By Jeremy W. Peters and Lizette Alvarez
For a fleeting moment this week, it seemed as if the massacre in Orlando, Fla., was having the unlikely and unintended impact of helping to bridge the chasm between Republicans and many in the gay community.
Mitt Romney offered “a special prayer for the L.G.B.T. community” after he learned of the attack. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida granted an interview to The Advocate, the gay news magazine, and expressed outrage at the Islamic State’s persecution of gays. And Donald J. Trump repeatedly expressed solidarity with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, declaring, “I will fight for you” — an unprecedented show of support from a presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
But the deep divide over gay rights remains one of the most contentious in American politics. And the murder of 49 people in an Orlando gay club has, in many cases, only exacerbated the anger from Democrats and supporters of gay causes, who are insisting that no amount of warm words or reassuring Twitter posts change the fact that Republicans continue to pursue policies that would limit legal protections for gays and lesbians.
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