August 29, 2016

Despite the fact that Trump's policy positions are all rabidly anti-LGBT, the Republican nominee has launched yet another phony "outreach" program to the LGBTQ community, and is now selling t-shirts (men's sizes only) and buttons on their website.

As John Wright discussed in the article linked above, no one in their right minds should take this seriously given these facts:

Trump opposes marriage equality and has expressed support for horrific anti-LGBT legislation, including the so-called First Amendment Defense Act and North Carolina's House Bill 2. The GOP presidential nominee was recently endorsed by the founder of two anti-LGBT hate groups, and gave $100,000 to a church pastored by the leader of a third.

GOP vice presidential nominee Mike Pence, the Indiana governor whose name appears on the back of the "LGBTQ for Trump" T-shirts, is one of the nation's most prominent anti-LGBT conservatives and signed the Hoosier State's heinous Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 2015.

That didn't stop CNN from running a segment on this Sunday's New Day where they not only took Trump's so-called "outreach" seriously, and giving Trump flack Boris Epshteyn some more time to spout this nonsense:

BLACKWELL: So, Boris, let me start with you. Is this an outreach to the LGBT community? Does the campaign see this as a way to reach out to the community or to bring in or offer something to those supporters who are already with Mr. Trump?

EPSHTEYN: This campaign is reaching out to all communities, Victor. And, of course, we're reaching out to the LGBT community because Hillary Clinton has such a terrible record on LGBTQ issues.

If you look at her record, just in 2007, when fielding a question for HRC, she said she was opposed to gay marriage. That's something she has flip-flopped on, one of a billion issues that she's flip-flopped on. So, this campaign is about reaching out to all communities, including the LGBTQ community.

After Blackwell asked if someone with Pence's record was the best person to make that case to LGBT voters, Ephshteyn responded with pure fearmongering:

EPSHTEYN: Donald Trump has spoken to the LGBT community throughout his lifetime and throughout his candidacy. When the horrible shooting in Orlando happened, he said that ISIS specifically is targeting the gay LGBT community. So, this is a candidate who's open to all communities including this one, and we should be celebrating this, but it is revolutionary almost for a Republican to be doing this kind of outreach.

So, if I were sitting in anyone else's position, I'll be happy about this outreach.

After the Human Rights Campaign's JoDee Winterhof pointed out not only Pence's, but Trump's awful record on LGBT rights as well, and defended Clinton's record on the same, Blackwell tried to get Epshteyn to explain exactly what the Trump campaign had to offer other than slogans on t-shirts and buttons, he doubled down on the "national security" talking point.

BLACKWELL: Let me get the question out. I hear your answer, but if you're reaching out to a community specifically through this community for Trump, what will you do to reach that community?

The t-shirt isn't all communities for Trump. What does it look like if you're going after that specific demographic?

EPSHTEYN: Again, we are talking about issues that are facing all Americans, including very specifically the LGBT community. You look at national security, look what happened in Orlando.

WINTERHOF: He has no answer.

BLACKWELL: Hold on here, JoDee.


EPSHTEYN: I'm answering your question. ISIS and other radical Islamic jihadists are specifically targeting the gay community and Donald Trump is the only one that can protect this country. Hillary Clinton wants to increase the influx of Syrian refugees by 550 percent.

WINTERHOF: He has no answer for our community.


EPSHTEYN: Want to cover this specific community.

BLACKWELL: All right. So, now, JoDee, to that point, this is a point that we heard from Donald Trump after the Orlando shooting in June. We heard this from his supporters, that there is a connection here specifically to national security that makes Donald Trump the better candidate for the LGBTQ community.

WINTERHOF: I think part of what is missing in what Boris is saying and what Donald Trump has been promoting is not only -- like, you know if I were to get married on a Saturday in many states in this country and I put the picture from my wedding in my cube on a Monday morning, in many states in this country I would be fired with minimal recourse.

So, part of what he's trying to talk about is absolutely a distraction. Certainly our safety around this country and around the globe is absolutely important to all of us as Americans. But in terms of what will impact my day to day life and those in the LGBTQ community, there is no answer from the Trump campaign. There is no plan from the Trump campaign.

EPSHTEYN: Absolutely there's an answer.

WINTERHOF: We are at a time in our country where we need leadership in the White House. We don't need to be pandered to.

EPSHTEYN: Well, Hillary Clinton has provided no leadership in over 30 years in public office.


WINTERHOF: -- teleprompter at a national convention are important, LGBTQ. We need him reading from a teleprompter. We don't need him putting out a t-shirt or a bottom. We need him to lead. And so far he is not leading on any of our issues for our community and we need a leader and champion in the White House.


EPSHTEYN: Hillary Clinton has lied to your community and you're choosing to believe her now.

She's right of course. Their fake outreach to the gay community is about as sincere is their African-American outreach or their Hispanic outreach. They're pandering to racist white people with really lame attempts to "soften" the vile racist remarks that have come out of Trump's mouth every other day on the campaign trail since he announced he was running.

Only his hard core supporters are going to be foolish enough to buy any of it.

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