A ‘Gays for Trump’ group is considering legal action after it was excluded from a Pride march in the US city of Charlotte.
Brian Talbert, a member of ‘Gays for Trump’ – which attempts to win LGBT support for US President Donald Trump – says that he applied to have a float in the parade scheduled for August of this year in Charlotte, North Carolina.
He says he received a letter this week from the event’s organisers, however, telling him that he was not allowed.
The news comes a week after Donald Trump ditched Barack Obama’s eight-year long tradition to host LGBT Pride celebrations in the White House during June.
Talbert, who sticks a ‘Not a liberal’ sign in the back window of his car, told Fox News: “It was going to be fun. We wanted to be energetic.
“We wanted to show that we weren’t the racist, bigot, misogynistic… We wanted to show that we are Americans, [and we] love our country and our president.
“We wanted to be there to celebrate gay pride. Everything fell into place except being able to celebrate who I am.”
Charlotte Pride responded, telling Fox News that it reserves the right to exclude groups that “do not reflect the mission, vision and values of our organisation”.
They added: “In the past, we have made similar decisions to decline participation from other organizations espousing anti-LGBTQ religious or public policy stances.
The ‘Gays for Trump’ group has been criticised by some LGBT advocates
“Charlotte Pride invites all individuals, groups, organizations and causes which share our values to join our community’s celebration of the LGBTQ community, history, arts and culture.”
‘Gays for Trump’ has provoked controversy within America’s LGBT community, with some LGBT advocates accusing the group of supporting an anti-transgender president.
Similar anger has been seen In France, where many commentators were surprised by a poll suggesting a third of gay voters planned to vote for far-right candidate Marine Le Pen earlier this year, despite her promise to abolish same-sex marriage.
Talbert criticised the decision to exclude him, commenting: “For a group of people to claim to want tolerance, acceptance, and give it to every single person you can imagine to give it to, for them to sit back and judge me for exercising my right as an American to choose my leader without judgment is hypocritical.”
“I don’t judge them for how they vote. I believe men and women died to give us that right to choose our own leader. They don’t extend the same courtesy to me being a gay Republican.”
Earlier this year ‘Gays for Trump’ organised a series of rallies across a number of US cities, including Washington DC, Virginia Beach, Raleigh, North Carolina, New York City, Berkeley, Reno, Nevada and Las Vegas.
The group’s president, Peter Boykin, told The Washington Blade that everyone was welcome at the rallies.
The Donald Trump administration has come under fire for its LGBT rights policies.
One month after being inaugurated, Trump officially rolled back a series of discrimination protections for transgender students at US universities introduced under the Obama administration.