Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump sought to portray himself as a defender of the LGBT community in a Monday speech addressing national security, while arguing Hillary Clinton's immigration policy with respect to refugees would allow radical Muslims into the country who oppose gay rights.
“Ask yourself, who is really the friend of women and the LGBT community, Donald Trump with his actions, or Hillary Clinton with her words?" Trump said in New Hampshire, following a shooting at a gay club in Orlando, Florida, over the weekend. "Clinton wants to allow Radical Islamic terrorists to pour into our country — they enslave women, and murder gays. I don’t want them in our country."
The gunman, who was an American citizen born in New York City, reportedly declared his allegiance to the Islamic State militant group before carrying out Sunday morning's massacre.
Trump, however, didn't sound very comfortable with a public display of affection between two men in May of 2014, after Michael Sam kissed his boyfriend on national television in celebration of becoming the first openly gay football player drafted by the NFL.
“And you know, I don’t know — if everyone thinks that’s a wonderful thing, I guess that’s fine with me. But it looked pretty out there to me," Trump said of the kiss in an interview on Fox News' "Fox and Friends."
The mogul later added, “I’ve heard many people — I’m not even speaking for myself, but I’ve heard many people that thought the display after he was chosen was inappropriate. And whether or not it was, I don’t know. But it was certainly out there a little bit. And I’m very happy that he got chosen, I’m all for it. I think it’s great actually that he got chosen. I hope he does so well. But I thought when he — he was really going at it... I haven’t seen anything like that in a while.”
LGBT voters support Clinton over Trump, 84 percent to 16 percent, according to a recent Whitman Insight Strategies survey. Over the weekend, Trump also assured a conference of Christian conservatives that he opposes marriage equality.