I hope all of my Republican "friends" who voted for Donald Trump and religious extremist, Mike Pence, are paying attention to who Der Fuhrer is selecting for his cabinet. Without exception, every single one so far has a documented of being hostile to LGBT rights. That's right, every single one of them..Yet these "friends" continually assure me "that there is nothing to worry about." Easy for them to say since they are white, heterosexual Christians. It is a kin to such a person telling black Americans that there is nothing to fear if they are pulled over by the police. Until one has experienced living as a constant target for haters, they really have no idea of what they are talking about or why one feels so worried as Trump parades out his cavalcade of anti-gay forces. Not all are anti-gay zealots, but many of them are. A piece in New York Magazine looks at the reality facing the LGBT community. Here are excerpts:
During his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, Donald Trump did something unusual: He acknowledged LGBT Americans. Referring to the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, Trump said, “This time, the terrorist targeted the LGBTQ community … and we’re going to stop it.” He then promised to “protect LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology.”But Trump’s promise was to protect LGBT Americans from hateful ideology abroad — he didn’t mention the hatred many regularly experience at home, sometimes due to policies proposed by people with whom he surrounds himself. Because of all his cabinet and cabinet-level picks so far, not one has a history of standing up for LGBT rights.
Jeff Sessions, attorney general
[Y]ou can pick almost any LGBT rights issue, and chances are Sessions has voted against it. He supported a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage; voted against adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the definition of hate crimes; and voted against repealing the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
He also co-sponsored a bill that would allow Alabama’s definition of marriage to supersede the federal definition, basically ending same-sex marriage in the state. And he’s co-sponsoring the First Amendment Defense Act, which would let government-funded organizations ignore laws that conflict with their religious beliefs. His score with the Human Rights Campaign is a big, fat zero.
Mike Pompeo, Central Intelligence Agency director
Trump chose Kansas congressman Mike Pompeo to fill the post of CIA director around the same time he tapped Sessions. While serving in congress, Pompeo voted to protect anti-same-sex marriage opinions as free speech and also supported a bill saying a state’s definition of marriage should supersede the federal one.
Betsy DeVos, Education secretary
Betsy DeVos, Trump’s pick for Education secretary, comes from a wealthy Michigan family with a long history of donating to anti-LGBT, pro-GOP causes. According to Politico, DeVos and her husband — Dick DeVos — have “given hundreds of thousands of dollars to Focus on the Family, a conservative Christian group whose founder called the battle against LGBT rights a ‘second civil war.’” DeVos’s late father and her husband’s family were also major donors to the Family Research Council (another conservative Christian group), and they reportedly donated thousands to efforts to block the legalization of same-sex marriage in states like Florida, Michigan, and California.
Tom Price, Health and Human Services secretary
As a state representative for Georgia, Tom Price — Trump’s pick for Health and Human Services secretary —- voted against prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation and in favor of defining marriage in the Constitution as between one man and one woman. He also has a zero rating from the Human Rights Campaign, and pro-LGBT advocates worry that, as secretary of Health, he could take away protections specifically for transgender Americans. Price is in favor of dismantling the Affordable Care Act, which bans sex discrimination — including discrimination against trans people — in health care.
Elaine Chao, Transportation secretary
Yesterday, Trump named Elaine Chao to the post of secretary of Transportation. . . . . She has no voting record, so it’s tough to pin down where Chao stands on the issue of LGBT rights, but her family provides some clues. She’s married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who led opposition to LGBT rights in the upper house. Chao has campaigned heavily for her husband in the past, so it’s likely she shares at least some of his views on the issue.
Reince Priebus, chief of staff
True, Reince Priebus — Trump’s new chief of staff — doesn’t have a voting record either, but as chairman of the Republican Party, the guy spearheaded one of the most anti-LGBT platforms to date. Among other things, it calls for the repeal of same-sex marriage, gives states the right to choose which bathroom transgender people use, and defends businesses who deny service to LGBT Americans based on their religious beliefs.
Mike Flynn, White House national security adviser
According to the Human Rights Campaign, retired Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn has a “history of animus toward LGBT people.” Most recently Flynn, whom Trump has named national security adviser, went on a tirade against “political correctness” in response to the Obama administration’s decision to allow transgender soldiers to serve openly in the military.
Nikki Haley, ambassador to the United Nations
South Carolina governor Nikki Haley will serve as the ambassador to the United Nations, and although she drew fire from conservative pundits for referencing “modern families” in her response to Obama’s final State of the Union, she’s not exactly progressive when it comes to LGBT issues. In 2010 she said marriage is between “one man and one woman,” and three years later she backed her state’s ban on same-sex marriage.
The reality is that ISIS and Islamic terrorists pose a minimal threat to LGBT Americans. Over the course of American history, the main threat has come from right wing Christian religious extremists who seek to force their version of a Sharia Law equivalent on the nation. These are the people Trump has named to his cabinet. So I would ask my "friends" who voted for Trump to explain to me why I should be happy and unafraid of what we see unfolding? Especially given Mike Pence's - Trump's COO, if you will - extensive history of anti-LGBT animus.