American society continues to make progress on LGBTQ+ issues, with the Supreme Court’s landmark decision on marriage equality being a major victory. However, members of the LGBTQ+ community still face significant discrimination. Research shows that approximately 20% of hate crime victims are targeted because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Additionally, 21% of LGBTQ+ adults said that they faced workplace discrimination due to their identity. Finally, LGBTQ+ are more likely to have difficulty obtaining health care compared to other Americans.
Trump ran a campaign filled with many inconsistencies and flip-flops, and though at times Trump claimed he was an ally to the LGBTQ+ community, he also took a number of anti-LGBTQ+ stances. Even before Trump took office, it became clear that he would not support the LGBTQ+ community. He selected Mike Pence as his running mate, a man with an alarming record of discrimination. Once he assumed office, Trump assembled a team of many adamant opponents of marriage equality and anti-LGBTQ+ politicians and figures.
- Anti LGBTQ+ Judge: Nominated John Bush for a federal judgeship, continuing a series of anti-LGBTQ+ appointments beginning with VP Mike Pence
- Trans Bathroom Rights: Removed Obama order allowing trans students in public schools to use the bathroom of their gender identity
- “Religious liberty” order: Signed “religious liberty” executive order, allowing religious organizations to engage in political activity and potentially opening the door to discrimination against people in the LGBTQ+ community
- Removal of Survey Questions: Removed questions about sexual orientation and gender identity from the National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants
- AHCA: Proposed the American Health Care Act which disproportionately and negatively impacts people in the LGBTQ+ and individuals living with HIV
- LGBT Pride: Refused to acknowledge, recognize, or even mention June as LGBTQ+ Pride month
- Official Website: Removed all mentions of LGBT communities from the official White House website
Here’s how Trump has undermined LGBT rights (so far)
4 LGBT Issues to Focus on Now That We Have Marriage Equality
- Anti LGBTQ+ judges
John Bush represents the most recent in a string of concerning nominations by the Trump administration. An incredibly conservative lawyer from Kentucky, Bush has consistently opposed marriage equality, likened the tragedy of slavery to abortion, and has been reported using derogatory language in a speech given at private clubs. Bush has been nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, and a life-time appointment as a federal judge would give him a tremendous amount of power.
- Trans Bathroom Rights
Under Obama, the White House issued orders directing public schools to allow students to use the bathrooms that matched their gender identity. Now, the Trump administration is rescinding this order, allowing schools to force students to use bathrooms of the gender they were assigned at birth. This is primarily concerning for two reasons: this order could lead to more bullying and discrimination within schools, and it indicates the Trump administration’s indifference toward protecting the rights of more than 100,000 trans students in the United States.
- “Religious liberty” order
On May 4th, Trump signed a “Religious Liberty” executive order, granting vast exemptions to religious organizations. The order relaxes enforcement of the Johnson Amendment, which prohibits religious organizations from political activities. Though thankfully this order doesn’t include the earlier provision that could allow employers to discriminate against LGBTQ+ employees, members of the LGBT Equality Caucus along with many LGBTQ+ advocacy groups fear that this could open the door to additional discrimination.
- Removal of Survey Questions
In 2014, the National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants (NSOAAP) was modified to include questions about sexual orientation and gender identity. This addition found that there are about 3 million LGBTQ+ over the age of 55 living in the United States. Suddenly, these questions have been removed from this survey. The NSOAAP is used to determine how to allocate federal funding to support the elderly. How can the government support LGBTQ+ elders if they are not even accounted for in the survey?
- AHCA: Proposed the American Health Care Act, which disproportionately and negatively impacts LGBTQ+ people and people living with HIV
- LGBT Pride: Refused to acknowledge, recognize, or mention June as LGBTQ+ pride month
Read more: Refusal to acknowledge
- Official Website: Removed all mentions of LGBT from the official White House website
AHCA coverage: http://fenwayfocus.org/2017/03/the-american-health-care-act-would-harm-lgbt-people-people-living-with-hiv-and-black-and-latino-americans-according-to-fenway-institute-analysis/
Marriage equality: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/27/us/supreme-court-same-sex-marriage.html?_r=0
Donald Trump “real friend”: http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/13/politics/donald-trump-lgbt-community/index.html
Flip Flops: http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/president-trumps-first-100-days/here-are-new-policy-stances-donald-trump-has-taken-election-n684946
On LGBT rights: http://www.hrc.org/2016RepublicanFacts/donald-trump-opposes-nationwide-marriage-equality
Mike Pence: http://time.com/4406337/mike-pence-gay-rights-lgbt-religious-freedom/