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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, March 11, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 10
Trump says no to Gay marriage and civil benefits
Section One
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Trump says no to Gay marriage and civil benefits

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

Donald Trump is known as many things: a real estate mogul, reality TV star, and the wearer of an iconic haircut. For decades, The Donald has built an empire and reputation as a no-nonsense businessman. Now, according to Allen Roskoff, who co-authored the nation's first Gay rights bill in the 1970s, there is another thing Trump can be known for: his anti-Gay stance on marriage equality.

Roskoff is calling for a boycott of Trump's business interests due to his comments to the Des Moines Register about Gay marriage.

'He's crossed the Rubicon,' says Roskoff, a founder of the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club. 'It's unconscionable that he could exist in New York City.'

So why does Trump's point of view matter? Because on March 2, he talked about exploring a presidential run as a Republican candidate.

Thomas Beaumont, a writer for the Des Moines Register, asked Trump if he supports 'allowing same-sex couples to marry.'

Trump said 'No,' but didn't stop there. When the reporter asked whether Gay couples should have access to 'the same benefits as married couples,' Trump first implied that his opinion has not yet 'fully formed,' but then, after thinking it over for a minute, said, 'As of this moment, I would say no and no' to Gay marriages and civil benefits.

Strategically, one could see why a Republican would say such a thing in Iowa. The conservatives of the state overwhelmingly opposed the Iowa Supreme Court's 2009 decision to overturn the state's Gay marriage ban. However, in New York, home to one of the largest Gay and Lesbian communities in the country, Trump's comments didn't go over so well.

'He's an extreme bigot,' said Roskoff, who was the first openly Gay appointed official in New York City. 'Not only should Gays be furious, we should be boycotting the products of the advertisers on his TV show Celebrity Apprentice, and certainly boycotting his casinos and hotels and apartment buildings.'

Roskoff continued, 'His game plan is to appeal to the extreme right. How he does business in New York, how he's tolerated is beyond me. I think things are going to change for him.'

In a bizarre twist of Trump family drama, his daughter, Ivanka Trump, reportedly attended the New York City Reception in Support of Freedom to Marry, an organization that's seeking marriage equality nationwide for same-sex couples.

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