Gays for Trump 'Make America Great Again' Float Banned at Charlotte Gay Pride
LGBT supporters of President Donald Trump were barred from participating in a gay pride parade in Charlotte, North Carolina, and told that they don't reflect the so-called values of the celebration.
Derek Van Cleve, spokesman for Gays for Trump, told Todd Starnes of Fox News on Thursday that his group had made a patriotic float and were ready to join the parade when they were rejected. "It was going to support Donald Trump. It was going to be a patriotic float with American flags and a few 'Make America Great Again' flags."
Van Cleve said the group's float was also going to feature drag queens dressed up in Trump's popular 2016 campaign slogans.
"We wanted to have a couple of drag queens on the float dancing in 'Make America Great Again' dresses," he continued.
"All we wanted to do is let the community know the gay community does not speak for every single gay — just like the mayor of Pittsburgh does not speak for every single person in Pittsburgh," he added.
As Fox 46 reported a day earlier, Charlotte Pride has not explained why it rejected the float, but stated that it has "the right to decline participation at our events to groups or organizations which do not reflect the mission, vision and values of our organization."
A spokesman added that "in the past, we have made similar decisions to decline participation from other organizations espousing religious or public policy stances."
Van Cleve said that all he wanted to prove was that "not every single lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender citizen is anti-Trump."
"Some of us love him and some of us support him — including myself," he added.
Starnes, who is host of Fox News & Commentary, reflected on the issue by writing: "Charlotte Pride should be celebrating diversity. Instead, it appears they are shoving gay Republicans back into the closet."
Trump's policy decisions on LGBT issues have both been praised and slammed by conservatives, on different matters.
As The Christian Post reported in February, Trump left many conservatives in "dismay" when he renewed former President Barack Obama's executive order mandating that businesses with federal contracts must have anti-discrimination policies on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Liberty Counsel President Mat Staver warned at the time: "Such a policy opens women's restrooms to men. To force businesses to be at the mercy of a person's subjective and changing thoughts or be forced to allow those with ill intent to cause harm is absurd."
At the end of March, however, Trump changed course and signed an executive order officially revoking Obama's 2014 order.
Abraham Hamilton III, public policy analyst for the American Family Association, told CP in an emailed statement that he and his organization were "encouraged" by Trump's decision.
"American citizens should not be forced to abandon their faith in order to contract with the federal government. We hope this is an early indication that religious freedom protection will be a defining feature of President Trump's legacy," Hamilton wrote at the time.
Additionally, Trump said during the campaign that he did not support the Supreme Court's 2015 decision on Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized gay marriage in the United States.
Following his election victory, he told CBS in an interview that gay marriage is now "settled" and "law," indicating that he would not be seeking to change the same-sex marriage ruling.
LGBT activists, on the other hand, have criticized Trump's executive order promoting religious liberty in May.
Prominent legal experts on religious freedom, such as Staver, told CP at the time that while the order does not enact concrete relief for Christian business owners and others who face legal challenges for refusing to offer their services for same-sex weddings, it still established that Trump's administration is set to "vigorously" protect religious freedom in the country.