Friday was the two-month anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub Massacre, which killed 49 and wounded 53 people in a horrific hate crime against the LGBTQ community.
Thursday and Friday, Marco Rubio was the featured speaker and the GOP nominee for President, Donald Trump, attended a conference in Orlando hosted by The American Renewal Project, Pastors and Pews.
“Among the speakers expected at the event include: Mat Staver, who has represented Kim Davis and Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore and has denounced memorial gatherings for the victims of the Orlando massacre as ‘homosexual love fests;’ David Barton, an anti-LGBTQ extremist who thinks HIV/AIDS is a ‘divine penalty;’ Maine pastor Ken Graves who claims that LGBTQ people can’t raise happy families because they are ‘depressed;’ and David Lane who believes that basic rights for LGBTQ people will lead to ‘utter destruction’ and ‘car bombs in Los Angeles, Washington DC, and Des Moines,’” according to a Task Force news release. source
This event went virtually unreported nationally due to the overwhelming number of other stories that saturated the media, including the Olympics, the flooding in Louisiana, every scandal imaginable in the Trump camp, and 453 ignorant statements made by Donald and his surrogates in response.
Especially because the Trump campaign has much such a huge issue out of being “LGBTQ allies”, despite the candidate’s ability to say “LGBTQ” without stumbling over the letters, it is critical this event is not overlooked.
Pastors and Pews is an organization run by David Lane, dedicated to putting right-winged Evangelical preachers into political office. He once wrote such an anti-homosexual inflammatory column for World Net Daily, even they had to pull it. (Fortunately the Internet never forgets.) His agenda is not in question. As Bloomberg reports:
Trump’s central appeal on the campaign trail to religious conservatives is his promise to repeal the Johnson Amendment, an IRS rule that prohibits churches from using their tax-exempt resources to promote political candidates.“That’s a good first step,” said David Lane, the American Renewal Project’s founder. “But what about the religious liberty of Christian photographers, Christian bakers, Christian retreat centers, and pastors who believe same-sex intercourse and marriage is sin? These Christians were simply living out their deeply held convictions of their Christian faith when they politely refused to provide services for a same-sex wedding. Doesn’t the First Amendment give us all a right to our beliefs?”
Lane added, “Homosexual totalitarianism is out of the closet, the militants are trying herd Christians there.”
Lane made it very clear that, although Trump would be attending under the guise of discussing the importance of the Johnson Amendment, Lane’s goal would be to move the conversation toward his anti-homosexual agenda.
In response to a firestorm of controversy, Marco Rubio did an impressively contorted dance of pretzel-twisted logic in a (failed) attempt to pander to both sides just prior to the event:
“It is now undeniable that there is a growing number of Americans who seek to expand that definition to include the union of two people of the same sex,” Rubio said in his speech. “I continue to support the traditional definition of marriage.”
“And I do so not because I seek to impose my views on others, not because I seek to discriminate against anyone … but because I believe the union of a man and a woman is a special relationship with an extraordinary record of success in raising children and strong and successful people,” he said.
He said those in favor and those opposed to same-sex marriage have a right to their views, and spoke out against “hateful rhetoric (from) both sides.”
Rubio criticized opposition to same-sex marriage being called “hate speech” and defended “the right of Americans to not be forced to violate the teachings of their faith in this matter.”
“This intolerance in the name of tolerance is hypocrisy,” he said.
But, he added, ” I must also speak to you about the rhetoric and actions of some of us who believe in traditional marriage, too. As we engage in the civic life of our country we are called to two important tasks. Yes, to stand for what our faith teaches, but also, to love people.”
Good luck with that, Paul.
And finally, in one final slap in the face, it appears the Trump campaign and/or the GOP is setting up a field office directly across the street from the Pulse Nightclub.
LGBTQ outreach…GOP style.