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While Donald Trump framed himself as a supporter of the LGBTQ community following the mass shooting at Orlando’s Pulse gay nightclub, his record on key gay rights issues tells a much different story.

“I refuse to allow America to become a place where gay people… are the targets of persecution and intimidation,” he said in his speech on Monday. “Ask yourself, who is really the friend of women and the LGBT community, Donald Trump with his actions, or Hillary Clinton with her words?”

Trump’s actions, though, show that the Republican nominee is lukewarm at best — and hostile at worst — on marriage equality and anti-discrimination policies.

Earlier this year, Trump expressed conditional support for the First Amendment Defense Act, a bill that justifies anti-gay discrimination on the basis of religious liberty.

“If Congress considers the First Amendment Defense Act a priority, then I will do all I can to make sure it comes to my desk for signatures and enactment,” Trump wrote in a letter to the American Principles Project, a socially conservative group, according to The Washington Blade.

The bill would allow federal employees to refuse to perform their responsibilities if they conflict with their opposition to same-sex marriage, and prevent the government from taking any action in response. Some say FADA would effectively enable government workers to refuse service to same-sex couples, following the infamous (and illegal) actions of county clerk Kim Davis — who Trump has refused to denounce or publicly oppose.  

When it comes to marriage equality itself, Trump’s public comments aren’t any better. Although he often says gay marriage should be left up to individual states, he has expressed an overall opposition to marriage equality on more than one recent occasion.

Earlier this year, he called Ted Cruz crazy and “the worst liar” on Twitter when the former presidential candidate said Trump supported Obama’s views on the issue.

And when the Supreme Court issued its landmark ruling on same-sex marriage in June 2015, he wrote on Twitter that the court “had let us down.”

His most unambiguous comments on the issue came weeks earlier, when, he said on Fox’s Hannity, “I am traditional. I am for traditional, and it’s a changing format, but I am very much for traditional marriage.”

These views may seem innocuous, if unsupportive, given the Supreme Court ruling, but Trump also expressed an interest in appointing judges who could overturn the gay marriage decision.

“If I’m elected I would be very strong in putting certain judges on the bench that maybe could change things, but they have a long way to go,” he said on Fox News Sunday in January.

When host Chris Wallace clarified, “are you saying that if you become President you might try to appoint justices to overrule the decision on same-sex marriage?” Trump said he “would strongly consider” such an approach.

The New York Times has gone so far as to say that Trump’s views are more accepting than his former opponents in the Republican primary contest. While that may be true, his expressed policy views make it difficult to see him becoming “a friend” to the LGBTQ community — regardless of his political pandering after a mass shooting.

Photo: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump delivers a campaign speech about national security in Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S. June 13, 2016.  REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was on CNN Sunday morning with Jake Tapper on his State of the Union show. In part because Democratic reps, like Republican reps, going on Sunday shows is about this coming election, and in part because newscasters are not particularly deep or creative when it comes to talking about politics, Tapper decided to spend a lot of time trying to get Ocasio-Cortez to attack Joe Biden for their differences of political opinions. Newsflash: Ocasio-Cortez, progressive hero, co-author of the ambitious Green New Deal environmental package, and Vice President Joe Biden aren't exactly on the same page as to how to handle climate change.

More to the point, Tapper asked Ocasio-Cortez whether or not she was bothered by the fact that Biden has not said he would outright ban fracking. The move to ban fracking in states across the country has been a seesaw battle of fossil fuel interests fighting against progressive environmentalism and science. Biden's refusal to provide full-throated support for a ban on fracking is disappointing to many of us on the left, but it isn't surprising. Even more importantly, it is below the most essential first step the progressive movement—and the country for that matter—needs to take: getting rid of Donald Trump and getting rid of the Republican majority in the Senate.

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez isn't going to be pulled into a pointless argument about fracking with Jake Tapper. Her position is well-reported. So is Biden's. AOC explains very clearly that this is how politics work in a representative democracy.

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: It does not bother me. I believe, and I have a very strong position on fracking. You know, the science is very clear, the methane emissions from fracking are up to 64 times more powerful than CO2 emissions and trapping heat in the air, and just from a perspective of stopping climate change there is a scientific consensus. However, that is my view. Vice President Biden has made very clear that he does not agree with the fracking ban and I consider that, you know—it will be a privilege to lobby him should we win the White House but we need to focus on winning the White House first. I am happy to make my case but I also understand he is in disagreement on that issue.

Tapper wonders whether this will depress the youth vote, a vote that AOC represents more closely than Biden. This, of course, is literally the only reason Trump and his surrogates have been bringing up this difference of positions the last couple of weeks. The hope is that it will depress the more progressive vote, while spooking some more conservative-leaning folks in fossil-fuel heavy states like Pennsylvania and Texas. Ocasio-Cortez points out that the youth vote over the past couple of years has not simply become more sophisticated since 2016, it has brought in more progressive candidates and officials into local elections. The turnout in 2018 showed that, and Ocasio-Cortez believes that this election is very clearly a choice between Donald Trump, someone who is a non-starter of a human being, and Joe Biden.

Tapper then plays a clip of Biden telling reporters that he isn't "getting rid of fossil fuels for a long time," but that he's talking about getting rid of the subsidies the fake free-marketeers enjoy in the fossil fuel industry. While Tapper is hoping that this will illustrate how Biden isn't AOC and the youth vote may be turned off by this statement, she sees it as an important step in the right direction.

REP. OCASIO-CORTEZ: When he says we are eliminating subsidies, I think that is, frankly, an important first step. A lot of folks who like to tout themselves as free market capitalists, while still trying to make sure they get as much government subsidy, and propping up of the fossil fuel industry as possible. ... If you do believe in markets, solar and renewable energies are growing less and less expensive by the day in many areas. They are starting to become less expensive than fossil fuels. When you eliminate government subsidies, it becomes more difficult for fossil fuels to compete in the market. I think while the vice president wants to make sure that he is not doing it by government mandate or regulation. I do believe that we are moving towards that future. I believe that there's a way and that we should push that process along but again, the vice president and my disagreements are, I believe, recorded and that is quite all right.