Several advocates for the LGBT community dubiously claimed Tuesday that supporters of President Donald Trump were distressed to see U.S. soccer star Kelley O’Hara kiss her girlfriend after the national team’s triumph at the Women’s World Cup.
O’Hara was widely praised by conservatives for scooping up the American flag, which had fallen to the field following the U.S. women’s victory on Sunday. But according to Queerty’s David Reddish, right-wingers received a “rude awakening” concerning their “new American heroine” following the game.
In a piece entitled, “Trump fans adopted soccer star Kelley O’Hara as their hero. Then they watched this kiss,” Reddish implied the president’s supporters would be devastated to learn that the woman they held up as an exemplar was a lesbian.
“Republican pundits eager to praise Women’s World Cup soccer star Kelley O’Hara received a rude awakening when cameras caught her smooching her girlfriend in the stands,” he wrote.
“As the far right singled out O’Hara for praise, few pundits noticed that after picking up the flag, she rushed across the field to her girlfriend and locked lips. That makes her the 42nd identifiable LGBTQ player in the Women’s World Cup,” Reddish added.
Commenters on social media expressed similar sentiments, assuming the conservatives praising O’Hara for picking up the flag would be horrified to learn she was a member of the LGBT community.
I wonder how many of you watched the game and/or know that she is married to a woman…
— Striking Viking (@yo_nrojb) July 9, 2019
“Can’t wait for conservative twitter to learn Kelley O’Hara is actually lesbian and then feel guilty for loving her for picking up a flag,” wrote one commenter.
Several Twitter users replied to a tweet from Democratic Coalition chairman Jon Cooper, who linked to Reddish’s story, by slamming Trump supporters’ supposed intolerance.
The heart loves who the heart loves. Trump fans need to move on and worry about their own houses (and sexual preference). It's none of their business who others love.
— Christie Yurth (@cyurth) July 9, 2019
Indeed, the few examples of conservatives on Twitter responding to the revelation showed them to be thoroughly nonplussed.
Kelley O'Hara wins over the internet with US flag rescue, post-game kiss, locker room celebration
'Be Like Patriot Kelley O'Hara Not Megan Rapinoe pic.twitter.com/Hy3WQ2njXq
— 🇺🇸 ssd 🇺🇸 (@Pismo_B) July 9, 2019
“Dishonest reporting. Zero hate for the kiss. Her respect for the flag earned respect, period,” one conservative Twitter user wrote in reply to Reddish’s story.
Kelley O’Hara and the “conservatives hate gays” narrative
This isn’t the first time liberals have, with little evidence, accused Trump and his supporters of being bothered by open displays of homosexuality.
In January, many on the left gleefully characterized Vice President Mike Pence’s behavior while swearing in bisexual Sen. Kyrsten Sinema as “uncomfortable.”
You wanted so badly for him to be awkward and uncomfortable, that's exactly what you saw, while ignoring reality. Conformation bias, 2 movies same screen. @ScottAdamsSays
— Imagine (@imaginethereal) January 4, 2019
Trump supporters, unquestionably hostile to progressivism and identity politics, point to members of the LGBT community within their own ranks to dismiss accusations of anti-gay bigotry. Some of the most high-profile – and controversial – of the president’s supporters, such as far-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos and former Gateway Pundit White House correspondent Lucian Wintrich, are gay.
Meanwhile, reports of the president’s behavior toward LGBT members of his administration could be taken as a sign that Trump is unperturbed by their sexual orientation. Axios’ Jonathan Swan reported last year that the president frequently remarks on the good looks of Richard Grenell, his openly gay ambassador to Germany.
“There he is again. Great looking guy. He can’t say two sentences about Grenell without saying how great of a looking guy he is,” a source told Swan.
Earlier this year, White House adviser Kellyanne Conway touted Trump’s support for LGBT rights.
“I’m old enough to remember the 2008 campaign where Hillary and Obama were arguing with each other about who was more in favor of traditional marriage,” Conway told reporters in January. “It wasn’t so long ago. He is the first president to start as president approving of gay marriage.”
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