July 10, 2015 at 9:53 am EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
‘Dump Trump’ protest features gay Latino activist
Donald Trump, gay news, Washington Blade

Jose Gutierrez was one of nearly a dozen speakers at a ‘Dump Trump’ rally in Washington on Thursday. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Gay Latino activist Jose Gutierrez was one of nearly a dozen speakers participating in a “Dump Trump” rally in downtown Washington on Thursday that was called to protest Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s recent disparaging remarks about Mexican immigrants.

The protest took place on the sidewalk along Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., next to the federally owned Old Post Office Pavilion, which Trump’s real estate development company is converting into a luxury hotel under a government contract.

Some of the participants in the protest called for the U.S. General Services Administration, which manages the project, to cancel its contract with Trump and his company and to find another firm to develop the hotel. Others demanded only that the government remove a giant “Trump” billboard sign attached to scaffolding next to the building.

Gutierrez, who founded D.C.’s LGBT Latino History Project and the city’s LGBT Latino Pride organization, said he and many in the LGBT Latino community were in full solidarity with the national Latino community in expressing outrage over Trump’s remarks.

“I’m a Mexican gay man and I represent many people in the LGBT community who were offended by the statements by Mr. Donald Trump,” Gutierrez said during the protest.

“And the things that he said – that we are rapists, criminals and drug dealers – are not true,” he said. “We are a beautiful community and we are going to vote in the next election for president.”

On the day of the protest the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce released a statement saying it too was in solidarity with the growing number of prominent businesses that have severed ties with Trump in response to his remarks about Mexicans, which they view as anti-immigrant.

“The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce stands with our long time organizational partner the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and applauds NBC Universal and Macy’s for cutting ties with presidential hopeful Donald Trump over controversial comments he recently made about Mexican immigrants,” the statement says.

It was signed by the NGLCC’s co-founders, Justin Nelson and Chance Mitchell.

“Macy’s and NBC’s decisions to disassociate with Trump represent corporate America at its finest,” the two said in the statement. “From our partnerships with over a third of Fortune 500 companies, we know that major corporations are often leaders in workplace, market and supply chain inclusion.”

Trump drew expressions of outrage by Latino advocacy groups and their supporters across the country when he made his controversial remarks last month during a speech announcing his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination.

“The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems,” he said. “When Mexico sends its people, they are not sending their best…They’re sending people with lots of problems…They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists,” he said. “And some, I assume, are good people.”

Others who spoke at the protest included D.C. shadow U.S. House member Franklin Garcia, who was the lead organizer of the event; D.C. shadow senators Paul Strauss and Michael D. Brown; D.C. Council member David Grosso (I-At-Large); Maryland State Sen. Jamie Raskin and Maryland State Dels. Ana Sol Gutierrez and Joseline Pena-Melnyk; Arlington County Board member J. Walter Tejada; and D.C. Latino Caucus President Gabriela Mossi.

Strauss, an attorney, called on the federal government to remove the sign with Trump’s name from the side of the building where the hotel is scheduled to open in early 2017.

“This isn’t a private hotel that Mr. Trump operates,” said Strauss. “This is not land that he bought or a building that he constructed. He is a federal contractor who won a bid and is working for the federal government.”

Strauss added: “We wouldn’t allow a Confederate flag up there. So why are we allowing this logo, which Mr. Trump himself is associated with insensitive racist hate speech?”

Raskin, a Democrat who’s running for the Maryland congressional seat being vacated by Rep. Chris Van Hollen, called on the Republican Party to disassociate itself from Trump.

“I said the GOP used to stand for the Grand Old Party and now it stands for grumpy old paranoids,” Raskin said. “And Trump is really disgracing the entire Republican Party and I think they need to dissociate themselves rapidly from his nativistic and racist attitudes.”

Concerning efforts to oust Trump from the hotel project, a spokesperson for the General Services Administration told the Washington Post that Trump had not violated his lease for the Old Post Office building, suggesting there may not be legal grounds to remove Trump from the multi-million dollar project.

“We haven’t gotten any complaints,” the Post quoted GSA spokesperson Mafara Hobson as saying.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

4 Comments
  • Bravo! Thanks to one and all for their important demonstration of DC area solidarity, in common cause.

  • Stop making this into a race issue when it’s about illegal aliens who are coming over here. Many of them are murderers and criminals. That’s a fact you can’t deny! I guess those who want to uphold the laws of this country are all just racists. Trump is speaking the truth and some people are not liking the truth, so instead the attack him and call him a racist.

    • A fact? Prove it’s a fact. Do you have statistics to prove that “Many” are murderers and criminals? Yes, some are, and there are drug smugglers, but the statement is offensive and should NEVER be tolerated. We can say the same about a segment of the legal American population including those of anglo descent.

      Trump is too arrogant to admit he crossed the line and issue an apology for offending all Mexicans. How do we know that the people who are raping women aren’t those vigilantes taking the law into their own hands to “defend” the border? Further, Trumps statements and yours are no different than what was what often said about all African-Americans.

      I don’t care if you build a secure wall along the southern border of the US but then build one across the border with Canada then. Anyone including terrorists can cross over there, too! But where is the money coming from exactly? We can’t afford to pay to renovate our infrastructure, roads and sewage systems so how can we build faces?

      Want to talk about Murderers and criminals then look back at American history and see how White Americans stole California, Texas and New Mexico then moved in and stole the lands of many of the Mexicans who lived there for generations. That’s a fact.

      How is your statement any different than assuming all gay men are child molesters or evil?

      As for labeling Trump a racist, your argument sounds no different than people saying that they aren’t homophobic or bigots for condemning gay people and not approve of them.

  • I don’t hear the issue from Trump concerning murderers or criminals in the U.S. of non-immigrants. If the issue was about murderers and criminals, those groups make up all racial ethnicities. However, because he has framed the issue specifically limited to immigrants from Mexico, the issue is race-based dave.

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