I suppose there are two questions here:
- Do Donald Trump's actions indicate an anti-LGBT stance, and have they had adverse effects on the LGBT community?
- Did Charlotte Pride reject the Deplorable Pride application on the basis of their support for Trump?
Donald Trump's positions on LGBT rights have been inconsistent and somewhat unclear. While in office, several other Trump actions have been cited as anti-LGBT:
- His support of the First Amendment Defense Act, which, according to its text,
Prohibits the federal government from taking discriminatory action against a person on the basis that such person believes or acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction that: (1) marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or (2) sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.
- His rollback of recommendations regarding the rights of transgender students to use their bathroom of choice in schools. The original guidelines, written under President Obama, were described as not having sufficient legal basis. Some Trump officials (including Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos) have state that Trump supports transgender rights but believes the issue should be left to the states.
- His signing of the Presidential Executive Order Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty. While the order does not address LGBT issues, it has been viewed as a step towards allowing discrimination based on religious beliefs (though ACLU director Anthony Romero described it as having "no discernible policy outcome").
- His refusal to acknowledge June as Pride Month, breaking with recent presidential traditions (Bill Clinton and Barack Obama). This has been heavily criticized by the LGBT community.
Trump has yet to take drastic action against the LGBT community, although the above seem to indicate an anti-LGBT position. However, his aides continue to state that he supports LGBT rights.
Something a little more damning is Trump's choice of top officials, including cabinet picks and his vice president, Mike Pence. From the Huffington Post article:
The article also mentions Mike Pence, the vice president. Pence is arguably the strongest anti-LGBT official aligned with Trump. He is notable for, as governor of Indiana, signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which seems quite similar to the First Amendment Defense Act. It has been strongly condemned as allowing for discrimination based on the sexual orientation of a customer.
It is unclear as to how many of these individual beliefs Trump shares, and I'm certain that Trump did not appoint (or, in the case of Pence, choose as running mate) any of these people solely on the basis of their views on LGBT rights. However, his choice of associates should certainly send a message.
Trump's previous positions on LGBT rights have been mixed. It is interesting to note that, in 2015, Trump supported enforcement of the Supreme Court's decision on gay marriage, stating
“Because we had a ruling from the Supreme Court and we are a country of laws and you have to do what the Supreme Court ultimately, whether you like the decision or not and it was a 5-4 decision, whether you like the decision or not, you have to go along with the Supreme Court,” Mr. Trump said. “That’s the way it is.”
This is not a statement of support for the position supported by the decision, but support for enforcement of said decision.
Going back to the case of Charlotte Pride, it is not clear what their exact reasons for rejecting the Deplorable Pride float were. However, their statement does contain one notable phrase (emphasis mine):
In the past, we have made similar decisions to decline participation from other organizations espousing anti-LGBTQ religious or public policy stances.
The group may see it as reasonable to interpret Trump's support of the First Amendment Defense Act (along with the executive order) as a case of religious stances, while the rollback of transgender student rights and his lack of acknowledgment of Pride Month would appear to be public policy stances.
Another part of Charlotte Pride's rationale may have been Trump's schedule speech on June 8th at the Road to Majority conference, and event put together by the Faith and Freedom Coalition, a Christian group that opposes gay marriage. On their website, they state that one of their principles is
Respect for the sanctity and dignity of life, family, and marriage as the foundations of a free society
It is noteworthy that the application rejection came one day before this speech took place.
I don't think there's a straightforward answer to either of the two questions I posed at the beginning. The best I could come up with would be
- Yes, although they have so far been relatively minor, and he has attempted to verbally reaffirm his support for the LGBT community.
- It's unclear. If Charlotte Pride did indeed reject the application because of the applicant group's support for Trump, then it seems that their rationale - the characterization of Trump as anti-LGBT has - some merit. However, the group that applied does appear to be strongly pro-LGBT, as it considers itself an LGBT pride group.
Donald Trump has not yet taken any actions against the LGBT community that could be qualified as "oppressive". He has taken action against the choice of bathrooms for transgender students and has signed an order that some have stated forms loopholes for anti-LGBT speech, although that was not its target. Trump's choice of advisors with anti-LGBT prejudices may signal a policy leaning in that direction, but no action has been taken. We've only really seen indications of his possible position, no major legal action.