Republican presidential candidate, former US President Donald Trump and former first lady Melania Trump arrive at the home of billionaire investor John Paulson on April 6, 2024 in Palm Beach, Florida Source: Alon Skuy/Getty Images

Melania Trump Announces Plan to Copycat Biden's LGBTQ+ Election Outreach

Kilian Melloy READ TIME: 2 MIN.

Melania Trump, wife of Donald Trump, made a rare campaign-related appearance at a Log Cabin Republicans fundraising event at Mar-a-Lago on April 20, and unveiled a plan for the former president's campaign to reach out to LGBTQ+ voters.

The announcement came after President Joe Biden – to whom Trump lost his reelection bid in 2020 – launched a similar initiative earlier this month to engage a bloc that helped propel him to the White House.

"Addressing conservative LGBTQ+ supporters at the sold-out fundraiser, Melania Trump said money raised that night – more than $1 million, according to organizers – would go toward an effort to deploy resources to key swing states in educating voters about conservative LGBTQ+ causes and delivering pro-Trump messages among gay and lesbian communities, said Bill White, one of the co-hosts and a longtime friend of Donald Trump," ABC News reported.

Richard Grennell, the out former ambassador and onetime acting head of national intelligence during Trump's tenure, "will be spearheading the new Log Cabin Republicans initiative with help from White, a former president of the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, and White's husband, Bryan Eure, a senior vice president at insurance brokerage firm Willis Towers Watson," ABC News added.

White claimed that Melania Trump was making outreach to LGBTQ+ votes a "top priority," ABC News relayed, with White saying that Melania – who mostly stayed out off the campaign trail in 2016 and in 2020 – would be participating in "upcoming activities" related to the initiative.

Whether the LGBTQ+ community will respond is an open question.

"Polling shows that he has notably lagged with those voters in the past," ABC News detailed, noting that Biden "won self-identified members of the LGBTQ+ community over Trump, 64-27%" in 2020 – though ABC noted, "that was a slight improvement for Trump compared with 2016, when he got only 14%."

Trump's single term in the Oval Office was marked by a number of anti-LGBTQ+ moves, including the barring of transgender service members (a ban that Trump announced by tweet), the narrowing of Title IX protections for queer students, a rollback of exemptions for partnered diplomats from nations that do not recognize marriage equality, and supporting efforts to enable physicians to deny care to LGBTQ+ people, among other actions seen as harmful.

As president, Donald Trump also installed three conservative justices to the Supreme Court – a court that now, nine years after clearing the way for nationwide marriage equality, has signaled interest in revisiting the question of whether same-sex couples deserve the same marriage rights as their heterosexual countrymen. Advocates for marriage equality noted the court's overturning of Roe v. Wade, ending a half-century of federal protections for women's right to determine their own reproductive destinies.

Still, LGBTQ+ conservatives have been vocal in their support of Trump's pursuit of a second term.

"They hear us, they see us, and they love us," ABC quoted White as saying of the Trumps.

by Kilian Melloy , EDGE Staff Reporter

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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