The same Republicans who have argued that gay couples should not be allowed to marry, that LGBT Americans don’t need federal anti-discrimination protections and that trans people should not use the bathroom that matches their identity are now claiming that they — not Democrats — are the party on the LGBT community’s side.
Their reasoning? That somehow, in the wake of the Orlando shooting at a gay night club that left 49 people dead, there’s now a mutually exclusive choice between supporting Muslims and protecting gay people, and Democrats have chosen the former.
The unlovely premise of that rationale is that all Muslims are terrorists, as one Republican congressman has baldly stated.
“Democrats are in a perplexing position. On the one hand, they’re trying to appeal to the gay community, but, on the other hand, they’re trying to also appeal to the Muslim community, which, if it had its way, would kill every homosexual in the United States of America,” Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) said on a radio show Thursday.
The logic that Dems favor Muslims/terrorists over gays is coming down from the very top of the GOP 2016 ticket. Donald Trump, in his first major speech after the weekend’s tragedy suggested that Hillary Clinton “can never claim to be a friend of the gay community.”
“She can’t have it both ways,” Trump said. “She can’t claim to be supportive of these communities while trying to increase the number of people coming in who want to oppress them.”
“Ask yourself, who really is the friend of women and the LBGT community: Donald Trump with his actions or Hillary Clinton with her words?” he continued.
Trump’s former primary rival, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), hit similar notes but twisted the argument and used it against President Obama to bash him for, of all things, the Iran deal.
“I would note one aspect of the attack on Sunday morning widely reported was it was at a gay bar. And there are great many Democrats who are fond of calling themselves champions of the LGBT community,” Cruz said on the Senate floor Thursday, before alluding to a “vicious ideology that systematically murders homosexuals, that throws them off buildings, that buries them under rocks.”
“The regime in Iran now supported by billions of dollars of American taxpayer dollars at the behest of President Obama murders homosexuals regularly,” he said.
Democrats, so the logic goes, can shore up the electoral support from either Muslims — who they’re appeasing by not saying the phrase, “radical Islam” — or from the LGBT community.
“They’re seeking a block vote from the Muslim community in the United States and that’s a community that is increasing in political power, as it’s doing in Europe. More and more votes are there,” Brooks said.
Pat Robertson — the conservative preacher and Christian media executive who has said gay people are “demonic” and will eventually die out — said the “left” had “a dilemma of major proportions.”
“We’re looking at a favored group by the left, the homosexuals, and that in Islam is punishable by death or imprisonment or some sanction, so what are the left going to do?” he said on his TV show “700 Club” Tuesday.
David Stacy, the government affairs director of the LGBT rights group the Human Rights Campaign, called the line of attack “ludicrous” and said that it was coming from “people who have spent their careers marginalizing gay people.”
“This is just ridiculous, and appalling, and completely and totally insincere,” Stacy.
He added that LGBT advocates are “very concerned” about the Islamic State and other groups “that are persecuting LGBT people around the world,” while praising the Obama administration for taking the issue of violence against LGBT people “seriously.”
“There are Muslims around the world supportive of LGBT equality and in particular here in the United States,” Stacy said, as well as those in the Muslim community that condemned Sunday’s violence, he added.
“If Mo Brooks is going to be stereotyping like that, why wouldn’t LGBT people say, the entire Southern Baptism community feels that way,” Stacy said. “We don’t say that because that would not be true.”