A “Gays for Trump” group launched rallies around the country on Saturday (March 4) in support of President Donald Trump.
Scott Presler, founder of Gays for Trump, said in comments to Mediaite that the group is a “national organization that is basically educating and mobilizing volunteers across the nation.”
While the idea of a Republican president inspiring a widespread LGBTQ following may seem against the grain, Presler insisted his organization has their reasons.
“We are talking about how Mr. Trump is going to protect our rights and protect us from terrorists,” Presler said.
During the campaign trail, then-candidate Donald Trump spoke out against what he often refers to as “radical Islamic terrorism” and some in the religion’s brutal treatment of LGBTQ persons.
The president’s speech at the Republican National Convention urged taking a stand against acts like the one at the Orlando Pulse nightclub on June 12, 2016, in which 49 people were killed and 53 injured at the gay bar by 29-year-old Omar Mateen, who pledged allegiance to ISIS, according to New York Magazine.
According to Mediaite, Presler was inspired in part by Trump’s comments to lead a demonstration in Virginia. He told the site the rally drew “about 400 people, a number he boasted far outnumbered those who came to protest,” the site reports.
Presler told the site he wished the anti-Trump protesters “would not set things on fire and pepper spray people and bludgeon people.”
There was also an event in Washington, D.C., attended by approximately 1,000. During the march, controversial singer and Trump supporter Joy Villa made an appearance.
Many will remember Villa for showing up to the 59th Grammy Awards wearing a “Make American Great Again” dress, which she told conservative pundit Steven Crowder was fashioned by a gay designer, in a recent episode of the Louder with Crowder podcast.
— Steven Crowder (@scrowder) February 13, 2017
The Gays for Trump group that Presler oversees is part of the March4Trump umbrella organization, Mediaite notes. On the organization’s website, America is painted as a wasteland of sorts with “cities… being assailed, our police are under attack, and our livelihoods… given away.”
The site continues,
“From radical Islamic terrorism to our deliberately undermined military, the challenges posed from without are just as dangerous. Come show your support for him, each other, and our country right in the heart of our capital.”
According to Reuters, people have been showing up in droves from both sides of the political aisle, and that has led to arrests with a march in California turning violent.
The news organization’s Stephen Lam and Tim Branfalt report that an elderly Trump supporter was struck in the head and kicked on the ground by the anti-Trump contingent.
In Berkeley — the scene of a previous violent protest over controversial conservative Milo Yiannopoulos, who is the highest profile individual associated with the Gays for Trump movement — Trump supporters shot pepper spray into a crowd as police, wearing riot gear, stood nearby.
— Michael Delauzon (@MichaelDelauzon) March 4, 2017
While Gays for Trump is on the rise, the overwhelming majority of LGBTQ voters do not support the president.
CNN’s exit poll data showed that 5 percent of voters identified as LGBTQ, and of that group, the president secured only 14 percent to Hillary Clinton’s 77 percent.
Clinton earned the same percentage that Obama did in 2012, but then-Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney earned 23 percent, nine percentage points higher than President Trump.
But what do you think, readers?
Is the Gays for Trump group proof the president is gaining ground with the LGBTQ community? Sound off in the comments section below.
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