Current Affairs

Donald Trump plays Freddie Mercury at rally after unveiling anti-gay VP pick

Nick Duffy July 19, 2016
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Donald Trump was blasting Queen songs at the Republican National Convention today; just days after unveiling an extreme anti-LGBT choice for Vice President.

Trump recently appointed Indiana’s Governor Mike Pence as his running mate. Pence stirred up international outrage last year when he signed the controversial ‘Religious Freedom Restoration Act’, which gives businesses the right to discriminate against gay people on the grounds of religion.

Governor Pence has previously suggested that HIV prevention funding be drained in order to fund state-sponsored ‘gay cure’ therapy, and earlier this year appeared unable to answer when asked whether it should be legal to fire people because of their sexuality.

Given the appointment, Queen fans were pretty outraged to hear Trump blasting the song ‘We Are the Champions’ after speaking at the RNC.

Freddie Mercury died of AIDS-related illness in 1991, and his death helped bring a focus to the illness that led to the very prevention funding that Pence so enthusiastically tried to axe.

The surviving members of the band confirmed it was “an unauthorised use at the Republican Convention against our wishes”.

California’s Lt Gov Gavin Newsom, who is a Democrat, was among those to tear into Trump.He said: “It’s important to note that tonight’s RNC convention ended with a song, We Are the Champions, sung by a gay man, Freddie Mercury. Freddie Mercury died of AIDS in 1991.

“His music was played at a convention where the most anti-LGBT policy platform was adopted, just today. His music, which he famously laboured over, which was intricate and complex, was played at a convention where Mike Pence, a man who has spent his political career actively looking for opportunities to pass laws that would give others the legal framework to discriminate against LGBT people, sat comfortably in a VIP box.

“I’m not sure what Freddie Mercury would think of his music being played at the RNC convention, but I do know that if he weren’t a famous rockstar, he would have probably been greeted by a wall, a really high wall, because he represented everything that Mike Pence and Donald Trump are scared of.”

The surviving members of the band confirmed it was “an unauthorised use at the Republican Convention against our wishes”.

When Trump played the track previously, guitarist Brian May said: “I can confirm that permission to use the track was neither sought nor given.

“We are taking advice on what steps we can take to ensure this use does not continue.

“Regardless of our views on Mr Trump’s platform, it has always been against our policy to allow Queen music to be used as a political campaigning tool.

“Our music embodies our own dreams and beliefs, but it is for all who care to listen and enjoy.”

Trump has been sued by a string of musicians in the past for using their music without permission.

Related topics: AIDS, Donald Trump, Freddie, Freddie Mercury, Gay, HIV, LGBT, Mike Pence, Pence, Sexuality, US, US Election 2016

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