Just days after Donald Trump told a lesbian reporter to expect forward momentum on LGBT equality if he’s elected president, the GOP presidential frontrunner is doubling down on his earlier promise to “strongly consider” appointing Supreme Court justices who would work to overturn marriage equality.
Asked by George Stephanopoulos during an ABC News interview to clarify his seemingly contradictory comments on Sunday, Trump pulled out his classic “I’m going to bring the country together” narrative.
But make no mistake — he’s strongly opposed to the Supreme Court’s recent decision on same-sex marriage and believes it should be an issue left to the states.
Still promising to appoint conservative SCOTUS judges (“and then we’ll see how they vote,” he said), Trump clarified that he’d “prefer that they stand against” marriage equality.
“There’s a lot of people that want to see that,” he said. “This country is so totally divided, it’s probably almost never been as divided as it is right now, and we have to bring it together.”
Stephanopoulos pointed out that a majority of the American public now favor legalizing same-sex marriage, and asked again, “How does that move us toward equality for gays and lesbians?”
Look, George, very simple. We’re going to bring our country together. We’re going to unify our country. We’re going to do whatever we have to do. I’m gong to put the absolute best judges in position. If their views, we’re going to see what their views are, I will make the determination at that time.”
Asked what he’d say to gays and lesbians who agree that such a move would divide the country better than it would unite it, Trump said, “I think I understand what they’re saying and we’re going to see what happens. It’s a long way off, George. It’s a long way off.”
According to a CNN/WMUR track poll released yesterday ahead of the New Hampshire primary, Trump remains in the GOP lead with 31% of the vote. His closest competitor, Sen. Marco Rubio, earned just 17% of the vote.
Check out Trump’s interview with Stephanopoulos below — LGBT equality talk begins around the 5:45 mark: