January 25, 2021 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Trump makes history with LGBT inclusion in acceptance speech

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at the Republican National Convention on July 21 in Cleveland. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at the Republican National Convention on July 21 in Cleveland. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

BY CHRIS JOHNSON FOR THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION FROM THE WASHINGTON BLADE  |  CLEVELAND — On the final night of the Republican National Convention, Donald Trump made history with an explicit pledge to protect LGBTQ people during his speech accepting the GOP presidential nomination.

Trump made the remarks while invoking the mass shooting last month at a gay nightclub in Orlando, saying the 49 left dead at the hands of a shooter who pledged allegiance to Islamic extremists were “wonderful Americans.”

“Only weeks ago, in Orlando, Fla., 49 wonderful Americans were savagely murdered by an Islamic terrorist,” Trump said. “This time, the terrorist targeted the LGBTQ community. No good, and we’re going to stop it. As your president, I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology. Believe me.”

The audience at the Quicken Loans Arena applauded those words, a stark contrast to the Republican National Convention in 1992 when attendees chanted “Family Rights Forever/Gay Rights Never” during a speech delivered by anti-gay conservative leader Pat Buchanan.

In response to the applause, Trump ad-libbed: “And I have to say, as a Republican, it is so nice to hear you cheering for what I just said. Thank you.”

Those words mark the first time a Republican presidential nominee invoked the LGBT community in a positive way during an acceptance speech at a GOP convention. In 2012, then-Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney took the opportunity of his acceptance speech to “honor the institution of marriage” at a time when the LGBT community was seeking the legalization of gay nuptials.

Ric Grenell, a gay Fox News commentator and delegate from California pledged to Trump, told the Washington Blade on the floor of the Quicken Loans Arena he doesn’t think “anybody is surprised” by Trump’s inclusion of LGBT people in his acceptance speech.

“Trump has always made perfectly clear that he has a lot of gay friends, that he is totally for equality,” Grenell said. “And for me, it’s actually, I know we have a lot of work to do within the Republican Party on gay rights, but it’s really emotional for me to be here on my seventh convention.”

Recalling being present in 1992 listening to Buchanan, Grenell said, “To be here and to really see the acceptance, we made dramatic progress in four years. I just think it’s time that the gay left leadership in Washington, D.C. realize that we can remove this issue from being a partisan issue.”

But Trump’s pledge to protect LGBT people against terrorism stands in contrast to positions on LGBT rights he has staked out on the campaign trail.

Although Trump hasn’t had as much vitriol for LGBT people as he has had for other minority groups, Trump has told social conservatives to “trust” him to oppose same-sex marriage, said he would “strongly consider” appointing U.S. Supreme Court justices who would reverse marriage equality and offered conditional support for the First Amendment Defense Act, a federal “religious freedom” bill that would enable anti-LGBT discrimination.

Moreover, Trump delivered the LGBT-inclusive speech in the same week delegates at the Republican National Convention ratified a party platform considered the most anti-LGBT in history. Among other things, the platform seeks to overturn the Supreme Court decision for same-sex marriage through either judicial reconsideration or a constitutional amendment.

On Twitter, Hillary Clinton pointed out when Trump thanked his audience for supporting LGBT inclusion in his speech the Republican platform indicates support for widely discredited “ex-gay” conversion therapy.

Later in his speech, Trump undercut his goodwill toward the LGBT community by recommitting himself to appointing conservative justices — a move critics contend could led to a reversal of the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage.

“We are also going to appoint justices to the United States Supreme Court who will uphold our laws and our Constitution,” Trump said. “The replacement of our beloved Justice Scalia will be a person of similar views, principles and judicial philosophy. This will be one of the most important issues decided by this election.”

Trump also singled out evangelical Christians — a group that has historically opposed the LGBT community — to thank them for helping him win the Republican presidential nomination, saying, “the support they’ve given me, and I’m not sure I totally deserve it, has been so amazing, and has been such a big reason why I’m here tonight.”

To assist the evangelical community, Trump said he’d “work very hard” to repeal the 1954 Johnson Amendment, which prohibits tax-exempt organizations from endorsing or opposing political candidates. Undoing that language would “protect free speech for all Americans,” Trump said.

Trump also stoked fears about undocumented immigrants in the United States.

“Of all my travels in this country, nothing has affected me more deeply than the time I have spent with the mothers and fathers who have lost their children to violence spilling across our border,” Trump said.

“These families have no special interests to represent them. There are no demonstrators to protest on their behalf. My opponent will never meet with them, or share in their pain.”

Invoking the names of individuals who were allegedly killed by undocumented immigrants in “sanctuary cities,” Trump renewed his pledge to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and said Clinton wants to pursue a policy that amounts to “mass amnesty, mass immigration and mass lawlessness.”

“We are going to build a great border wall to stop illegal immigration, to stop the gangs and the violence and to stop the drugs from pouring into our communities,” Trump said.

Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, pointed out on Twitter Trump’s attacks on other minority groups are still attacks on LGBT people.

A protester is escorted out of the Quicken Loans Arena during Donald Trump’s Republican presidential candidate nomination acceptance speech on July 21. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)
A protester is escorted out of the Quicken Loans Arena during Donald Trump’s Republican presidential candidate nomination acceptance speech on July 21. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Trump’s pledge to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border was apparently the source of ire for a “Code Pink” protester who made it into the Quicken Loans Arena with a banner reading, “Build Bridges Not Walls.” As she was being escorted out, Trump said, “How great are our police and how great is Cleveland?”

But the newly anointed Republican presidential nominee generally strived for a tone of inclusion throughout his speech. Although he maintained his priority would be “struggling citizens,” he said he’d be “considerate and compassionate to everyone.”

Introducing him on stage was his daughter Ivanka Trump, who made the case her father would champion gender equality.

Ivanka Trump introduces her father, Donald Trump, at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on July 21. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)
Ivanka Trump introduces her father, Donald Trump, at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on July 21. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

“There have always been men of all backgrounds and ethnicities on my father’s job sites and long before it was commonplace you also saw women,” Ivanka Trump said. “My father values talent. He recognizes real knowledge and skill when he finds it. He is colorblind and gender-neutral. He hires the best person for the job.”

Closing his speech, Trump returned to the slogan that helped propel him to the Republican nomination.
“So to every parent who dreams for their child, and every child who dreams for their future, I say these words to you tonight: I’m with you, I will fight for you, and I will win for you,” Trump said. “To all Americans tonight, in all of our cities and in all of our towns, I make this promise: We Will Make America Strong Again. We Will Make America Proud Again. We Will Make America Safe Again. And We Will Make America Great Again.”

Related Posts

Iconic Talk Show Host Larry King, An LGBTQ Ally, Dies At 87

January 23, 2021

January 23, 2021

Larry King, the iconic talk show host and LGBTQ ally died on Saturday Jan. 23rd.  A statement was posted on...

FBI Investigating Blast At Anti-Gay Church

January 23, 2021

January 23, 2021

An El Monte church that had been threatened this month with an arson attack over its condemnation of same-sex marriages...

Gay Man From Huntington Beach Stormed Capitol Now “In Fear Of His Life”

January 21, 2021

January 21, 2021

32-year-old Kristopher Dreww a gay hairdresser from Huntington Beach was one of many who rioted the Capitol Building on Jan....

Sarah McBride Now Highest Ranking Trans Official – E.P.I.C Pride Show, January, 20th, 2021

January 20, 2021

January 20, 2021

E.P.I.C Pride, Highlighting the latest LGBTQ news in Entertainment, Politics, International affairs, and Culture. *Sarah McBride Now Highest Ranking Trans...

Missing Compton Trans-man

January 18, 2021

January 18, 2021

UPDATE: Luckie Alexander Fuller has been found as on Jan. 19th, 2021. Luckie Alexander Fuller, a local Los Angeles transman...

WeHo Fighting Climate Change

January 6, 2021

January 6, 2021

The City of West Hollywood is currently updating its Climate Action Plan — an effort called “WeHo Climate Action” —...

The Center Offered Free Meals For Those In Need

January 6, 2021

January 6, 2021

With the unemployment rate in Los Angeles County rising due to the Corona-virus pandemic many are struggling to make ends...

Two New Council Members Sworn-In To The City Council Of WeHo

December 20, 2020

December 20, 2020

The City of West Hollywood has sworn-in two newly elected Councilmembers: Sepi Shyne and John M. Erickson. Each Councilmember took...

L.A. Makeup Artist Is First Trans Man To Compete On “RuPauls Drag Race”

December 13, 2020

December 13, 2020

The cast of RuPauls Drag Race Season 13 has been announced this week revealing its first trans man contestant will...

Weho Celebrates 30th Annual Toy And Food Drive

December 13, 2020

December 13, 2020

The 30th Annual West Hollywood Toy and Food Drive will be accepting monetary donations until Friday, Dec. 18th, 2020 with...

The Center Long Beach Brings Diversity To The Board

December 13, 2020

December 13, 2020

The Center Long Beach has announced the addition of three new members to the board of directors: Long Beach business...

PIQUE Health – Specialized Treatment Plans to Optimize Male Health

December 11, 2020

December 11, 2020

Beverly Hills-based practice helping men come up with a plan to fully optimize their health Now more than ever, amid...

Local LA Teen Named Member Of HRC Foundation Youth Ambassadors

December 10, 2020

December 10, 2020

The Human Rights Campaign have announced that Nico Craig, an 18-year-old DJ and music producer from Los Angeles, has been...

Real Housewives Star Comes Out As A Lesbian

December 10, 2020

December 10, 2020

Braunwyn Windham-Burke star of Real Housewives of Orange County has come out as a lesbian.  In an interview with GLAAD...

LGBTQ Latinx Bar Noa Noa Place Opens

December 6, 2020

December 6, 2020

Noa Noa Place, a new bar dedicated full time to the LGBTQ Latinx community, has opened in Boyle Heights.  As...