The Trump Presidency: What it means for the LGBT
The LGBT community received the shock of their lives last November 8 with the victory of Republican candidate Donald Trump at the polls and the idea of a Trump presidency set to become a reality.
The shock stems from the fact that the incoming Trump administration is supportive of a number of anti-LGBT measures, including a Republican vice presidential candidate that has anti-LGBT views.
The prospect of a Trump presidency
With Trump expected to become president, the LGBT community has expressed fear of what the coming four years will bring.
“This is a devastating loss for our community. It is something a lot of folks are still trying to wrap their heads around,” said Jay Brown, a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).
“All across America right now there are millions of people who are terrified,” said Mara Keisling, the executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality.
Though Trump has no personal record of being against the LGBT and has even expressed support for LGBT goals, LGBT groups are still wary of the Republican win.
“Even if people believe that about Trump, what is true is he will now be held to the GOP platform,” said Rea Carey, the executive director of the National LGBTQ Task Force.
Moreover, there is the problem of the Republican vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence.
“What we know about Mike Pence is that he led a direct, massive and concerted effort in the state of Indiana to deny equality to LGBT people,” Carey said.
The GOP platform and the Trump presidency
Meanwhile, religious groups that side with the Republican Party are overjoyed with Trump’s victory.
“I can tell you I’m pretty hopeful, and I’m hopeful based on what Donald Trump has said over the last year,” says Kerri Kupec, legal communications director for the Alliance Defending Freedom.
Kupec said with the victory of Trump, the Republican president can appoint Supreme Court justices who can rule favorably on religious rights.
A number of anti-LGBT items on the GOP platform includes the following:
1. Pence has expressed support for conversion therapy (which can range from religious exorcism to electric shocks) to “cure” LGBT youth.
2. Trump has expressed support for the ‘First Amendment Defense Act’ (FADA). This would legalize discrimination in the name of “religious freedom.”
3. Trump– through new appointees to the high court– would be able to oppose equal marriage rights and overturn federal equal marriage laws.
4. Trump has expressed support for bathroom bills like North Carolina’s HB2 law that bans trans people from using the correct bathroom.
5. Trump wants to repeal Obamacare, which would affect trans healthcare and the treatment of HIV+ people with no medical coverage.
LGBT groups set to fight the Trump presidency
But despite Trump’s victory, LGBT rights groups are set to defend and fight for the LGBT people.
“We are going to keep working to advance policy. We’re going to fight like hell to keep existing policies, and we are going to win more than we are going to lose,” Keisling said.
Already, the HRC has aired a warning that Trump’s transition team candidates have a number of anti-LGBT proponents, like Ken Blackwell of the Family Research Council.
Another is former Attorney General Ed Meese– a fellow at the Heritage Foundation– while a third is Kay Cole James, president and founder of the Gloucester Institute.
All three have either links to anti-LGBT groups or aired anti-LGBT statements.
“The people President-Elect Trump picks to serve in his administration will have a huge impact on the policies he pursues,” said JoDee Winterhof, HRC’s Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs.
“We should all be alarmed at who he’s appointing to key posts on his transition team,” Winterhof said.