Donald Trump has tried to court the LGBTQ community throughout his campaign, most recently by holding up an upside down “LGBTs For Trump” rainbow flag at a rally in Colorado, but his policies beg to differ.
In addition to saying he would appoint right-wing judges, overturn gay marriage, and his choice of antigay Mike Pence for his running mate, Trump supports the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), which would allow for discrimination against the LGBTQ community in areas such as employment, healthcare, housing, and in private business so long as the individual can cite a strongly held religious belief.
The bill is sponsored by Republicans Sen. Mike Lee of Utah and Rep. Raúl Labrador of Idaho.
Lee does not support Trump and has even called on him to drop out of the race after the release of the “Access Hollywood” tape. Lee’s name was floated as a possible Supreme Court pick to fill the vacancy left by the late Antonin Scalia, which reportedly helped sway Lee’s close friend Ted Cruz into support Trump. It did not move Lee, however.
Labrador has endorsed Trump, saying that while he objects to many of the comments he has made on the campaign trail, he agrees with his policies and fears a Clinton presidency more.
And Labrador is not alone in supporting both Trump and FADA.
Seven of the presidential candidates he beat in the Republican primary also think it should be legal to discriminate against the LGBTQ community and hope that Trump can be the man to get the job done.
Trump did not sign the letter the American Principles Project, the Heritage Foundation, and the Family Research Council sent to candidates at the end of last year pledging “to push for the passage of the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) and sign it into law during the first 100 days of my term as President.”
But he signaled support soon after, provided Congress considers it a priority, and added his intention to sign it on his website.
Ted Cruz withheld his support of Trump for awhile, eventually coming around in September, but he was on board with FADA without reservation. He was one of six candidates who signed the letter pledging to push for its passage and to sign it into law within his first 100 days in office. He has also cosponsored the bill.
Marco Rubio has cosponsored FADA and also signed the letter of support. He reiterated his support for it in February at the South Carolina Faith and Family Presidential Forum.
Mike Huckabee signed the letter pledging to support FADA and had previously signaled his support when asked by The Pulse 2016.
Trump adviser Rick Santorum also signed the letter of support. Santorum was named part of Trump’s 35 member Catholic Advisory Council. Santorum said that if he became president and FADA wasn’t passed by Congress he would pass it with an executive order.
Ben Carson signed the letter supporting FADA as well, and has recently made headlines for saying it “doesn’t matter” if Trump sexually assaulted women, as well as for claiming same-sex marriage will lead to mass killings and chaos.
Carly Fiorina, like Cruz, took her time backing Trump after a harsh primary campaign, which included him speaking disparagingly about her looks. Fiorina has come aboard the Trump train, however, and also signed the FADA letter.
Rand Paul, like Rubio, cosponsored FADA. He did not sign the letter. He also was initially slow to endorse Trump initially but came around in May.
Fellow 2016 Republican primary candidates Jeb Bush and Lindsey Graham have both said they support FADA as well, but do not support Trump.