Blog ››› ››› MARLEE PITTMAN
The Tampa Bay Times highlighted the anti-LGBT extremists scheduled to speak alongside Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fl) at a two-day event in Orlando, FL, this week. Trump and Rubio’s scheduled appearance comes just two months after a gunman killed 49 people at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando.
The “Rediscovering God in America Renewal Project” event will be held in Orlando on August 11 and 12, the two-month anniversary of the Orlando massacre. The event is stocked with anti-LGBT extremists, including a pseudo-historian who has questioned why the government doesn’t “regulate homosexuality” like it does trans fats and a conspiracy theorist who believes that the “atheist homosexual gay agenda movement” will bring America “into an Islamic future.” The event’s host organization, the American Renewal Project, is financed by the American Family Association -- an organization designated as an anti-LGBT hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) -- and run by David Lane, a man who predicted that “homosexuals praying” at President Obama’s 2013 inauguration would invoke the wrath of God in the form of “car bombs in Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and Des Moines, Iowa.”
In an August 10 blog post about Trump’s appearance at the event, the Tampa Bay Times highlighted the event's anti-LGBT speakers. While other Florida outlets failed to report the event’s anti-LGBT extremism, the Times noted that LGBT advocates have denounced Trump and Rubio’s planned appearances as “incredibly insensitive” given its timing. The Times also reported that Mat Staver, an event speaker and chairman of the Liberty Counsel -- also an SPLC-designated anti-LGBT hate group -- previously attacked memorials for victims of the Orlando massacre.
From the August 10 edition of the Tampa Bay Times’ blog The Buzz:
Criticism continues to mount over an appearance of Marco Rubio — and now Donald Trump — at a religious conference in Orlando this week that comes two months after the Pulse shootings that devastated the gay community and generated international mourning.
“Just when you think Donald Trump and Marco Rubio couldn’t go any lower, they announce plans to court anti-LGBTQ activists in Orlando. On Thursday, Donald Trump and Marco Rubio are going to seek votes from people who fundamentally believe we are not equal, who support dangerous and harmful conversion therapy and who have worked to export anti-LGBTQ hate abroad,” Human Rights Campaign said in a news release.
After the Pulse slaying, Rubio acknowledged the gay community was targeted. “We know what ISIS has done to people they accuse of being homosexual. They throw them off of buildings. They execute them,” he told The Advocate.
But that has not quieted critics who say his appearance shows he is out of step with the country and incredibly insensitive given the timing and some of the speakers who will join Rubio.
For instance, Mat Staver, chairman of the Liberty Counsel, said that some mourning after the Pulse shooting amounted to a “homosexual love fest …. That’s not something that we need to celebrate, this is a tragedy that is against all Americans.”
Trump’s campaign would not confirm his attendance but it’s been widely reported that he will address hundreds of pastors.
“He will speak to them about his push to repeal the Johnson Amendment. The law, which has been in place for decades, has made it more difficult for pastors to speak out on political issues and candidates from the pulpit,” read a story from Christian Broadcasting News.