After the Democratic National Convention, The Washington Examiner's Sean Langille spoke with Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) about what's to come as the general election approaches.
At the end of the interview, Langille asked Booker the following question:
“We've also seen some polls showing an uptick in some support in the gay community for Donald Trump. What do you tell the gay community about Donald Trump?”
Visibly stunned, Booker replied:
"That's terrifying. I mean, the reality is we have Donald Trump, who picked probably the most anti-gay vice presidential candidate we've had in a long time...
I mean, [Mike] Pence has led an effort to try to let there be legal discrimination against LGBTQ people. So, clearly, we are the party of civil rights, workers rights, civil rights, and definitely gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender rights."
But the data shows that Langille's correct. According to Reuters polling, LGBT support for Donald Trump has risen with relative consistency over the last several months.
In March, Trump had just 13.5% support from LGBT voters, but in May, that rose to 18.3%. Trump's numbers took a slight dip in June before rocketing to 23% in late July. However, it must be noted that the sample size of the July poll is quite small.
Trump's 23% support puts him right in line with Mitt Romney, who received 23% of the LGBT vote in 2012, and John McCain, who received 27% in 2008, according to Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research.
Independent Journal Review spoke with two gay Trump supporters to get a better understanding of their position.
Lucian Wintrich, brand strategist and artist/photographer
Wintrich, who recently came under fire for photographing models wearing “Make America Great Again” hats, says he's “enjoyed Trump ever since his feud with Rosie O’Donnell.”
He adds that his support for Trump initially stemmed from being sick of “the snowflake mentality that many young Americans have; to claim oppression while working to oppress the voice of others.”
However, it's Trump's position regarding Islamic extremism that's a central part of Wintrich's interest:
"We have a growing problem internationally with Islamic extremism. Donald Trump has for the first time called this out as an ideological problem, and placed it center stage for discussion and debate.
According to an ICM Unlimited survey, a majority of Muslims in London want homosexuality banned, yet Hillary wants a 500% increase of Syrians in America.
Oddly enough, we are not allowed to say 'I really don’t want sixty-five thousand people here who, statistically, at best, want me arrested, and at worst, want me dead.' The second you say that, people shout 'Islamophobia!'"
In the end, Wintrich says “freedom” is the most essential aspect of his support for Trump, which he doesn't see as a priority with Hillary Clinton:
"I want to live in a country where people don’t trash cartoonists for drawing Muhammad, but embrace them for confronting a pre-enlightenment way of thinking. I want to live in a country where university students don't attempt to defund their school newspaper because of an op-ed critiquing Black Lives Matter.
Paramount to all of this, I want to live in a country where constitutional freedoms are protected rather than persecuted. All of these issues I see a Clinton presidency only exacerbating, and a Trump presidency extinguishing."
Wintrich notes that Donald Trump has been consistently pro-gay throughout most of his career and only recently cooled to please the Republican base. However, he says Clinton “has always been a gay rights opportunist.”
Christopher Barron, co-founder of GOProud
Christopher Barron was initially a Rand Paul supporter, but says he accepts that the party didn't go in that direction.
Like Wintrich, the central reason Barron supports Trump, and not Clinton, is because of the way in which each candidate deals with radical Islamic terrorism:
“Donald Trump understands the existential threat that radical Islam poses to Western civilization—and LGBT people in particular. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have sacrificed LGBT lives on the altar of political correctness, choosing instead to value protecting the feelings of Muslims over the lives of those radical Islam seeks to exterminate.”
Barron also notes that Trump is a “repudiation of business as usual,” which he finds refreshing:
“Trump, love him or hate him, does what he believes is right, what he believes is in the best interest of our country. He doesn't make his decisions after consulting the special interests and self-appointed leadership of the conservative movement.”
He adds that Trump's new Republican tent will include “working class people, LGBT Americans, social moderates and libertarians.”
Lastly, Barron believes issues like transgender restrooms and wedding cakes are a distraction from a much more serious threat:
"For LGBT Americans, this election is not going to be about bathrooms or who is going to bake our wedding cakes. This election is literally a matter of life or death. We are facing a threat from radical Islam that can not be understated.
Radical Islam seeks to exterminate LGBT people across the globe. While Donald Trump is committed to defeating these barbarians, Hillary Clinton is taking tens of millions of dollars from Islamic regimes that brutalize — and in some cases murder — their LGBT citizens."
Barron concludes that while electing Trump (whom he's been quite critical of in the past) may be a gamble, electing Hillary Clinton would put Americans in critical danger.
Wintrich and Barron are not alone in their support of Donald Trump, and as we've seen over the last few months, LGBT support for the real estate mogul is only increasing.