When it comes to the rights and protections of LGBTQ people, Donald Trump and Marco Rubio are two dangerous peas in a pod -- and so are their friends. Their agenda of discrimination is at odds with the fair-minded majority of Americans who believe LGBTQ people should be treated equally under the law. Given the power to do so, they've vowed to dismantle hard-fought victories for LGBTQ people and halt progress that advances fundamental fairness and equality for all.
Think the pair couldn't go any lower? Think again. Trump and Rubio are courting the votes of some of the most vehemently anti-LGBTQ pastors in America at a convening of anti-equality activists in Orlando today and tomorrow -- exactly two months after the tragic mass shooting at Pulse nightclub that killed 49 people, most of whom were young and Latinx.
Here’s a sampling of the ugly anti-LGBTQ rhetoric from the speakers who are scheduled to join Donald Trump and Marco Rubio on the stage in Orlando over the next two days:
David Barton: As a member of the Republican National Convention (RNC) platform committee, he pushed through anti-LGBTQ provisions this year, saying after the RNC that pro-equality Republicans, “ …turned the entire platform meeting into LGBT issues, they get CNN to run the story, and they call us narrow-minded and single-issued? My gosh, the only thing that was important to them in this thing was homosexual sex.”
Bill Federer: Claimed that LGBTQ equality would lead to Islamic rule, saying Europe, “went from a Judeo-Christian past into a neutral-secular-gay-agenda present and now it’s going into an Islamic future.”
Ken Graves: Personally cut an anti-LGBTQ equality ad that aired in Maine, saying, "What got me is how the homosexual community being portrayed in this campaign is a gross misrepresentation of how it really is," Graves said. "You see these commercials of two happy moms, or two happy dads and happy siblings - when in fact they are not happy families. They are depressed."
David Lane: Worked closely with groups that are deemed hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center and has a long record of anti-LGBTQ rhetoric, including saying, “Let’s make it crystal clear: Those who embrace homosexual marriage and homosexual Scouting – or homosexuality in general – know little and practice nothing of Christianity.”
Mat Staver: In addition to defending Kim Davis, Staver advocated for “conversion therapy” — a dangerous and debunked practice that has been condemned by every major medical and mental health organization in the country — by saying young people have “confusion” because of “the likes of a Jerry Sandusky abuser.” Staver is the current chairman of the Liberty Counsel, an organization that has been designated an anti-LGBTQ hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.