• Garison Carrell (L) and Avery Anderson (R) at the Republican National Convention in Ohio, July 2016. (Ben Winsor / SBS )Source: Ben Winsor / SBS
"President-elect Trump will be far better for the gay community than Secretary Clinton would have been."
Ben Winsor

10 Nov 2016 - 4:03 PM  UPDATED 26 Apr 2017 - 2:19 PM

National exit polls from the New York Times have shown that 78% of LGBT+ voters supported Clinton, while 14% voted for Donald Trump.

While they’re in the minority in the LGBT+ community, they’re an ecstatic minority.

Gregory Angelo, the head of the gay Log Cabin Republicans group, watched the results on Fox News in bed as his boyfriend slept next to him.

“I’ve wanted him to be president since I was 10-years-old,” he told SBS.

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In a way, it’s somewhat surprising that Trump’s support wasn’t higher – he specifically included references to LGBT+ Americans in his speeches and spared them from the barbs directed at other minorities.

“This is a victory for America and specifically our gay citizens,” Garison Carrell, a gay Republican in Oklahoma told us, “the fear mongering the left has done is absurd."

“Trump has been branded by the left as something he is not. President-elect Trump will be far better for the gay community than Secretary Clinton would have been as our executive,” he says.

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But the truth is Trump appears to have performed worse among LGBT+ Americans than previous, more socially conservative candidates Republican candidates. In 2008, McCain won over 27% of LGBT+ voters. Romney won 22% in 2012.

Perhaps part of that was the concerted effort Hillary Clinton made to woo LGBT+ voters – speaking strongly for same-sex marriage and anti-discrimination legislation.

Carrell rejects that.

“These are state issues or have been decided by the Supreme Court. Gay marriage has been decided in the US,” he says.

“While Trump was attending gay weddings and hanging out with gay friends, Hillary was supporting the Defence of Marriage Act and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell."

“The era when it actually mattered, not in the post-gay society in which we currently live,” he says. 

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But Trump’s mixed record on LGBT+ rights may have turned off those less enthusiastic than Carrell.

Trump has hedged on same-sex marriage, positioning it as a state issue. He selected a strong social conservative, Mike Pence, as a running mate.

As Governor of Indiana, Pence gave businesses the right to discriminate against LGBT+ people for religious reasons and also supported ‘gay conversion therapy’.

Carrell says that doesn't matter to him.

"The Vice President has no power, outside of breaking a tie in the Senate, of which we already have 51 plus votes, rendering his position impotent," he tells SBS.

Dale Giesige, a gay Trump supporter in the swing-state of Ohio, says while he thinks Trump will be good for the LGBT+ community, he's not a single issue voter.

“I'm relieved our country can address some issues that would not be addressed if Hillary won," he says.

“Trump represents forward progress while Hillary Clinton represented more of a stuck in the mud, 'nothing wrong here' attitude."

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