Report: Donald Trump to join Marco Rubio at anti-LGBT conference in Orlando

By : Billy Manes
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Now things are just getting ridiculous. We’ve all been attempting to erase the footprints in the sand that have led Marco Rubio to Orlando as a means of placating his own poor Christian/Catholic/Cuban-ish heart about the issue of “terrorism” in the wake of the June 12 Pulse massacre. A few weeks ago, we cornered Rubio on the whole “gay” thing as it pertains to the loss of 49 lives, and we were effectively met with a panicked face and a quick exit. Terrorists are bad, he said, because they perpetuate hatred of the various minorities, he said, nothing about gays, he said. Then, we said, “You mean, like the Republican Party?” Cameras shut down, a monster was escorted from a Pulse-adjacent furniture shop, and we walked away. Only later did we hear that he’d be back for another dip in the foam and fomenting of Orlando’s globally recognized tragedy, this time as guest speaker at the Florida Renewal Project/Liberty Counsel/Mat Staver powwow somewhere in Touristan.

So now, based on reports ranging from Bloomberg News, the Washington Blade and various political web portals, we’re hearing that Donald Trump himself will be doing his first private “Pastors and Pews” event – this very same event on Aug. 11-12, just two months after the policies of the GOP have killed or ruined the lives of 102 people – and, frankly, it’s disgusting.

Equality Florida has been planning to protest the event which is open to only “pastors and youth pastors, no media,” according to the event coordinators we contacted last week. That protest should now be even that much more important. Allegedly, the venue has changed from a Hyatt Regency to the Orange County Convention Center and should stretch the long ends of a three-communion lunch on Thursday. You can keep track of logistics of the protest here. If you need us, we’ll be cowering in a bathroom corner and giving up our lunch. Time to get fired up, people.

“Homosexual totalitarianism is out of the closet, the militants are trying herd Christians there,” parent group the Florida Renewal Project, American Renewal Project leader David Lane, says in a statement. Oh, really. REALLY?

THAT DOESN’T MEAN ANYTHING IN ANY CONTEXT. So please speak up. We’re depending on you.


Update: Florida LGBT leaders respond to Rubio, Aug. 9:

Open Letter From Florida LGBT Leaders Calling on Marco Rubio to Not Attend Anti-LGBT Rally

Dear Senator Rubio,

Two months ago, the single largest mass shooting in American history occurred in Orlando, targeting the LGBT and Latinx community. LGBT Americans have overcome unimaginable obstacles in their fight for equal rights in this country, and the immense weight of this tragedy will have a profound impact.

In response to the Pulse attack, you focused on how to launch your reelection campaign rather than how you could help your LGBT constituents and their families. Now, as the two month anniversary of the tragedy approaches, you’ve chosen to commemorate the date by speaking at an Orlando rally that opposes equal rights for LGBT Americans.

Senator Rubio, your presence as a guest of honor at a conference featuring vehemently anti-LGBT organizations and speakers legitimizes their discriminatory efforts to deny equal rights to all Americans. Your decision to stand with those who would deny us equality after refusing to stand with your LGBT constituents adds insult to injury.

In the wake of the Pulse shooting, the need for more love, tolerance, and inclusion has never been greater. Your choice to return to Orlando and lend your voice to those who stoke fear and division is unacceptable.

As your constituents and members of Florida’s LGBT community, we urge you to act in the best interest of all Floridians and not attend this rally.


Terry Fleming, President of the Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus

Vivian Rodriguez, President of the Democratic Hispanic Caucus of Florida

Carlos Guillermo Smith, former Orange County Executive Chair

Darden Rice, Vice Chair, St. Petersburg City Council


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