a phony. All they care about is their steady diet of Soros bullscat is uninterrupted. Don’t worry their pretty little heads with facts. Their 2 weeks of hate against Indiana shows they’re not grounded in reality.

    • Stupid is as stupid does. Look in the mirror.

      • Wow. That’s just weak.

        • What’s “weak” (actually, despicable) is your attribution of sentiments and words to Clinton that in no way reflect her outlook or beliefs. What’s “weak” is referring to 80+% of gay Americans as “FRAUDS”. What’s weak is buying into the unrelenting lies that the GOP has put out for 30+ years about this woman.

          And what’s beyond “weak” and into the realm of pathetic is supporting a racist, misogynist, vulgar pig who today suggested that he may just refuse to accept the election results on November 8. That’s the stuff of mob riots and coups and dictatorships, not the democracy we have enjoyed for 227 years. That’s the sign of a piece of crap.

          • “What’s “weak” (actually, despicable) is your attribution of sentiments and words to Clinton that in no way reflect her outlook or beliefs”

            You’re probably right. Based on the leaked emails, her personal and public views are opposite. She says that she wants to bring in thousands of refugees, but privately doesn’t believe that they can all be vetted properly. Plus, we discover that she’s not the gay champion you make her out to be. As I, and many others, have said, her flip-flop on gay marriage is all about money and power.

            “What’s “weak” is referring to 80+% of gay Americans as “FRAUDS”. What’s weak is buying into the unrelenting lies that the GOP has put out for 30+ years about this woman.”

            It’s even worse, sweetheart. Read the WikiLeaks, the Project Veritas videos and the FBI document dump,then tell me how she should be allowed anywhere near the White House. Further, don’t blame me. She and President Stupid selected Muslims over gays as the favored victim group.

            ‘That’s the stuff of mob riots and coups and dictatorships, not the democracy we have enjoyed for 227 years. That’s the sign of a piece of crap.”

            No doubt you were likewise critical of the moonbatshitcrazy lunatics who insisted Bush stole the 2000 election, right? What’s more, if that was the stuff of dictators, liberals would be flocking to him. Save your party approved excuses and bullshit points.

  • Why does this come across as, “What do you have to lose?”

    Well, every advance we’ve made over the past 7 years, and that’s a lot.

  • There is no excuse for any LGBTQ people to support this homophobe. I guess it all comes back to the almighty dollar. You rich ones want the tax breaks, pure and simple and I call you sellouts.

  • But the real issue is, how does David Lampo tip? Thank you.

  • Whatever helps you sleep at night.

  • For nearly 20 years I’ve tried to understand why a gay person would be a Republican. I am at a lost, other than Money being their only motivation.

  • Under a Trump Presidency, it would be Pence determining public policy with the input of our religious conservative opponents on GLBT issues. Trump would simply rubber stamp it.

    I don’t care about what Bill Clinton did on DOMA and DADT. We overcame those issues. Everyone was against marriage equality and integrating US troops before in both parties. Doesn’t excuse it but that was the reality. However, the party that specifically supports LGBT issues in their platform is the Democratic party while the GOP continues to support an ant-LGBT platform.

    Further, Trump continues to praise and court the input of our enemies blatantly and seems to be proud of it. Rick Santorum councils him. He gave Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council money. He has praised Jerry Fallwell, Jr. and has been seen kissing up to Pat Robertson. He’s made it clear he will appoint judges to reverse marriage equality, support a constitutional amendment against marriage equality and support religious freedom laws. The FADA is so comprehensive it would essentially nullify all GLBT protections in the name of religious freedom. Heck no!

    Look at who Trump surrounds himself with and who supports him. Tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are!!

  • Trying to shoehorn Trump into the presidential slot is laughable. If conservatives are good with Trump that’s fine and all but I will judge anyone who votes for him as an idiot.

  • You are foolish to make the first statement. All my homosexual friends are Republicans except one.

    • That is a most unusual sampling of gays. I know two out of about 100 personal friends who are gay (as I am). Neither of the two voted for Trump. Trump said he would “strongly consider” having the courts review Obergfalls decision which gave us nationwide same-sex marriage. Your group of gay Republican friends are probably filled with self-hatred to support such a candidate.

      • Oh no. No self hatred there. Not those guys/girls. But I should not have said “fooloish”.
        But they are very politically educated.
        It is because…as our public is forgetting… there are a thousand other issues a President deals with. It would be selfish to not consider them all.

        • Well if Destroying the environment, repealing laws that protect consumers, taking away healthcare and diminishing education standards are a part of the 1000 other things a president does then you are looking worse and worse for defending republicans.

  • Seeing the anti-Trump comments here just affirms the point of the article.

  • Absolute nonsense by the hysterical left wing government losers.
    Trump is not a gay hater, and while he respects religions of every faith, he is his own man and will not persecute gays.

  • This may be an “opinion” piece, but it’s based on researching facts. In fact, I would say that everything these days is “opinion” even disguised as news. If you don’t know Trump’s lifelong record, research it yourself, independently. Anyone who thinks a lifelong Democrat from a solid blue city is beholden to “The Christian Right” or the GOP is not even thinking. They are reactionary. That Hillary was against gay marriage until she put her hat in the ring this time around (pretty sure I recall Obama was as well before he was elected) seems to elude those who just want to presume and hate based on those presumptions. RIghts are rights. They aren’t going away, and I hope they will actually be enhanced (especially gun rights for those of us who don’t pose a danger to anyone but an intruder) on every level, because they are OUR rights from our Creator, not from the government. They have overstepped their boundaries, and I hope our new president will continue to see it that way. That includes the government not telling people how to live their lives within limits of public safety. Finally, everyone needs to take a breath. I know we’re passionate, but I have to tell you that insulting people and calling names does nothing but harden hearts and divide. I am older and like Hillary, was for traditional marriage until I actually had someone gently ask why and convince me (gently throughout) that this was not going to affect my life, and that everyone has but one life and deserves to live it in the way that makes them happy. Wow. That’s all it took. Really. So calm down people. Learn how to be as tolerant of others as you want them to be of you. If you stop yelling and talking with contempt and assumption, you will do much better in moving forward TRUE social change. That comes when everyone is supportive and not fighting. Peace.

  • Makes zero sense. Trump was elected by Democrats, of which he belonged most of his life. The GOP establishment was against him all the way, and even tried to work with the DNC to ensure Trump’s defeat. Trump wants to improve our economy in the long term. That is his major goal. He has gays in his company and in his personal life. This is not something he is going to even glance at, as he looks at trade deals, taxes, and all the things that will bring prosperity to this country. The hysteria is not necessary. Has it occurred to any of you that if you (like many others) stop insulting and shouting, and instead work side by side with him on issues that matter to everyone, that you’d actually have progress? You all remind me of my son who continually called his grandfather (in his 80’s) a homophobe because he wouldn’t support his gay marriage position. That isn’t going to change anyone’s hearts or bring unity. It ruined a relationship that never repaired. Very sad. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/nov/2/donald-trump-holds-high-flag-gay-equality/

  • That is still not true.

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