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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, August 12, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 33
Donald Trump headlines anti-Gay Orlando event

Dems condemn him and event
Section One
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Donald Trump headlines anti-Gay Orlando event

Dems condemn him and event

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Donald Trump has displaced Marco Rubio as the headline speaker for an event sponsored by the anti-LGBT group Liberty Counsel on the two-month anniversary of the Orlando massacre that killed 49 people.

Billed as the 'Rediscovering God in America Renewal Project,' the event will also feature Rubio and a host of other speakers drawn from the ranks of the Christian right.

Liberty Counsel represented Kim Davis in her legal battle to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples in Kentucky, and her attorney, Matt Staver, is one of the scheduled speakers.

Staver also represents Alabama judge Roy Moore, now being tried for ethics violations stemming from his instructions to state judges to ignore the US Supreme Court's ruling legalizing same-sex marriages.

Soon after the Orlando mass shooting, Staver denounced memorial gatherings for the victims as 'homosexual love fests.'

Staver's wife, Anita, the current president of the organization, has boasted that she carries a handgun in her purse to fend off Trans women in public restrooms.

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) condemned the event and called on Trump to 'disavow these anti-Gay extremists.'

'Instead of honoring the memory of those we lost at Pulse two months ago, Donald Trump and Marco Rubio have come to Orlando to headline a gathering of some of the nation's most incendiary anti-gay bigots,' DNC Chair Donna Brazile and DNC LGBT Caucus Chair Earl Fowlkes said in a statement.

'We at the DNC join all people of good conscience in expressing our solidarity with the Orlando LGBT community as they continue to grieve the deadliest shooting in American history. We suggest Trump and Rubio disavow these anti-gay extremists who have likened gay people to Nazis and characterized HIV/AIDS as divine 'penalties' for being gay. Failing to do so will be yet another example of the utter lack of judgment that makes Trump unfit to serve.'

In addition to Trump, Rubio, and the Stavers, the event includes a who's who of the Christian right:

o David Barton, a member of the Republican platform committee that pushed through the most anti-LGBT platform in the party's history

o Bill Federer, radio talk show host and publisher, who claims that LGBT equality will facilitate Islamic rule over the US and Western Europe

o Ken Graves, senior pastor of Calvary Chapel in Bangor, Maine, a leader of the fight against marriage equality in his state

o David Lane, founder of the American Renewal Project, an umbrella organization for right-wing pastors. Republican presidential hopefuls Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Ted Cruz, and Mike Huckabee have all attended Lane's events, as has GOP vice presidential nominee Mike Pence.

According to Bloomberg Politics, attending Christian right events is a political necessity for Trump. White evangelicals make up 20% of all registered voters in the country. A recent Washington Post/ABC News poll shows Trump dominating this bloc of voters with 76% support, compared with 18% for Hillary Clinton.

Rubio is now trying to rescue his political career from the wreck of his unsuccessful presidential campaign by running for re-election to the US Senate.

His Senate race against Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy is now 'too close to call,' however. A new Quinnipiac poll puts Murphy within three points of Rubio, with a three-point margin of error. Quinnipiac's assistant polling director, Peter A. Brown, suggested Trump's plummeting poll numbers are hurting Rubio in Florida.

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Donald Trump headlines anti-Gay Orlando event

Dems condemn him and event

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