The morning after Donald Trump was elected president, I had to be bribed to get out of bed with a box of Dunkin Donuts. I spent the remainder of the day, and the next week, comforting myself with sugar; an attempt to mask the bitter taste in my mouth, perhaps. I allowed myself that time to mourn the America I thought I knew, while simultaneously garnering the energy to find my voice again, knowing that voices that seek to spread love instead of hate are more important now than ever.
There is no way around it, though many soft Trumpers (this is how I refer to anyone who didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton) feebly attempt to deny it, Donald Trump is an enemy of the LGBTQ+ community. They are quick to point out that Trump celebrated Elton John’s 2005 marriage and that he has gone on record stating that transgender people should “use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate.” They’ll ask me to name one thing that Trump has said or done that is detrimental to LGBTQ+ people. One thing? That’s it? Light work. “He chose Mike Pence as his vice president,” I reply thus ending the conversation with that verbal mic drop.
Trump choosing Pence as his vice president was an assault on the LGBTQ+ community. Pence is the personification of hate, and much of that hate is directed towards LGBTQ+ people. When he put Pence on his ticket, Trump aligned himself with Pence’s views and cosigned his repugnance. Let’s take a look at some of those views in Pence’s own words via the nonpartisan Politifact:
- Regarding conversion therapy: “Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.”
- Regarding marriage equality: “Congress should oppose any effort to put gay and lesbian relationships on an equal legal status with heterosexual marriage.”
- Regarding protections for LGBTQ+ people against discrimination: “Congress should oppose any effort to recognize homosexual’s [sic] as a ‘discreet [sic] and insular minority’ entitled to the protection of anti-discrimination laws similar to those extended to women and ethnic minorities.”
Though I feel confident that simply pointing to Pence is enough to solidify my stance on Trump being an adversary of the LGBTQ+ community, I do find it important to discuss a few other reasons, namely Trump’s own statements:
- Though he had once opposed North Carolina HB2 (colloquially referred to as the Bathroom Law), Trump clarified his position to Sean Hannity on April 21, 2016:
“I love North Carolina, and they have a law, and it’s a law that, you know, unfortunately is causing them some problems and I fully understand that they want to go through, but they are losing business, and they are having people come out against. I think that local communities and states should make the decision and I feel very strongly about that. The federal government should not be involved.”- Trump
“In other words, let the state decide kind of like your positions on education, give it back to the states.”- Hannity
“Yeah, let them decide. Absolutely.” -Trump
- He seeks to appoint practiced conservatives to the Supreme Court.
- He wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act which has been referred to as “the most important piece of gay rights legislation ever passed.”
- In his attempt to woo Catholic voters, Trump vowed to sign The First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) which will authorize discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community.
As if that was not enough proof, we can also look at the 2016 Republican Party Platform on Same Sex Marriage and Transgender Access to Bathrooms:
Same Sex Marriage
Traditional marriage and family, based on marriage between one man and one woman, is the foundation for a free society and has for millennia been entrusted with rearing children and instilling cultural values. We condemn the Supreme Court’s ruling in United States v. Windsor, which wrongly removed the ability of Congress to define marriage policy in federal law. We also condemn the Supreme Court’s lawless ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which in the words of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, was a “judicial Putsch” — full of “silly extravagances” — that reduced “the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and
Joseph Storey to the mystical aphorisms of a fortune cookie.”
Transgender Access to Bathrooms (Note: this was seriously their subheading)
We emphatically support the original, authentic meaning of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. It affirmed that “no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” That language opened up for girls and women a world of opportunities that had too often been denied to them. That same provision of law is now being used by bureaucrats — and by the current President of the United States — to impose a social and cultural revolution upon the American people by wrongly redefining sex discrimination to include sexual orientation or other categories. Their agenda has nothing to do with individual rights; it has everything to do with power. They are determined to reshape our schools — and our entire society — to fit the mold of an ideology alien to America’s history and traditions. Their edict to the states concerning restrooms, locker rooms, and other facilities is at once illegal, dangerous, and ignores privacy issues. We salute the several states which have filed suit against it.
Though Trump did not pen the platform, he represents it, therefore we must hold him accountable for it. Soft Trumpers, we will not allow you to let Trump off the hook for his hateful views and allegiances. He is responsible and so are you.