Donald Trump appearing with a group of anti-gay religious leaders in Florida this week – just 10 miles from Pulse nightclub – is being slammed by pro-LGBTI groups.
The beleaguered Republican presidential nominee, currently having some of the worst weeks of his campaign, was the big draw at the Pastors and Pews event in Orlando which concludes today. It is sponsored by the anti-LGBTI American Renewal Project.
The former political rivals appeared on Thursday (11 August) which was the day before the two-month anniversary of a shooting massacre at gay nightclub Pulse that left 49 people dead and 53 others injured.
US Senator Marco Rubio was scheduled to address the group today.
‘Instead of honoring the memory of those we lost at Pulse two months ago, Donald Trump and Marco Rubio have come to Orlando to headline a gathering of some of the nation’s most incendiary anti-gay bigots,’ Democratic National Committee chair Donna Brazile and DNC LGBT Caucus chair Earl Fowlkes said in joint a statement.
‘We at the DNC join all people of good conscience in expressing our solidarity with the Orlando LGBT community as they continue to grieve the deadliest shooting in American history.’
Brazile and Fowlkes also suggested that Trump and Rubio ‘disavow these anti-gay extremists who have likened gay people to Nazis and characterized HIV/AIDS as divine ‘penalties’ for being gay.’
The Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBTI rights group in the US, called Trump and Rubio ‘two dangerous peas in a pod’ and accused Rubio of ‘speaking out of both sides of his mouth.’
‘Unfortunately, Marco Rubio has a long, documented history of opposing LGBTQ equality,’ said JoDee Winterhof, HRC Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs.
‘Rubio suggested he believes employment discrimination against LGBTQ people is wrong, but yet he has consistently opposed even modest steps to provide non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people,’ said JoDee Winterhof, HRC Senior vice president for policy and political affairs.