Tiffany Trump was back on the campaign trail this week defending what she called President Donald Trump's support for the LGBTQ community — and plenty of people had plenty to say in response.
"I am part of the LGBTQ. I am a gay man. Donald Trump does NOT represent me, and neither does: Tiffany Trump. Donald has attacked my community in the military and through executive orders attacking the ACA," advocate Peter Morley wrote in a viral tweet.
“Seeing Tiffany Trump try to label her father, someone who banned trans people from serving in the army, tried to change the legal definition of gender & worked to make it possible for LGBTQ people to be discriminated against, as an LGBTQ ally makes my skin crawl as an LGBTQ person,” another Twitter user, who identifies as a Democratic supporter, wrote.
Tiffany, 27, hosted a Saturday afternoon Pride event in Florida, sponsored by her father's re-election campaign, along with Richard Grenell, who was the highest-ranking openly gay official in the Trump administration.
“I know what my father believes in,” the president's youngest daughter told the crowd, adding she was speaking “truthfully, honestly and from my heart.”
“Prior to politics he supported gays, lesbians the LGBQIA+ community, okay!” Tiffany said, shifting her energy between excited and somber throughout her speech.
At one point, Tiffany introduced her mother, Trump's second wife, Marla Maples, who stood up, jumped and waved with both hands to the small crowd.
Immediately after, as attendees were still cheering, Tiffany dramatically shifted the tone.
"Back in the Broadway days — I mean, let's just — I mean, some of her best friends when she was on Broadway, unfortunately one of her best friends passed away from AIDS," she said.
In addition to the wave of viral social media criticism, other users defended Tiffany, arguing that she was being unfairly maligned compared with Democratic nominee Joe Biden's son Hunter, who has a long history of personal troubles and substance abuse.
But Tiffany's critics honed in on what they called obvious hypocrisy, particularly for someone who has largely avoided her father's political career.
(She has faced other recent backlash, including for a birthday party in Miami during the novel coronavirus pandemic that Trump detractors turned into a viral video.)
The president, 74, has taken contradictory stances on the LGBTQ community — at times presenting himself as an ally, unlike many other Republicans, while at others advancing policy to marginalize gay and transgender people.
His campaign website says that Trump "stands in solidarity with LGBT citizens by supporting and enacting policies and initiatives that protect the wellbeing and prosperity of all gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Americans."
His record shows otherwise.
Earlier this summer, The New York Times reported the president’s administration moved to erase Affordable Care Act mandates that specifically protect transgender Americans from being discriminated against in healthcare settings.
Separately, the Trump administration pushed forward this summer to grant single-sex shelters the ability to deny transgender homeless individuals shelter, while the government also moved to block transgender high school students from being able to join sports teams.
In 2019, the Trump administration’s ban to keep transgender military members from serving was deemed “insidious” by one nonpartisan policy group, according to NBC News.
And the government under President Trump had backed legal arguments that employers could fire people for being gay or transgender.
During his 2016 campaign, he also said he opposed gay marriage.
“Donald Trump is delusional if he thinks he can spend three years attacking our rights and then turn around and ask for our vote," Florida state Rep. Michele Rayner, the first Black queer woman ever elected to the statehouse, told the South Florida Gay News on Monday. "Waving a rainbow flag for an afternoon means nothing after his administration appointed dozens of anti-LGBTQ judges to federal courts, codified discrimination against transgender Americans, and are fighting to overturn the Affordable Care Act, and its protections for our community.”
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