President Donald Trump — Photo: DOD / Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Dominique A. Pineiro
A gay Republican in Florida believes that Donald Trump is the “most pro-gay president in history.”
That assertion comes from Andrew R. Brett, the president of the Broward Log Cabin Republicans, in a new op-ed for the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
It also comes despite the Trump administration attacking LGBTQ people an estimated 136 times during his three years as president.
Those attacks include declaring that it should be legal to fire gay people for their sexuality, pushing for healthcare workers to be able to deny healthcare to gay people, or allowing adoption agencies to discriminate against gay parents. Not to mention the administration’s repeated targeting of transgender Americans, whether in healthcare, shelter access, education, or military service.
Plus, Trump has nominated numerous anti-LGBTQ judges, hired anti-LGBTQ figures to his cabinet (including his vice president), and surrounded himself with anti-LGBTQ advisers.
But, according to Brett, it is a “matter of fact” that “Trump has been more openly supportive of gay rights than former President Barack Obama was when he was first elected in 2008, or President Bill Clinton during his eight years in office.”
He claims that “partisan LGBT activists” and their “allies in the media will never openly accept this reality.”
“They have such an advanced case of Trump derangement syndrome, that they can’t even acknowledge, or much less praise, when our president and his administration does something important for our community,” he contests.
(For the record, Metro Weekly has reported on the few instances where the Trump administration has made pro-LGBTQ moves, including nominating gay people to federal positions, and pushing for the global decriminalization of homosexuality.)
Brett states that “all of us have to put partisan politics aside when our community is at stake,” contending that Log Cabin Republicans have “shown this courage time and time again, by refusing to endorse candidates within our own party who do not represent our values.”
That was apparently the case in 2016, when the national Log Cabin Republicans refused to endorse Trump for the general election.
However, last year the organization did endorse Trump for re-election, a decision that led to a number of high-profile members resigning, including the group’s executive director, Jerry Ann Henry — who suggested the LGBTQ conservative group should be shut down.
Jennifer Horn, who resigned as a Log Cabin board member, also blasted the endorsement, saying she had to leave because, “There is no world where I can sit down at the dining room table and explain to my children that I just endorsed Donald Trump for president.”
In his op-ed, Brett also argues that “aside from [Trump’s] pro-gay record, the president has led us through one of the strongest economies in modern times,” something he calls “of great importance to every LGBT individual and family living in America.”
That might not ring so true for the transgender women of color who are being murdered at disproportionate rates, or the young LGBTQ people experiencing higher rates of mental health issues and suicidal ideation, or the gay couple currently battling the Trump administration after it tried to revoke the citizenship of their child.
But Brett asserts that “many LGBT individuals and families in South Florida, quietly and in private, support the president.”
“They simply do not want to get bullied and harassed by these extreme and intolerant activists,” he adds.
Brett’s assessment of the Trump presidency comes just two weeks after he declared that the “Democratic Party has become the party of division in America,” and the Republican Party “the party of inclusion for all Americans.”
According to South Florida Gay News, Broward County Log Cabin Republicans held a pro-Trump rally which saw around a dozen people turn up to support the president.
The gathering was described as a press conference to convince LGBTQ people to support Trump’s re-election, but SFGN reports that Brett “spent more time attacking U.S. House Representatives Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Ted Deutch, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib than promoting Trump’s supposedly pro-LGBT record.”
According to a transcription of Brett’s speech, he claimed that that Reps. Omar and Tlaib “support Sharia Law and definitely do not support the GLBT community” and that the congresswomen “support the execution of beheadings of GLBT people.”
Brett declined to offer any evidence supporting his claims (and evidently ignored the page on Rep. Omar’s campaign website dedicated to expanding and protecting LGBTQ rights).
He also equated efforts to reduce gun violence to Hitler and Nazi Germany.
“Might I remind the GLBT community that Hitler took the guns away from 20,000 people and you saw how that played out,” he said. “The Log Cabin Republicans totally support the Second Amendment and we’ll be damned if any socialists will take that right away.”
Brett did pivot to Trump during his speech, offering this comforting thought: “When GLBT folks, not only in Broward County, but throughout the country say, ‘President Trump is taking our rights away,’ I always ask ‘What rights has he taken away from you when you woke up this morning?’ He hasn’t. And didn’t.”
In November last year, the bipartisan U.S. Commission on Civil Rights declared that the Trump administration had “blatantly and deliberately” targeted LGBTQ people during his presidency.
One member of the commission stated that Trump was “undoing decades of civil and human rights progress.”
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