February 29, 2016 at 6:32 pm EST | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Gay Trump supporter speaks out
James Driscoll, gay news, Washington Blade

James Driscoll says he’s supporting Donald Trump for president largely because of Trump’s leadership skills. (Photo courtesy Driscoll)

Gay Republican and AIDS activist James Driscoll says he’s supporting Donald Trump for president largely because of Trump’s leadership skills and positions on a wide range of issues, including immigration, health care and the economy.

But Driscoll, 72, says he also believes Trump is far better on LGBT and AIDS-related issues than all of his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination except Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who Driscoll would like to see Trump select for the vice presidential nomination.

“I’ve been for Trump from the time he first announced, although I was cautious about telling anybody about it then,” Driscoll told the Washington Blade in a telephone interview from his home in Nevada.

On the eve of the Super Tuesday presidential primaries in states throughout the country, Driscoll says he feels it’s time for him and other LGBT Trump supporters to speak out.

“I can be classified as a conservative but I’m not a religious conservative,” he said. “That’s also one reason that I like Donald Trump. He says he’s religious but he seems basically to be a secularist and he’s not an ideologue,” said Driscoll.

“He knows how to court the religious vote effectively but he’s not one of them. And they know it and they vote for him over Cruz anyway,” he said, referring to GOP presidential contender Ted Cruz, the U.S. senator from Texas who portrays himself as a fundamentalist Christian.

Driscoll holds a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in English literature. He has been an advocate for HIV/AIDS causes, with a focus on the development of the new generation of AIDS drugs in the early 1990s. President George W. Bush appointed him a member of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, where Driscoll joined other AIDS activists – Democrats and Republicans – to push for expedited U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of new life-saving AIDS drugs.

He has served in the past as an AIDS policy adviser to the national LGBT group Log Cabin Republicans.

According to Driscoll, Trump’s record as a successful businessman with a reputation of “getting things done” makes him highly qualified for the presidency at a time when the U.S. faces serious problems at home and abroad.

“And I’m convinced he can govern very well – much better than Rubio or Cruz because he knows how to run a business. He knows how to run things, how to make decisions,” Driscoll said.  “And he has tremendous energy and dynamism. Any president that’s going to do something has to have some force behind him.”

Driscoll dismisses the attacks against Trump in the past few days by GOP presidential contender Marco Rubio, the U.S. senator from Florida, as a desperate last-minute attempt to gain votes in Tuesday’s primaries.

He blames news media outlets with a “liberal bias” for misinterpreting Trump’s positions and controversial statements on matters like immigration. Driscoll, who says he has worked as a volunteer and advocate for refugees in Southeast Asia during the Bush administration in the early 2000s, believes U.S. immigration policies and “far-left” immigration activists today are unfairly biased in favor of Latino immigrants from Mexico and Central America.

Accusations that Trump is a racist because he said drug dealers and rapists are entering the U.S. from Mexico are “completely false” and motivated by a desire to keep the current system in place, which Driscoll claims is “stacked” in favor of immigrants entering the U.S. from the southern border while “cruelly” ignoring the plight of refugees in need of U.S. help from Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

“I see a big moral issue that troubles me there,” he said. “And I see Trump is the one most committed to changing that system.”

Although Trump has said he would “strongly consider” nominating U.S. Supreme Court justices who would overturn last year’s ruling that extended marriage rights to same-sex couples, Driscoll said he doubts Trump would do that. He points to Trump’s earlier statements predicting gay marriage opponents would not succeed in efforts to pass a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court ruling and suggesting he doesn’t favor such an effort.

“So I think he would be very tolerant on gay rights issues,” Driscoll said.

Driscoll also dismisses the denouncing of Trump for his hesitation during a CNN interview on Sunday to repudiate the endorsement he received from former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke on grounds that he didn’t immediately recall who Duke was.

“Trump did not jump to disavow this as fast as the PC police demand,” Driscoll said. “Trump will have Duke’s support, like it or not. Hillary will have the support of black, Islamic and Hispanic far-out racists, like it or not,” he said. “No one is demanding Hillary do somersaults to punctuate her repudiation of far left support. Double standard again.”

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

  • Mr. Driscoll would have loved Adolf Hitler’s leadership skills.

  • This Hitler apologist is dangerous!

  • Some no-name gay quisling who touts his “credentials” as an English major thinks we should vote for a party that wants to re-criminalize us because he’s a racist? Got it.

  • Deluded self sabotating fool = Mr. Driscoll

  • “Gay Republican” is the most immediate disqualifier. Does this KAPO know Trump has already vowed to dismantle the Ryan White Act? What an idiot.

  • Mr Driscoll:
    I am deeply sorry to report that your lifetime of effort
    toward tolerance and health is at risk of being brushed away.
    There is absolutely no misinterpreting Donald Trump’s positions & statements.
    You praise Donald Trump for his Business Sense.
    If you advocate for Trump, You are advocating to cut
    HIV research and treatment as an unworthy business expense.
    Donald Trump companies have made a lot of money.
    However, countless people were robbed by these astute business skills.
    Donald has shown himself to be racist, bigot, homophobic, misogynist, chauvinist, hypocrite, liar, greedy, charlatan, fickle, narcissist, dissembler.
    If reasonable people, like you,
    give Donald Trump and his cohorts the power,
    You can be certain that his despicable behaviors
    will absolutely betray our country and You.

  • Trump says he would strongly consider getting a Supreme Court that would end marriage equality. Mr. Driscoll is saying that Trump really doesn’t mean this when he says it. So Trump is opportunistically homophobic, AND a liar. Great candidate!

  • We are a gay liberal couple and will be voting for Trump. If you don’t like it, who cares. :)

  • All you who flippantly refer to anything conservative as relative to Hitler and/or Nazism are acting just like a bunch of Bolsheviks who were known for recreating history, persecuting people of faith, defaming religion, demonizing and terrorizing anyone or anything with absurd distortions, enabling fallacious allegations against your perceived detractors, and shrewdly recreating history with rhetoric that attempts to justify your radicalized ideology with disruptive sedition and actions. Such radicalized challenges are targeted to unravel town hall meetings, mutual dialogue, guests speakers, etc. when refuting your mean-spirited-hate speech.
    You think you know history, you think you lived through it, you think you comprehend it but most of you can’t, haven’t, and aren’t witness to the real terrifying experiences under Adolph and the commencement of the brutality of the Krystallnacht, the book burners, along with those Bolsheviks (Bolshevists) who demonized free and balanced speech be it in the press and/or even by attacking and terrorizing individuals for their counter beliefs while they stood behind a university podium, on a street corner platform and/or even in the privacy of their home.
    Yes, you make a mockery of the real essence of the Holocaust and the many witnesses to it who faced and dealt with all of its horrors. You are apparently blind to the executions and slave labor camps enabled by radical revolutionaries like the Bolshevik Stalin who you emulate with the ideology of people who you seemingly idealize like Bill Ayers and his violence enabling Weather-Underground movement who, to this day, have continually echo their disdain for the this country. You join forces with George Soros and his leftist agitators on moveon.org who, like Ayers, say they support free speech yet deny it to anyone else but themselves.
    Hitler has been defeated but Bolshevik revolutionaries live on in the images of those of you who demonstrate such hate as to compare all Republicans, people of faith, and conservative leaning Americans to those who perpetrated death-camp atrocities as freely and as flippantly as you dare. The outrageous hostility and hateful language that some flail and attributed to Trump and others while totally whitewashing their mean-spirited selves mirrors exactly what the Bolsheviks did as millions marched to their death in places like those documented Siberian-prison camps plus.


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