The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation posted an online list of all Trump hospitality and entertainment properties, urging readers to "consider Trump's decision to stand against LGBT families when you're deciding whether to patronize" any of them.
And a spokeswoman for the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association, which has 2,200 travel industry-related members, told AOL News that it will discuss at its May board meeting whether to boot Trump's hotel-condos in New York and Las Vegas as members.
"I certainly won't book anybody there," said Terry Wilsey of Las Vegas-based A Answer on Travel. "I think Trump is an idiot and politically dangerous."
The loss of gay travel dollars could be significant. Gays and lesbians spend an estimated $17 billion a year and are now courted intensely by most major hotel chains, casinos and airlines. In Las Vegas, Trump's building, which has no casino and is hidden behind a mall, already has been seen as an under-performer since its 2008 opening. An anti-gay stigma could be even more damaging there.
For many years, Trump himself was seen as a moderate Republican. In 2000, he told the gay newsmagazine The Advocate that he supported "a very strong domestic-partnership law" that gives same-sex couples the same legal rights as straight married couples. "I think it's important for gay couples who are committed to each other to not be hassled when it comes to inheritance, insurance benefits and other simple everyday rights," he said then.
In March, however, he was asked by the Des Moines Register if he supports either same-sex marriage or civil unions. He replied: "No and no."
Trump has moved dramatically to the right on many topics since he began testing a political campaign: He now says he is opposed to abortion rights and is uncertain whether President Barack Obama is actually a U.S. citizen. But in rankling gays, the tycoon may have directly offended a group that is known to spend a lot of money traveling and that is extremely loyal to brands that support its causes, said Bob Witeck, a Washington, D.C.-based PR expert who advises American Airlines and Marriott on the GLBT market.
In a letter published by the Press of Atlantic City last month, Witeck warned managers at the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort that "lesbians and gays will soon shun your bingo nights. ... Basic marketing 101 tells us such extreme mixed messages are toxic for business and disrespectful to customers."
In Las Vegas, gay activist Gary Hirschl became outraged Tuesday when a gay networking group went ahead with a pool-side event hosted by the Trump International Hotel on the Strip after he failed to persuade organizer Terry Hernandez to cancel or move it.
Hernandez wrote Hirschl that his group, SinCityQ Socials, "has a long-standing tradition of practicing nonpartisan social networking. ... I have never felt it my purpose or passion to influence anyone in how to vote, how to choose or how to sort through the things that matter most to me."
Hirschl was not assuaged, telling AOL News: "Like it or not, it makes a statement when any LGBT organization chooses to hold an event at a venue owned by someone who is openly and loudly announcing his opposition to marriage equality. Terry made a poor decision. Hispanics would never hold an event at a Trump hotel if he said something as stupid about them."
Also this week, lesbian blogger Trish Bendix of AfterEllen.com urged openly gay star Rosie O'Donnell not to stay at the Trump International Hotel & Tower when she travels to Chicago this spring to film the TV show she's hosting for Oprah Winfrey's OWN Network. Winfrey's production company, Harpo, is arranging the lodging; O'Donnell has not responded.
A personal spokeswoman for Trump did not respond to requests for comment on the issue.
However, a spokeswoman for Trump Hotel Collection wrote to AOL News to insist the properties should not bear the burden of Trump's controversial political statements. The Las Vegas resort has shown its support for gay travelers and causes by sponsoring the city's gay pride festival in September and providing items for auction at an upcoming Human Rights Campaign event, the spokeswoman wrote. (Human Rights Campaign is a federal lobbying organization. Its top agenda item is legalizing same-sex marriage.)
Yet Witeck argued that those good works of the hotels are irrelevant if Trump himself has become an outspoken opponent of gay rights.
"I think most of us get it that corporations try to separate their own values and opinions from the personal views held by their executives and chief stockholders or investors," Witeck told AOL News. "That said, when a hospitality or entertainment brand bears the very name of the executive or owner, as the verbose Donald Trump insists on everything he touches in the market, then you can't blame consumers for confusing the two. His words, his values, his political opinions, touch his businesses or perhaps even smear them."
IGLTA CEO John Tanzella declined to comment because the group's board may take a position next month, but IGLTA board member Bryan Herb said he's torn over which way he'll go. Trump's statements are offensive to him, but Herb said he hasn't seen any evidence that gay travelers are being mistreated at any of the Trump properties.
"If one of his hotels had a general manager that told the employees not to be nice to gay travelers, then I would have a big problem, but I don't think that's what's happening," said Herb, owner of Zoom Vacations Gay Travel in Chicago. "But on a personal level ,it really, really aggravates me that Donald Trump has the anti-gay views he has. I don't think I'd book anyone in his hotels."
"The Trump brand is being degraded," Witeck said. He also noted that four polls this year have shown that more than half of Americans now support legalizing same-sex marriage.
"It is hard for me to see that the management doesn't see that he's causing them harm not just with gay people, but with all open-minded people," Witeck concluded.