What a Trump Presidency Could Mean for LGBTQ Rights in America
vp and cabinet choices are concerning for the lgbtq community
On Tuesday, November 8th, 2016, former reality television star Donald Trump shocked the world when he was elected to the highest office in America. The president elect campaigned on a platform of anti-Muslim bigotry, deportation, and an economic plan that has been called dangerous and destructive by hundreds of economists. But what does a Trump presidency mean for the American LGBTQ community?
Despite there being a lot of of far right media outlets and Trump supporters who claim that Trump supports gay rights and that he is actually a champion for the LGBT community; his choice of vice president and cabinet picks tell a completely different story.
potentially most powerful vp, possibly the most dangerous to lgbtq community
Many are saying that vice president elect Mike Pence may become one of the most powerful vice president’s in US history. Unfortunately, Pence is also one of the most anti-LGBTQ politicians the nation has ever seen and while serving as the governor of Indiana, Pence essentially criminalized being gay.
Pence was able to make same-sex couples to face felony charges if they wanted to get married by making it a felony to “lie” on a marriage license application. By passing this law same sex couples couldn’t fill out the application correctly because the forms only asked for the name of a husband and a wife. Therefore, in Indiana under Mike Pence gay couples faced 18 months in prison and $10,000 for just applying to get married, even though marriage equality had become the law of the land everywhere else in the country thanks to the Supreme Court.
will they make it easy for states to pass anti lgbtq laws?
In recent interviews, Pence has also indicated that revoking President Obama’s protection for LGBTQ people will be a priority of the Trump– Penn administration.
While sitting down with James Dobson of Focus on The Family for his “Family Talk” radio show recently, Pence told Dobson that, “Washington has no business intruding on the operation of our local schools, It’s just one more example of the heavy hand and liberal agenda of this administration working its way into the purview of the states and the people. Those decisions should be made and can be made at the local level.”
In short, Pence is saying that under Trump, it will be easier for states to pass the kind of laws that severely restrict the rights of LGBTQ Americans.
Trump’s picks for Cabinet positions are another thing that has the American LGBTQ community concerned. Stephan Bannon, Trump’s choice for special counselor to his administration, is especially worrisome. Bannon, the executive chairman of Breitbart News, oversaw stories at Breitbart that conjured up hate against LGBTQ people who weren’t conservative white gay men. Some of these stories include titles like “Lesbian Bridezillas Bully Bridal Shop Owner Over Religious Beliefs,” and “Trannies Whine About a Hilarious Bruce Jenner Billboard.”
Marriage equality may also be up for debate under at Trump presidency. During an appearance on Fox news earlier this year, when asked if he would, “Try to appoint justices to overrule the decision on same-sex marriage?” Trump replied with, “I would strongly consider that, yes.”
Despite trumps vague assurances during a recent appearance on 60 minutes that he is “fine” with same-sex marriage, his promise to nominate ultra-right judges to fill Supreme Court vacancies and his tendency to lie makes it hard to believe that marriage equality is truly safe.
Even Trump’s a choice of Peter Thiel, for a leadership position does little to calm the fears of LGBTQ Americans. Thiel, an out gay tech billionaire, is a conservative white gay man who would have very little in common with queer women of color, trans kids, and undocumented LGBTQ people; and is someone that will make a very unlikely ally for LGBTQ rights among the most marginalized and vulnerable populations.
LGBTQ communities have been fighting a long and hard battle for their rights, acceptance, and visibility. Unfortunately, it appears that a Trump-Pence administration could mean a significant setback for all of these.
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