Donald Trump promised to protect gays and lesbians from violence if he makes it into the White House in November. The remarks came during his acceptance speech Thursday night at the Republican National Convention.
This caught some members of the LGBTQ community by surprise. The Republican party’s platform, which opposes gay marriage and endorses conversion therapy, has been called the most anti-gay in history.
“Only weeks ago, in Orlando, Florida, 49 wonderful Americans were savagely murdered by an Islamic terrorist. This time, the terrorist targeted our LGBTQ community. No good. We are going to stop it,” Trump said. “As your President, I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology, believe me.”
This message surfaced earlier at the convention during a “gays for Trump” rally headlined by Milo Yiannopoulus, a gay conservative writer for Breitbart. “Democrat politicians were welcoming in a religion that wants us dead. They were welcoming in movements and belief systems that are completely incompatible with the western way of life, with modern western liberal capitalist democracies, the only system under which gay people are happy, successful and have rights. The only systems under which women are happy, successful and have rights,” said Yiannopoulos.
KCRW’s Jenny Hamel reported from the event. Listen:
Yiannopoulus was in the news earlier in the week for being banned from Twitter after reportedly directing anonymous online trolls to attack “Ghostbusters” star Leslie Jones with a barrage of racist and sexist comments.
“What a humiliating end to a wonderful run,” he said. “It could at least have been getting into a fight with someone serious but no, no it was the tertiary star of a fucking terrible feminist flop! What was I thinking?” Yiannopoulus chuckled and there were cheers from the crowd gathered in a ballroom at Cleveland State University.
Yiannopoulus called the ban an attack on free speech and for awhile the hashtag #FreeMilo was trending on twitter. While speaking at the RNC, he called it a culture war, saying academia, entertainment and the news media had been co-opted, “These are institutions in America, supposedly the freest country in the world, that have been completely occupied by the political left. For awhile that was ok for us, for awhile the left were the ones who had our backs. That is longer the case.”
In the middle of that, someone in the back yelled “Traitors!” Yiannopoulus replied, “They are indeed. Traitors to the gays.”