Jimmy LaSalvia and Chris BarronPhoto:
Some gay Republicans are expressing surprise that Donald Trump’s positions on LGBT rights have been very Republican.
Chris Barron, who co-founded GOProud several years ago and “LGBT for Trump” last year, said before the election that “the left” was trying to “scare gay people” into voting for Clinton by saying that Trump would be bad on LGBT issues.
Just after the election, Barron wrote a column entitled “Donald Trump will be a friend, an ally and an advocate for the LGBT community.” Since he was so wrong, the Daily Beast asked Barron what he thinks now.
“My concern has always been what happens at the department and agency levels,” he said. “And I definitely have concerns with what is going on at Department of Justice. The attorney general [Jeff Sessions] has a very different position on LGBT issues than the president does. But his job is to carry forward the president’s agenda and not push his own… I’m certainly concerned he is [pushing his own].”
Because Donald “You’re fired!” Trump just can’t be held responsible for one of his most prominent appointee’s very public actions. Even when said employee tried to resign and Trump refused to accept his resignation.
And he’s also apparently not responsible for his own tweets and for the directives he signs. It’s all someone else’s fault (maybe Hillary’s!).
Jimmy LaSalvia, who co-founded GOProud and at least understands that “presidential appointees” are “appointed by the president,” sounds disappointed.
“I never thought that Donald Trump was an anti-gay homophobe,” LaSalvia, who left the Republican party in 2014 and endorsed Hillary Clinton in 2015, said. “I certainly didn’t think that when I met him back in 2011. But we’ve all learned a lot about who he really is since then. With his political pandering and posturing to endear himself to the intolerant wing of the GOP over the last few years, it doesn’t surprise me that this administration will go down as the most anti-LGBT in history.”
Or maybe LaSalvia is just a terrible judge of character. It’s not like Trump has any reason to pander to “the intolerant wing of the GOP”… a faction most people just call “the Republican base.”
I just don’t know what these people expected. They are a tiny minority in the GOP, not even powerful enough to be considered a “special interest.” Evangelicals and people who don’t go to church but don’t like queer people, though, define the party. And Trump is a con man who was never particularly pro-LGBT and who appointed a prominent Religious Right politician as his running mate.
But they’re still clinging to the very unlikely notion that, in his heart of hearts, Donald Trump loves LGBTQ people. I have no way of confirming or denying that, but I can say that if that’s true, then Trump has a really funny way of showing that love.
Note: This article was updated to make it clear that Jimmy LaSalvia no longer identifies as a Republican.