Donald Trump's Newfound Love for LGBT Voters
He's made a bit of a switch in recent days.
Even though he has repeatedly said throughout his campaign that he is against same-sex marriage, that hasn't stopped the presumptive Republican presidential nominee from saying he thinks he would be the better candidate for the gay community.
His argument is largely based around his efforts to curtail what he calls "radical Islam," which he blames for the Pulse nightclub shooting which left 49 people dead and 53 others injured.
"I'm far better for the gay community than she is," Trump said of Hillary Clinton.
"She talks a lot about it, and yet she'll allow people in [to the U.S.] that want to kill people from the community, from that community, and I think it's terrible," he told Fox News on Monday, the day after the Orlando attack.
How His Position Has Shifted Over the Years
In 1999, Trump sat down with Tim Russert for an interview on "Meet the Press" in which he said that while he hadn't "given lots of thought to" gay marriage at the time, allowing gay people to serve in the military "would not disturb me."
That interview was brought back into the 2016 campaign by Sen. Ted Cruz's campaign as they used it as a basis of their "New York values" attacks on Trump, since the then-real estate mogul cited his Empire State upbringing as the reason for some of his more liberal beliefs.
"I lived in New York City and Manhattan all my life and my views are a little bit different than if I lived in Iowa, perhaps," he said in connection to the question about gays in the military.
In an interview with The Advocate the following year, Trump said that he believed "marriage should be between a man and a woman" but did support "a very strong domestic-partnership law."
"I think it’s important for gay couples who are committed to each other to not be hassled when it comes to inheritance, insurance benefits, and other simple everyday rights," he said in the interview.
What He's Said During the Campaign
Flash forward a decade and a half, and now Trump has reiterated repeatedly that he is against same-sex marriage.
Beyond that, he said during an interview on Fox News that he would "strongly consider" appointing judges to the Supreme Court who would overturn the 2015 decision allowing same-sex marriage across the United States.
He did show some willingness to break with general Republican principles on the question of transgender use of bathrooms, saying during an appearance on "The Today Show" that he feels people should "use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate." He later went on to say that he believes respective laws should be left up to the states.
LGBT Rights Groups React
The Human Rights Campaign Director Jay Brown warned voters to "make no mistake, Donald Trump is no friend of the LGBTQ community."
The Human Rights Campaign has already endorsed Clinton for president so it comes as little surprise that they are speaking out against Trump.
"Donald Trump has vowed to roll back marriage equality, pass [Kentucky clerk] Kim Davis-style discrimination and allow governors from coast to coast to pass laws like North Carolina's HB2. Trump's rhetoric isn't fooling anyone and what he is peddling isn’t protection. It’s poison," Brown said in a statement to ABC News today.
The Log Cabin Republicans, a group of conservatives that are supportive of equal rights for LGBT voters, has been receptive to Trump's newfound support, however.
"Trump's speech in New Hampshire was historic," the group's president, Gregory T. Angelo, said in a statement Wednesday.
"Have we ever had a Republican nominee for president who used the phrase, 'LGBT community,' let alone used a major policy address as an opportunity to stand in solidarity with the country's LGBT community? I don't think so," Angelo said.