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ICYMI: Two Months After the Pulse Massacre, Trump Spoke at an Anti-LGBT Conference in Orlando

Two months after the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, Donald Trump visited the city – but not to comfort those still grieving. Instead, he headlined a meeting of some of the nation’s most incendiary anti-gay proponents of discrimination. Today, Marco Rubio is speaking to the same gathering. Meanwhile, members of the LGBT community rallied nearby in support of the 49 lives lost, the 53 people injured, and their loved ones.

 

Take a closer look at the coverage of the contrasting events:

 

Trump Is After The Anti-Gay Bigot Vote, Apparently

THE HUFFINGTON POST // JENNIFER BENDERY

Donald Trump has said he’s the best ally to the LGBT community in this election cycle. The best, just the greatest. All you have to do is “ask the gays” themselves, he’s said. But he probably didn’t say that Thursday as he surrounded himself with some of the nation’s most extreme anti-gay activists. Trump headlined a Pastors and Pews event in Orlando sponsored by American Renewal Project ― a Jerry Falwell Jr. creation ― that brought together hundreds of evangelical pastors who want to shape public policy. Trump shared the stage with a mix of conservative religious leaders who say gay people, in one way or another, are taking the nation on a one-way trip to hell.

 

Dems hit Trump, Rubio for meeting with ‘anti-gay extremists’

THE HILL // NIKITA VLADIMIROV

The leaders of the Democratic National Committee and the DNC’s LGBT Caucus on Thursday blasted Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) for meeting with “anti-gay extremists” in Orlando, Fla. DNC Chairwoman Donna Brazile and DNC LGBT Caucus Chairman Earl Fowlkes issued a statement calling for Trump and Rubio to disavow the American Renewal Project, the group hosting the evangelical event. They accuse the GOP politicians of supporting a group that “likened gay people to Nazis and characterized HIV/AIDS as divine ‘penalties’ for being gay.” “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,” Brazile and Fowlkes said, referencing a mass shooting at a gay nightclub in June. “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,” they added. “We suggest Trump and Rubio disavow these anti-gay extremists. … Failing to do so will be yet another example of the utter lack of judgment that makes Trump unfit to serve.”

 

Activists protest Trump, Rubio outside Orlando anti-LGBT conference

THE WASHINGTON BLADE // MICHAEL K. LAVERS

Activists on Thursday gathered outside a hotel in Orlando, Fla., to protest Donald Trump and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) over their scheduled appearances at an anti-LGBT conference. Supporters of Equality Florida, a statewide LGBT advocacy group, and other activists specifically criticized Rubio for his decision to deliver the keynote address at the “Rediscovering God in America” conference that began on Thursday. The Liberty Counsel, an anti-LGBT legal group based in Orlando, is organizing the two-day gathering through the Florida Renewal Project that is taking place at the Hyatt Regency Orlando. Liberty Counsel Chair Mat Staver, who represented Rowan County (Ky.) Clerk Kim Davis, is among those who are scheduled to speak at the conference that is taking place two months after a gunman killed 49 people at the Pulse nightclub. Bill Federer, who said in 2015 that Europe will soon be “taken over by Islam” because it has embraced a “neutral-secular-gay agenda,” is also expected to address the hundreds of people who are expected to attend. Trump is expected to speak at the conference on Thursday.

 

DNC Chair and DNC LGBT Caucus Chair Denounce Trump and Rubio Speaking at Anti-Gay Conference

THE NEW CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT // DAVID BADASH

Two top Democratic National Committee leaders are denouncing Republicans Donald Trump and Marco Rubio for speaking at a conference of evangelical Christian extremists in Orlando this week. The event, which will be attended by 700 evangelical leaders, is being organized and hosted by a far right wing political group funded by an anti-gay hate group, the American Family Association. “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,” the statement from DNC Chair Donna Brazile and DNC LGBT Caucus Chair Earl Fowlkes reads. “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. We suggest 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. Failing to do so will be yet another example of the utter lack of judgment that makes Trump unfit to serve.”

 

Donna Brazile tears into Trump and Rubio over Orlando antigay speeches

LGBTQ NATION // BILL BROWNING

DNC Chair Donna Brazile is joining in the condemnations of Donald Trump and Marco Rubio for speaking to a gathering of anti-LGBT activists on the two month anniversary of the Pulse nightclub mass shooting in Orlando. The attack killed 49 patrons of the popular gay club. “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. 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. We suggest 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. Failing to do so will be yet another example of the utter lack of judgment that makes Trump unfit to serve.” Brazile took over the DNC following the abrupt resignation of former leader Debbie Wasserman-Schultz after Wikileaks exposed emails from the organization showing favoritism for Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary election.

 

Orlando’s LGBT community calls shame on Marco Rubio

FLORIDA POLITICS // SCOTT POWERS

After having promised to help following the Pulse massacre, U.S. Sen Marco Rubio has turned his back on Orlando’s pain and added to it by appearing at a controversial conference laced with anti-gay speakers, protesters charged outside that conferenceThursday. “Shame on you Marco!” was a message repeated by speaker after speaker, including by Barbara Poma, owner of the popular Orlando gay nightclub Pulse, where 49 people were brutally murdered and 53 others shot on June 12 in the most shocking attack in American history on gays. The protest was organized by Equality Florida, the state’s largest and most politically active gay rights organization, across the street from the Orange County Convention Center, which is helping host the “Renew Florida Project” conference. The protest was attended by more than 100 people, including non-gays, Hispanic leaders and a handful of Orlando-area clergy who have joined the emerging, broad community coalition supporting gay rights.

 

DNC: Trump, Rubio Further Dishonor Pulse Orlando Shooting Victims

THE RAINBOW TIMES // STAFF

A joint statement released today by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) blames Donald Trump and Marco Rubio for dishonoring the memories of the 49 people killed at the Pulse Orlando shooting in June. Trump and Rubio planned to attend an anti-gay gathering of evangelical pastors at the Hyatt Regency, Orlando by “The Rediscovering God in America Renewal Project,” according to a DNC release and The Orlando Sentinel. The gathering has already created controversy, with state Democrats calling it an “anti-LGBT rally” and calling on U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio to cancel his appearance and with DNC Chair Donna Brazile and DNC LGBT Caucus Chair Earl Fowlkes’ immediate release of a joint statement. “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. 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. We suggest 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. Failing to do so will be yet another example of the utter lack of judgment that makes Trump unfit to serve,” read Brazile and Fowlkes’ statements.

 

Trump and Rubio Attend Anti-LGBT Event

SOUTH FLORIDA GAY NEWS // BRITTANY FERRENDI

Today, on the eve of the two-month anniversary of the deadly massacre that took the lives of 49 people and injured 53 others, Presidential Candidate Donald Trump and Florida Senator Marco Rubio joined in an anti-LGBT event in Orlando. “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,” said DNC Chair Donna Brazile and LGBT Caucus Chair Earl Fowlkes in a joint 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.” They added: “We suggest 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. Failing to do so will be yet another example of the utter lack of judgment that makes Trump unfit to serve.” In response, Equality Florida hosted a peaceful rally and press conference today. LGBT leaders, faith leaders and community members joined together in Orlando in direct response to Rubio and Trump attending the anti-gay event.

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