President Donald Trump / REUTERS

Are Gay People Next LGBT Groups Suspicious of Trump Administration

President Donald Trump has “set a low bar” for equal rights in the LGBT community, according to activists.

Over the weekend, rumors circulated that the White House planned to reverse former President Barack Obama’s order that provided some protections for LGBT people from discrimination in the workplace, The New York Times reported. On Monday night the White House released a statement which has not done much to quell the concerns of LGBT rights activists.

“President Trump continues to be respectful and supportive of L.G.B.T.Q. rights, just as he was throughout the election,” the statement reads. “The president is proud to have been the first ever G.O.P. nominee to mention the L.G.B.T.Q. community in his nomination acceptance speech, pledging then to protect the community from violence and oppression.”

According to The Times, “[The order] uses stronger language than any Republican president has before in favor of equal legal protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.”

However, “stronger language” and a statement not to reverse an already-existing order does not make the president a champion of LGBT rights, activists say.

“Claiming ally status for not overturning the progress of your predecessor is a rather low bar,” said Human Rights Campaign (HRC) President Chad Griffin in a statement on Monday. “LGBTQ refugees, immigrants, Muslims and women are scared today, and with good reason. Donald Trump has done nothing but undermine equality since he set foot in the White House.”

LGBT rights have also been left up to question since Trump’s team did not include a page regarding the LGBT community on the new White House website. A report called “Advancing LGBT Workplace Rights” also disappeared from the Department of Labor website. Trump has previously said he opposes same-gender marriage, and while he previouslysaidhe doesn’t think sexual orientation “should be a reason” to fire someone, he did not propose a plan to end LGBT workplace discrimination.

LGBT discrimination remains a problem. According to a 2015 HRC poll, 63 percent of LGBT people have reported experiencing discrimination. And a 2013 Pew Research Center poll found that 58 percent of LGBT Americans have been subjected to jokes or slurs due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.

“Donald Trump has left the key question unanswered will he commit to opposing any executive actions that allow government employees, taxpayer-funded organizations or even companies to discriminate” Griffin questioned.

Rachel B. Tiven, CEO of Lambda Legal, a legal organization that works for LGBT people and people with HIV, issued a statement on Sunday, rejecting Trump’s attempt to make “pawns” of the LGBT community.

“LGBT people refuse to be pawns in Mr. Trump’s dangerous and inhumane game,” Tiven said. “We utterly reject his discrimination against Muslims in the guise of concern trolling for LGBT rights. If he really wants to help LGBT people, he can pledge to retain the Executive Orders that help protect us and to nominate a Supreme Court justice who supports equal treatment of all regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Omar Mateen, a Muslim who was born in the United States, shot and killed 49 people at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, last year. In response, Trump further reiterated his earlier calls for the surveillance of mosques around the country. He also used this platform to insist that he wanted to protect the LGBT community more than his then Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton because he wanted to prevent Muslims who wanted to hurt LGBT people from entering the country.

The Pew report found that 76 percent of LGBT Americans consider the Republican Party “unfriendly toward” LGBTs. While Trump may be reportedly more progressive than many of his past fellow Republicans when it comes to LGBT rights, this does not say much. In June 2015 Trump said he supports “traditional marriage.” And after going back and forth about his stance on North Carolina’s notorious “bathroom bill,” he ultimately said the decision should be left “with the state.”

Also leaving Trump’s record on LGBT rights up for debate is who he has chosen to put in positions of power.

“If he’s truly an ally, then why did he choose as his Vice President a person who passed one of the most anti-LGBTQ laws in the nation, or an Attorney General nominee who says the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling was an ‘effort to secularize, by force and intimidation'” HRC’s Griffin questioned. “Donald Trump talks a big game on his support for LGBTQ people, yet he has filled his cabinet with people who have literally spent their careers working to demonize us and limit our rights.”

Vice President Mike Pence has a long history of battling against LGBT rights. While governor of Indiana he signed a “Religious Freedom Bill,” which allows businesses to discriminate under the guise of “religious freedom.”

In November Trump named Ken Blackwell a man with a long anti-LGBT history his domestic policy adviser. Blackwell is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council (FRC), classified by theSouthern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)as a hate group that “often makes false claims about the LGBT community based on discredited research and junk science.”

And Jeff Sessions, Trump’s pick for attorney general, also has not been, to say the least, an LGBT community ally. While serving in the Senate he repeatedly voted against bills for LGBT rights, including voting for a constitutional ban of same-gender marriage and against including sexual orientation under the definition of a hate crime.

Latest News

Inherent Racism Revealed in COVID-19 Vaccine Trials; Texas Sheriff Charged in Death of Javier Ambler While in Police Custody; AOC Attacks Trump Over $70k Spent on His Hair; and More

Major COVID-19 vaccine trials currently underway lack racial inclusion. The research being carried out in search of a vaccine for COVID-19 contains a startling lack of diversity, according to a new story from Fast Company’s Kristin Toussaint. While the stats on COVID-19’s attack on people of color continue to alarm…

Anti-Asian Racism in the United States Continues to Soar as a Result of Attitudes Over COVID-19; the Myth of ‘Defund the Police’; and More

Pandemic continues to cause soaring levels of anti-Asian racism. It was only a matter of time: the White House’s constant referral to COVID-19 as the “China Virus” has indeed caused a tidal wave of continuing racism against people of Asian ancestry, according to a new report published in the American…

Biden Stands by His Commitment to LGBTQ rights; Cost of Racism in the U.S. Tops $16 Trillion; Black and Latinx Continue to Die from COVID-19 at Nearly Twice the Rate of Whites; and More

Biden reaffirms commitment to LGBTQ rights; promises to pass Equality Act. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden doubled down on his promises to the LGBTQ community while speaking at a presidential town hall for the Human Rights Campaign Foundation on Sept. 24. “You deserve a partner in the White House to…

degeneres, work, show

Leadership Lessons to be Gleaned from Ellen DeGeneres’ Toxic Workplace Scandal

Ellen DeGeneres began her daytime talk show’s 18th season with an apology after a summer of allegations against her that claimed her show promoted a toxic work environment rife with racism, sexual misconduct and other mistreatment. In August 2020, three senior producers — executive producers Ed Glavin and Kevin Leman…

COVID entrepreneur

Explosive New Growth in Small Businesses Due to COVID-19; America’s Police Force is Not Becoming More Diverse Despite BLM Movement; the Best and Worst Performing States in the 2020 Census; and More

Even with incredible nationwide unemployment rates, the creation of new small and diverse businesses has exploded due to COVID-19. Finally some news coming out of our pandemic: The Philadelphia Tribune reports that as bars and restaurants closed and stay-at-home orders were put into place earlier in 2020 to help fight…

Justice for Breonna not served; The essential rule of politics; Teen serves two months in jail for not doing homework; and More

Justice for Breonna not served as grand jury indicted officer who shot her with wanton endangerment — but not murder. “Outrageous and offensive.” Those were  by attorney to the family, Ben Crump to describe the grand jury’s decision in the March 13 fatal police shooting of 26-year-old Breonna Taylor. While…

IBM, EEOC, age

EEOC Unearths Years of Intentional Age Discrimination within IBM

After a long investigation, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has revealed that IBM leaders had directed managers to replace older workers with younger ones. Between 2013 and 2018, nearly 86% of those considered for layoffs within the organization were older employees over the age of 40. The investigation showed…

Breathe March in Globe Park, New York, USA - 12 Sep 2020

Cities under attack from the Justice Department; Louisville bracing for the Breonna Taylor murder charge; Twitter reveals its racist side; and More

Justice department attacks three U.S. cities, declaring them anarchist zones — despite most of the protests that took place in each city being peaceful marches in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. In a move designed to pull federal funding from New York City, Seattle and Portland, OR, the…