While Donald Trump’s racism, xenophobia and sexism have drawn considerable scorn, there has been some confusion about his stance on the queer community. Let’s be clear: a vote for Trump is a vote against LGBTQ rights.
The 2016 Republican party platform has been criticized as the “most anti-LGBT” in history. It condemns the 2015 court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage. It also advocates for conversion therapy ― a practice that’s meant to change an LGBT person’s gender or sexual orientation to fit heteronormative expectations and has been condemned by every mainstream mental health and medical association in the U.S.
Throughout Trump’s campaign, he has vocalized support toward the queer community. After the tragic mass shooting in June at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, Trump said in his convention speech that he “will do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology.”
But those promised claims conflict with statements he’s made that he would walk back numerous protections the federal government has put in place to defend gender identity and sexual orientation. Trump has said he opposes same-sex marriage and would “strongly consider” appointing judges to overturn last year’s historic marriage equality ruling. In 2011, Trump compared his stance on same-sex marriage to his dislike of extra long golf putters.
When it comes to the transgender community, Trump’s comments have flip-flopped. He initially spoke out against North Carolina’s anti-LGBT bathroom bill passed earlier this year but later said the state had the right to enact it. He also wants to rescind the Department of Education’s guidance to allow transgender kids to use the school bathroom of their choice.
Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, has been publicly anti-LGBT for years. Most recently, he made headlines last year when he signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which allowed businesses to legally discriminate against LGBTQ people on the basis of religious beliefs.
After widespread uproar from businesses in his state who condemned the bill, Pence amended the law to include protections for gender identity and sexual orientation. But LGBTQ people are still left vulnerable in Indiana ― and numerous other states ― where protective legislation in housing, healthcare and more varies.
Even Log Cabin Republicans (LCR), the conservative LGBTQ political group, announced earlier this week they would not endorse Trump. LCR initially lauded him for being accepting toward queer people, but they’ve since retracted their support. A written statement by the group reads:
“Should Mr. Trump become our nation’s next president, Log Cabin Republicans welcomes the opportunity to work with his administration. Until and unless that happens, our trust would be misplaced.”
These are just a few examples of the discriminatory rhetoric Trump and Pence have spewed against the LGBTQ community. In June, Trump had a private event with vehemently anti-gay bigots and he’s pledged to sign the “First Amendment Defense Act,” which would allow widespread discrimination against the queer community on the basis of religious beliefs.
Trump’s promises to protect the LGBTQ community are empty. Come Nov. 8 everyone should consider exactly what is at stake for themselves, the queer community and everyone else when casting their ballot.