US President Donald Trump and his actions and policies took repeated hits during the Human Rights Campaign’s gala dinner in Los Angeles over the weekend.
US Senator Tim Kaine, the 2016 Democratic vice presidential nominee, set the tone early when he said during his keynote address: ‘I will just begin by saying on behalf of my spectacular running mate, every day’s headlines demonstrate what a great president Hillary Clinton would have been.’
That was followed by a video round-up of news from the past year which included footage of then-candidate Trump claiming to be a friend of the LGBT community but stumbling over the letters.
The crowd at the JW Marriott LA Live loudly booed.
HRC President Chad Griffin then gave a fiery speech slamming Trump for his administration’s ‘bigotry and bluster’ and disdain for America’s most fundamental principles.
Griffin vowed that Trump would not get away with such things as the rolling back of protections for transgender students and cuts to health care that would make it difficult for HIV patients to access medical treatment.
‘We are going to hold Donald Trump’s tiny little hands to the fire,’ Griffin told the crowd that included such celebrities as Katy Perry, America Ferrera and Lena Dunham as well Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and former LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
‘We are under siege by a president and administration who seem to hold all our values in contempt,’ Griffin also said.
‘Now for the first time he has a real boss. No, not Vladimir Putin. The American people. We won’t stand by … our job is to hold the bully accountable.
‘When Donald Trump attacks one of us, he is going to hear from all of us. We’ve all come too far and accomplished too much to let anybody drag us backward. … Even in the darkest of times, we don’t give up.’
Griffin warned that HRC’s Super Political Action Committee (PAC) is already targeting Republican lawmakers who are supporting Trump’s policies – especially those who represent districts won by Clinton-Kaine last November.
During the dinner, an on-the-spot fundraiser was held specifically for the PAC.
In about five minutes, more than $102,000 was raised to defeat six California anti-LGBTI GOP incumbents in 2018.
Said Griffin: ‘Whether he meant to or not, Donald Trump has awakened a sleeping giant.’