President Donald Trump on Thursday
announced that he had pardoned conservative commentator, filmmaker
and author Dinesh D'Souza.
In 2014, D'Souza was sentenced to eight
months in a halfway house near his San Diego home and five years
probation, and fined $30,000 for making an illegal contribution to
the 2012 Senate campaign of Wendy Long.
Trump said he pardoned D'Souza because
he was treated “very unfairly.”
D'Souza has a history of making
anti-LGBT and racist comments, including stating that the Supreme
Court's Obergefell ruling, which struck down state bans on
same-sex marriage, was “dangerous.”
“As a consequence of the gay marriage
ruling,” he tweeted in 2015, “the danger to religious freedom is
not immediate, but it is very real – so we better get ready!”
“Oh great!” he messaged after the
decision was released. “Now we're going to see a plethora of gay
propaganda shoved in our faces #SCOTUSMarriage.”
In his 2007 book The Enemy at Home,
D'Souza suggested that 9/11 was a response to increasing support for
LGBT rights in the United States. “[W]ithout the cultural left,
9/11 would not have happened,” he wrote.
During the 2016 election, D'Souza
repeated Trump's claim that he was a better “friend” to the LGBT
community than Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee, because he
was tougher on terrorism.
“So are we still going to hear gay
activists say they are more threatened by conservative Christians
than radical Muslims?” he rhetorically asked.
“I would really like to see these
gays try their bullying tactics on MUSLIMS! Just to see what
happens!” he also tweeted.
LGBT rights advocate GLAAD said in a
statement that D'Souza's views on LGBT rights were in line with those
of the Trump administration.
“Dinesh D’Souza, who has blamed
LGBTQ people in part for the tragic attacks on our nation on 9/11,
may reflect the values of President Trump, but he does not reflect
the values of this nation,” said Zeke Stokes, vice president of
programs at GLAAD. “There is simply no place in our discourse for
this ignorance and hate that we hear all too often being espoused by
members of the Trump Administration and its surrogates.”
Last year, Trump pardoned Arizona
Maricopa County Sheriff Joseph Arpaio.
groups condemn Trump's pardon of Joe Arpaio.)