As the US Presidential elections head into the final stretch, first lady Melania Trump became the newest member of the family to attempt to appeal to LGBTQI voters by claiming her husband was pro-gay and lesbian. Note, she did not mention trans persons or others in the queer spectrum.
LGBTQI organisations were quick to point out how Melania’s characterisation of Trump did not sit with his administration’s track record of framing policies that harmed the community.
Melania made the claims in a video released on Thursday in support of the Log Cabin Republicans, who claim to be the country’s largest Republican organisation for LGBTQI conservatives and allies.
In the video, Melania claimed that Donald is the “ultimate outsider” and that that had earned him many enemies in the political establishment.
“I was shocked to discover that some of these powerful people have tried to paint my husband as anti-gay or against equality. Nothing could be further from the truth,” insisted Melania.
First Lady Melania Trump supports freethinkers and trailblazers.
She is an ally for equality.
In this exclusive video, the First Lady gets unapologetically outspoken. pic.twitter.com/kc8UFDqaOB
— LogCabinRepublicans (@LogCabinGOP) October 29, 2020
“As the leader of the Republican party and President of the United States, Donald had been clear that gays and lesbians will be treated as he has always treated them – equally. Donald is the first President who has entered the White House supporting gay marriage. Donald is the first President to appoint an openly gay official to his cabinet.”
Melania was referring to Richard Grenell who was appointed as ambassador to Germany and, then, acting national security advisor before he resigned in June. Grenell has been previously accused of sexism and xenophobia. The Huffington Post had published a story in 2012 about how Grenell deleted around 800 tweets, that included posts targeting the appearances of women in politics.
Melania then goes on to allege that groups like Gay Conservatives and Log Cabin Republicans have been “silenced, censored and bullied by cancel culture mobs… We are a nation that celebrates and protects diversity. We condemn those who bully and intimidate people.”
The video was filmed days after Melania claimed at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania on October 27, that Trump was a “man who sees potential in everyone he meets, no matter their gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation”. (Note, no mention of trans persons again!)
The Log Cabin Republicans had in August conferred the title of “most pro-gay President” on Trump, which he immediately accepted saying it was his “great honour.”
Soon after the video surfaced, GLAAD pointed out on social media that Trump’s actual record towards the LGBTQI community was “at odds” with his wife’s opinion. “Pro-gay presidents don’t fight our rights to SCOTUS three times, including defending the right to fire us for being gay. They don’t ban trans troops. Or turn away trans people from homeless shelters. We point the First Lady to the cold hard truth about the administration’s fight against our rights to marry, work, go to school, find a safe place to sleep, adopt a child, go to the doctor, or order a cake. LGBTQI people and our rights won’t be canceled,” GLAAD said.
The Trump Accountability Project by GLAAD has listed over 181 attacks on the LGBTQI community by Trump and his administration in its policies, actions and statements.
As opposed to the Trump campaign, Joe Biden has promised to pass the Equality Act to protect LGBTQI rights within the first 100 days if he is elected US President.