An o-ed in The Advocate makes the case that - despite the delusions of the Log Cabin Republicans who seem to keep sinking lower and lower - Donald Trump is LGBT Americans' greatest threat. Think about it. Trump has pledged to appoint Scalia-like justices to the Supreme Court, his running mate, Mike Pence, is an anti-LGBT homophobe extraordinaire, and Trump has made a deal with the devil in the form of the Christofascist leaders (like Tony Perfins of Family Research Council who helped author they anti-gay GOP platform) he met with in New York City in June. The op-ed certainly mirrors my own views. Here are highlights:
Like a man embracing his bride while coyly winking over his shoulder at one of his wedding party guests, Donald Trump used the Republican National Convention to stir passion among the party base while lightly romancing LGBT people. The flirtation included Trump’s (awkward) reference to “LGBTQ people” in his acceptance speech — a first for a Republican presidential candidate. Earlier, a Trump supporter said he was “proud to be gay” in a prime-time speech. That’s also a first for a Republican convention.
I have grave fears about what a Trump presidency would mean specifically for our community — besides what it would mean for our environment, for women, for Latinos, for black lives, for immigrants, for foreign relations, and so much more.
Let’s start with Trump’s convention speech pledge to protect LGBTQ people from violent and oppressive foreign ideologies. Here in the U.S., the threat specifically to LGBT people from foreign ideologies ranks low, somewhere near the threat to us from Chick-fil-A. Trump referenced the horrific murder of 49 people at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando before claiming to protect us, simply as a means to pit LGBT people against Muslims while promoting support for his unconstitutional ban on Muslim immigrants.
Except the Orlando shooter wasn’t an immigrant. . . . . he’s someone who shouldn’t have had access to the arsenal of weapons he used to conduct the worst mass shooting in the history of our country. But Trump, who’s proudly endorsed by the National Rifle Association, doesn’t believe in any restrictions on the constitutional right to gun ownership.
The greatest threat to our well-being isn’t from hateful foreign ideologies. It’s from hateful domestic ideologies like those in the platform of the party that nominated Trump, ideologies promoted by political, religious, and community leaders who foster a culture that dehumanizes LGBT people and devalues our lives. A culture that causes parents to abandon their LGBT children, that convinces LGBT youth death is preferable to living, and that leads to brutal hate crimes against us. A culture that last year resulted in the murder of 22 transgender women.
[T]his year’s GOP platform is “the most anti-LGBT platform” in the history of the party (and that says something). It’s a policy paper that supports the repeal of our freedom to marry, opposes the adoption of children by same-sex couples, demeans LGBT parents by implying our kids are more likely to abuse drugs and turn to crime, calls for banning transgender people from using the bathrooms that match their gender identity, and affirms dangerous and discredited conversion “therapy” to change sexual orientation.
This brings me to Trump’s choice for vice president, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, because Pence is the human embodiment of that anti-LGBT platform. . . . Pence’s long history of opposing equal rights for LGBT people includes signing Indiana’s so-called religious liberty bill last year to legalize wide-scale discrimination against LGBT people. It was one of the most draconian, anti-LGBT pieces of legislation in the history of our country, enabling just about any business owner to refuse service to LGBT people. Pence is also a forceful opponent of marriage equality and a strong advocate of conversion therapy, which is outlawed in several states, and he even proposed to fund it with taxpayer dollars.
But if Trump is elected president, the greatest threat to LGBT people won’t come just from the executive branch of our government; it will come from the judicial. That’s because Trump has vowed to fill openings on the U.S. Supreme Court with people just like the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Scalia, who was perhaps the most anti-LGBT Justice to ever serve on the court, opposed marriage equality and anti-discrimination law, supported sodomy laws, and famously compared gay men and lesbians to murderers, child abusers, pedophiles, and people who have sex with — and beat — animals.
There’s one opening on the Supreme Court now, and during the next president’s term there are likely to be a few others. Imagine what the future of the LGBT movement will be like with three Scalias on the court. Decades of progress could be reversed.
So this November, please don’t be fooled by a candidate who’s whispering sweet nothings in your ears and batting his eyelashes, because he’s also vowing to hurt you or — if you’re an LGBT ally — hurt those you love and care about.