Gay rights activist and Maryland candidate for governor Richard Madaleno (D) has released a campaign ad largely targeted against President Trump. In his beginning lines, Madaleno declares: “I’m running for governor to deliver progressive results, and to stand up to Donald Trump. Here are a few of the things I’ve done that already infuriate him.”
As the ad continues, with activists — including school children — stating repeatedly, “take that, Trump” over numerous issues such as Madaleno protecting Planned Parenthood in Congress, helping to ban “assault weapons” in Maryland (at which point Madaleno predictably hits out at the NRA), and the candidate further takes the typical aim at Betsy DeVos for her daring to support education vouchers. Yawn.
But here comes the finale: Madalena says: “And what’s the number one way I piss off Donald Trump and the Republicans?” At that point, Madaleno kisses his husband and then declares once more, “Take that, Trump.”
Where do we start?
First of all, President Trump likely has no idea who Rich Madaleno is. But let’s just leave that aside, for now.
Donald Trump has said more than once that he’s not a supporter of gay marriage. But he’s certainly not uncomfortable with the topic: the president has not only supported gay friends who have joined in union, but as a presidential candidate during the Pulse nightclub shooting, he was the only Republican prospect to proclaim the attack as an “assault” on people’s ability to “love who they want and express their identity.”
Trump has also said in the past that he supports amending the 1964 Civil Rights Act to “include a ban of discrimination based on sexual orientation.” While in office, he controversially re-nominated an LGBT activist from the Obama Administration to head the EEOC (to the chagrin of some Republicans), where she still resides.
Repeatedly, President Trump has said that gay people are “tremendous” and that “there can be no discrimination against gays.”
On the other hand, President Trump has recently fought to impose limits on transgender troops in the military. So while he’s certainly not a full-fledged gay rights activist, he also isn’t likely phased by Madalena kissing his spouse. If he even ever hears about it.
What about Trump supporters from the LGBTQ community?
At the Republican National Convention in July 2016, billionaire Peter Thiel (founder of PayPal) spoke and declared to the increasingly cheering audience: “I am proud to be gay. I am proud to be a Republican. But most of all, I am proud to be an American.”
Thiel later told The New York Times about his support of Trump and his convention appearance, “I think Trump is very good on gay rights…For speaking at the Republican convention, I got attacked way more by liberal gay people than by conservative Christian people.”
During the same campaign, Gregory T. Angelo, president of the Log Cabin Republicans (a group which supports gay conservatives) said of Trump: “He will be the most gay-friendly Republican nominee for president ever,” adding, “It’s a complicated relationship that Trump has with the LGBT community, but if ever there was a group that can be said to have had a warm relationship with Trump, it’s LGBT individuals.”
So how about that campaign video?
Check out this beauty: