Chris Barron, founder of gay conservative group GOProud and the “Gays for Trump” initiative, appeared on CNN opposite anchor Don Lemon and out NYC Councilman Corey Johnson last night to discuss Donald Trump’s relationship with the LGBT community and which 2016 presidential candidate would work hardest to protect it.
In recent weeks, the presumptive Republican candidate for president has tried to court the gay vote by claiming he’d be “much better for gays than [Hillary Clinton]” and touting his “great” relationship with the gay community.
He sparked a trending hashtag on Twitter while delivering a speech in Atlanta on June 15 when he encouraged America not to take his word for it but to “ask the gays” how they felt about a Trump presidency. The results were overwhelmingly — and expectedly — not in his favor.
On CNN, Johnson argued that a “Gays for Trump” group is inherently counterintuitive because Trump is unequivocally bad for the gay community regardless of what he says.
“He met today in New York…with a thousand evangelical leaders [including] James Dobson, Jerry Falwell Jr., and Ralph Reed.” said Johnson. “A who’s who of the anti-gay right – people who have made a professional career of demonizing and denigrating gay people. There have been serious impacts and efforts that have really hurt gay people because of what these folks have done.”
He continued: “Donald Trump is against marriage equality, Donald Trump says he wants to remake the Supreme Court and make it even more conservative. Donald Trump has never been there for the gay community so it is laughable to me that just because he says those four letters [LGBT], he is all the sudden a champion. He is a megalomaniacal, arrogant crazy person.”
Barron responded by pointing out Hillary Clinton’s lukewarm record on marriage equality and LGBT equality, implying the Democratic presidential frontrunner only changes her platforms to match popular opinions when it’s politically expedient.
“What I think is hilarious is that Donald Trump’s not allowed to talk to evangelical Christians, but Hillary Clinton can take $50 million from Saudi Arabia, where the penalty for being gay ranges from chemical castration to death…and she’s supposed to be a champion for the LGBT community?
Hillary Clinton has been for LGBT rights when it’s been politically expedient for her. The fact is Donald Trump has a career in business that has a stellar record on LGBT rights, so don’t sit here and say that Donald Trump has never been a friend of the LGBT community, because the truth is Donald Trump put his money where his mouth is.”
Check it out the intense exchange below:
— Corey Johnson (@CoreyinNYC) June 22, 2016