The Trump Administration Will Not Be a Friend of the LGBTQ Community

Donald Trump holds a rainbow flag with “LGBT” written on it at a rally in Greeley, Colorado, on Oct. 30.
Photo Credit: 
AP PHOTO/ EVAN VUCCI

Many Donald Trump supporters have described the President-elect as one of the more LGBTQ-friendly Republicans. They are quick to cite his stance on transgender bathroom laws ( he said that transgender people can use the "bathroom they feel is appropriate") and that he had the first openly gay man, Peter Thiel, speak at a Republican National Convention. But he also promised to sign the First Amendment Defense Act, which would allow businesses to discriminate against gay people under “religious liberty,” spent his campaign vowing to appoint judges to the Supreme Court who would overturn marriage equality, and even worse, chose one of the most openly anti-LGBTQ politicians as his running mate. While Donald Trump may believe that he is a “real friend” of the LGBTQ community, in reality, he is not.

Donald Trump's running mate, Mike Pence, has spent his political career continuously pushing anti-LGBTQ legislation. Even before his political career, he was the president of the Indiana Policy Review, a journal which claimed under his tenure that “gaydom” was a “pathological condition” and that gay people could not serve in the military because “homosexuals are not as a group able bodied."

During his bid for Congress in 2000, Pence stated that "Congress should oppose any effort to recognize homosexuals as a 'discrete and insular minority' entitled to the protection of anti-discrimination laws.” He called for efforts to ensure that “federal dollars were no longer being given to organizations that celebrate and encourage the types of behaviors that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus.” He also advocated for the diversion of AIDS funding to government-funded conversion therapy.

Once in Congress, Pence co-sponsored the Federal Marriage Amendment, defining marriage as between one man and one woman, and voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would have banned workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. He said that he opposed the repeal of 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell' because “mainstream homosexuality within active duty military would have an impact on unit cohension.” As head of the Republican Study Committee, Pence said that being gay was a choice and that keeping gay people from being able to get married was not discrimination but the enforcement of “Gods’ idea.”

As Governor of Indiana, Pence signed a bill that would jail same-sex couples who applied for a marriage license. He also signed into law the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, allowing private and public individuals to refuse goods and services based on sincerely held religious beliefs.’ In short, the law helps to support those who refuse to serve any LGBTQ individual on the basis of their faith.

Fox News called Donald Trump "a friend, an ally and an advocate for the LGBTQ community," yet Donald Trump promised to sign the First Amendment Defense Act which prohibits the federal government from taking "discriminatory action against any individual or business who believes or acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman.” Throughout his campaign, Trump vowed to appoint judges to the Supreme Court who would overturn marriage equality. He also said he would rescind the Obama administration's directives aimed at protecting transgender individuals. He chose a running mate who has spent his political career fighting against the civil rights of the LGBTQ community. And as GLAAD said recently in a post-election statement, he "sits atop the most hateful Republican platform in history," a platform which includes the repudiation of same-sex marriage and the endorsement of conversion therapy.

Trump has also appointed many anti-LGBTQ politicians to his transition team. His domestic transition team leader, Ken Blackwell, has supported measures that would ban same-sex marriage and said that being gay is a choice. Former Attorney General Ed Meese is a fellow at a foundation who asserts that laws protecting LGBTQ people weaken the marriage culture. He also said that marriage "shows how the culture has deteriorated over two centuries." Former U.S Office of Personnel Management chief Kay Cole James, compared gay people to drug addicts, adulterers, or "anything else sinful." These politicians all have connections to the Family Research council, an organization described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group.

While Trump and his supporters may view him as an ally to the LGBTQ community, his words and his actions suggest otherwise. Make no mistake, the Trump administration is no “real friend” of the LGBTQ community.

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