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Participants carry a rainbow flag during a parade along Ocean Drive at Miami Beach Gay Pride, Sunday, April 10, 2016, in Miami Beach, Fla. The annual event is meant to bring together members of the LGBT community, along with friends, families, and their supports. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

LGBT Republicans are feeling more accepted, and they're giving credit to Trump


LGBT Republicans are feeling more accepted, and they're giving credit to Trump

WATCH | Log Cabin Republicans are feeling at home at CPAC, and they say President Trump has helped them increase their membership.

The conservative movement has not always been kind to the LGBT movement.

In 2015, the Conservative Political Action Conference -- one of the largest annual gatherings of conservatives -- was accused of banning the largest conservative LGBT group, the Log Cabin Republicans, from the event.

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But things have come a long way since then. “I’m glad to say our sponsorship this year seems to be a non-event," Log Cabin Republicans President Gregory Angelo told Circa. 

"This had been what we were hoping for and wanted all along -- to show Americans in general that Log Cabin Republicans and LGBT conservatives are a thing and are an important part of the fabric of this country," Angelo added.

And this year, it has gone beyond just sponsoring the event.

“Log Cabin Republicans was part of the many other organizations ... that assisted with the planning of this year’s CPAC," Angelo said.

Angelo believes that President Trump, like CPAC, is embracing the gay community.

“One of the things Trump has done is given political cover to Republicans to talk about LGBT issues," Angelo said. "One of Trump’s first acts in office was to maintain LGBT non-discrimination policy [for] federal contractors. And ... he made a point of proclaiming it, so yes, I see all of those things getting better.”

And Trump has helped grow the Log Cabin Republicans' membership.

“We’ve seen a curious new contingent emerge at Log Cabin Republicans -- people who have been inspired to become a part of Republican politics as LGBT individuals specifically because of President Trump," Angelo told Circa.

While the group is bullish on Trump in general, the recent decision to rescind Obama-era guidance on transgender students' bathroom privileges did not sit well with the organization.

“Our preference would have been that Trump would have maintained President Obama’s transgender guidance,” Angelo said.

And just because CPAC and the Log Cabin Republicans are getting along doesn't mean that there wasn't controversy surrounding a member of the LGBT community at the conference. Organizers this week rescinded Milo Yiannopoulos invitation to speak over comments the former Brietbart editor made about pedophilia. But for the Log Cabin Republicans, this controversy is just a distraction.

“Engaging in that controversy would dip our toe into the worst type of stereotypes that you can talk about as a gay individual or an LGBT individual and it plays into that notion that gay men spend every hour of every day and think about every decision that they make in terms of sex or their sexual orientation," Angelo said. "Well, I am someone who is a gay conservative but I’m also defined in many other ways. I’m a Christian, I’m someone who supports the Second Amendment, and I want to be here talking about issues like this.”

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