Appearing on the “Russia Today” news channel, an openly gay editor at the extreme right “Breitbart News Network”, Milo Yiannopoulos , spoke of the Republican presidential nominee: “Donald Trump is probably the most pro gay presidential candidate in history; he’s definitely the most pro gay republican candidate in history.”
The person running for the highest office in the land once held up a rainbow flag someone handed him at a rally in 2016. During the Republican National Convention, Trump said he “would do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of the hateful, foreign ideology. [Islamic terrorism]. Believe me!”
What has prevented him from protecting LGBTQ citizens from US violence and hateful oppression?
1. The new tax bill will slash support systems and services for LGBTQ Americans, especially transgender people, by reducing their accessibility to healthcare and other programs.
2. The tax bill will raise the cost for people living with HIV/AIDS, cut food stamps, housing and homelessness efforts and lead to cuts in Medicare and Social Security—social programs important to the LGBT community.
3. The repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate provision used extensively by people living with chronic health conditions, like those with HIV/AIDS—gay and bisexual men accounted for 82 percent of HIV diagnoses among males and 67 percent of all diagnoses in 2015. For transgender people living with HIV in particular, this bill could mean the loss of life-saving treatment and fuel an epidemic.
4. Naming Supreme Court justice/s from a list pre-approved by two right-wing organizations, the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation. The Federalist Society is committed to bringing about right-wing ideological domination in the federal judiciary. And the Heritage Foundation is explicitly committed to waging a multi-faceted campaign to reverse the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling. They defiantly insist that the Supreme Court’s ruling—which they denounce as illegitimate—settled nothing.
5. Appointment of lifetime federal judges: Matthew Kacsmaryk, deputy general counsel at First Liberty Institute, who opposes anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people; Damien Schiff, who slammed an anti-bullying program for promoting the “homosexual lifestyle”; and Jeff Mateer, who called transgender children part of “Satan’s plan.” Mateer’s nomination was withdrawn after it faced intense criticism. Noel Francisco, is an Alliance Defending Freedom -allied attorney, and that at least four of Trump’s judicial nominees have ties to the anti-equality, Christian non-profit.
6. One of the first official actions by the Trump administration was the rescinding of an Obama administration letter that had urged public schools to respect the right of transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms appropriate to their gender identity.
7. Trump’s Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said at a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing that states should be free to funnel tax dollars to private schools that discriminate against LGBTQ students and families.
8. Trump announced that he would ban transgender people from serving in the armed forces “in any capacity,” a policy adopted at the urging of Religious Right leaders like Tony Perkins and over the objections of military leaders.
9. The Department of Justice reversed itself and staked out a legal position in opposition to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, telling a federal appeals court that the ban on sex discrimination in the 1964 Civil Rights Act does not apply to discrimination based on sexual orientation.
10. Trump brought anti-gay Religious Right leaders to the White House to celebrate his signing of an executive order on religious liberty; while it did not go as far as conservative evangelicals had hoped, Sessions’ guidance on religious liberty included vague but broad language, saying “at least some for-profit corporations” can refuse to hire workers whose beliefs and conduct are not “consistent with the employer’s religious beliefs.” Trump also supports passage of the First Amendment Defense Act, which would enshrine the Religious Right’s desired right to discriminate into federal law.
11. Trump has surrounded himself with anti-LGBT Religious Right activists and leaders and given them powerful positions within the Executive Branch. For example, Roger Severino, a former Heritage Foundation staffer with what a dozen U.S. senators described as “a long history of making bigoted statements toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people,” is now leading the Office of Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services.
12. James Renne, who was part of Trump’s transition “landing team” at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence before snagging a senior job at the Department of Education, had helped to orchestrate a scandalous purge of LGBTQ employees and information at the Office of Special Counsel during the George W. Bush administration.
13. Trump has boosted the public profile of anti-LGBTQ activists like Robert Jeffress, one of Trump’s earliest and most ardent evangelical supporters. Jeffress was chosen to preach at a private service before Trump’s inauguration and has remained a high-profile defender of the administration. Jeffress calls homosexuality “a miserable lifestyle,” said that marriage equality is “the greatest sign of the End Times that we see in our country right now,” and declared that “as a nation, we cannot be blessed by God if we’re rejecting God.”
14. Trump appointed officials from C-Fam and the Heritage Foundation to the U.S. delegation to the UN Commission on the Status of Women. C-Fam, also classified as an anti-LGBTQ hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, is so committed to resisting any recognition of the human rights of LGBTQ people in international agreements that it has teamed up with some of the world’s most repressive regimes to safeguard “traditional” notions of gender, sexuality and family.
15. Trump’s first year in office has been one long thank-you to the conservative white evangelicals who voted overwhelmingly to make him president. Trump and Pence joined other GOP leaders at Ralph Reed’s Road to Majority conference in June; Trump spoke at the opening luncheon, where he said, “I will never, ever let you down.” A few months later, Trump was back before Religious Right activists at the Values Voter Summit, which is convened by the Family Research Council, designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-LGBTQ hate group.
16. Roy Moore, twice removed from his position as Alabama’s chief justice, was the most extreme anti-LGBTQ candidate in recent memory. Moore’s hostility to gay people extends far beyond marriage equality; he believes homosexuality should be criminalized. Yet Trump not only backed Moore’s candidacy with speeches and robocalls, he also dragged the Republican National Committee into spending money on Moore’s behalf.
17. Trump has been applauded for masking his anti-LGBTQ agenda prior to being elected.
18. The Trump Administration has choosen to exclude LGBTQ data from the 2020 Census and American Community Survey.
19. LGBT individuals face health disparities linked to societal stigma, discrimination, and denial of their civil and human rights. Discrimination against LGBT persons has been associated with high rates of psychiatric disorders, substance abuse, and suicide. Social acceptance of sexual orientation and gender identity affects the mental health and personal safety of LGBT individuals.
20. Trump’s combative and chaotic rhetoric has stoked feelings of anxiety, fear, shame and helplessness in Americans, especially in women, the LGBTQ community, minority groups and nonwhite immigrants, who feel not just alienated but personally targeted by the president’s message. He is seen as a threat to our citizens’ well- being.
Thank you to you and all the respected sources who keep our community informed.