The threat of a second Republican Presidency on the LGBTQIA+ community
With the election vote today this is the last day for Americans to vote if they want a progressive Democratic candidate that passed gay marriage and amended the equality act, or Donald Trump a President who from the first day of Presidency took all mentions of LGBTQ people and issues on the White House website down. This initial action really set the tone for what was coming to LGBT Americans. And, then within weeks of holding office ABC News reported that the White House was drafting a ‘License to Discriminate’ and this was essentially going to allow all people to discriminate against anyone else. Meaning in America LGBT people could be legally discriminated against which is contradicting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 19 which states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive an impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”, this shows us how whilst people should be allowed to share their opinion they should not be discriminated against as people have the right to expression.
This study from YouGov and the Economist is assessing LGBTQ people overall showing that 59% of LGBTQ people feel things have gotten worse since Trump took office which is a overwhelming figure, and the fact that 34% of US adults feel that things have gotten worse meaning that many people who do not experience the negative changes Trump has caused personally. In this election Presidency Donald Trumps son Eric Trump also claimed that LGBTQ people “come out in full force” to support his father, this was then followed by GLAAD releasing a scientific poll of LGBTQ voters expressing 76% support for Joe Biden.
Additionally, apart from just public opinion of Trump he has also recently nominated Amy Cohen Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court and this allows us to greater see that he is pushing this anti-LGBTQIA+ agenda by choosing his addition to the Supreme Court after Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s death. Amy Cohen Barrett in her speech in the White House Rose Garden’s said she adheres to the same judicial philosophy as the late justice Antonin Scalia who routinely voted against queer rights. Barrett also has performed paid speeches for anti-LGBTQ groups and was vetted for the Trump administration by The Federalist Society.
Barack Obama preceded Donald Trump, but they are vastly different with Obama before becoming President having religious values that did oppose same-sex marriage, then changing his opinion and choosing moral option and pushing legislation that was supportive and beneficial to the LGBTQIA+ community. Whereas, Trump has persecuted and opposed LGBTQIA+ legislation some of which Obama passed and some of which was already opposed. The Vice-President Mike Pence who Trump is also running in this 2020 election with is one of the most significant homophobic and transphobic people in current U.S. Politics, during his 2000 campaign for Congress he said, “Congress should oppose any effort to put gay and lesbian relationships on an equal legal status with heterosexual marriage.”, then in the same year when he was a Congress member he endorsed legislation that was supportive of gay conversion therapy. This as well as, Trumps record with the LGBTQIA+ community clearly show that the Republican party views the Queer community as opposition.
Under a second Republican Presidency we can then speculate what will happen to Queer Americans using statistics and figures. In 27 states there is no explicit statewide laws that protect people from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, housing and public accommodations — making me wonder as a British Citizen how the ‘land of the free’ can allow employees to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Now let’s look at the LGBTQIA+ members that do support Donald Trump. Facebook board member and co-founder of PayPal Peter Thiel who openly supported the Republican Party was defended by Mark Zuckerberg saying; “There are many reasons a person might support Trump that do not involve racism, sexism, xenophobic or accepting sexual assault.” Due to knowing the various negative effects Donald Trump and the Republican Party have had on the Queer community with consistent opposition against the equality acts and same-sex marriage as well as, gender identity protections.
Therefore, a second Republican Presidency will have an even more negative effort on the LGBTQIA+ community and America will take a long time to recover from the even more damaging attacks against the Queer community from the Republican Party.