Friday, December 09, 2016

LGBT Americans Should be Terrified by Trump's Administration

I continue to encounter "friends" who voted for Donald Trump some of whom continue to defend their vote by claimed ignorance of Trump's anti-LGBT stances during the election campaign and/or Trump's over the top self-prostitution to some of the foulest elements of the radical Christofascists. For such individuals I hold little sympathy and take the position that if you were too lazy to educate yourself about with whom Trump was climbing in bed with, why should I simple forgive you for putting my civil rights and safety at risk?  If you don't know the positions of a candidate and/or who they have aligned them self with, I recommend not voting.  Others seem to realize the stab in the back they have given to their LGBT friends and neighbors and are trying to make amends through extra friendliness.  Sadly, such efforts will not undo the damage that has been done. A final group justify their betrayal by saying they merely voted for "change." Putting a pistol to one's head and pulling the trigger would also usher in "change," but not a positive one.   Metro Weekly has a piece that compiles all the reasons that LGBT Americans should be terrified by the oncoming Trump administration. "Friends" who voted for Trump need to read the entire piece.  Here are excerpts that look at five (5) of the scariest Trump nominees:  
It’s a tale of two Donalds, or perhaps a strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, when it comes to the president-elect’s stance on LGBT rights.
During the campaign, Trump tried to position himself as a more reliable defender of LGBT rights than Hillary Clinton. In 2015, he said that sexual orientation shouldn’t be a reason to be fired. He said that he’d allow transgender reality star Caitlyn Jenner to use whichever bathroom she preferred if she were to visit Trump Tower. He vowed to keep LGBT people — along with other Americans — safe from the threat of ISIS. He even waved a rainbow Pride flag given to him by a supporter at one of his rallies as a show of support for the LGBT community.
Yet for all his pandering, Trump has also catered to the Religious Right, courted evangelical voters, and touted his opposition to same-sex marriage and reproductive rights. He supported North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory when he tried to justify signing the anti-LGBT bill HB 2. And Trump has referred to allowing LGBT people to serve openly in the military as “political correctness.”
That’s why so many eyes are fixed on his selections for various cabinet positions — and why some observers are getting close to hitting the “panic” button.
The first warning signs came with Trump’s selection of his close advisers, none of whom require confirmation by the U.S. Senate. Steve Bannon, the former chairman of the alt-right website Breitbart News, has a history of expressing anti-gay sentiment and promoting stories with anti-LGBT viewpoints. Reince Priebus, the outgoing head of the Republican National Committee, has spent the past few years leading a party that enshrined anti-LGBT attitudes into its official platform. National Security Adviser Michael Flynn opposed allowing openly gay service members in the military, and criticized the Obama administration’s decision to lift the ban on transgender service members . . . .
Several of Trump’s other picks — who must be confirmed by the Senate — pose a much greater threat to LGBT rights. Here, from most severe to least, are Trump’s confirmable (or rejectable) nominees that every LGBT person should be watching closely.
Jeff Sessions - Position Nominated For: Attorney General
LGBT Record: As senator from Alabama, Sessions opposed same-sex marriage, employment nondiscrimination legislation, partner benefits, lifting the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, and adding LGBT people to protected classes under the nation’s hate crime laws. When he was Attorney General of Alabama, Sessions attempted to use his office to stop the University of Alabama from hosting an LGBT conference, even taking the university to court to defend a law that prohibited using public money to fund, in any way, a group that promotes “actions prohibited by the [state’s] sodomy and sexual misconduct laws.” 
 As Attorney General, it’s doubtful whether Sessions will enforce the nation’s hate crime laws in instances where people have been victimized because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Other concerns involve the government’s future position on court cases revolving around LGBT rights. 
Tom Price - Position Nominated For: Secretary of Health and Human Services
LGBT Record: Price, a conservative congressman from the Atlanta suburbs, has accrued a vehemently anti-LGBT voting record during his six terms in Congress. He boasts a 0% rating for his voting record on the Human Rights Campaign’s congressional scorecard. He’s voted against an LGBT-inclusive version of the Violence Against Women Act, against workplace protections for LGBT employees, and LGBT-inclusive hate crime protections. He has been a vocal supporter of state bans prohibiting same-sex marriage. 
He has suggested that any social legislation, such as bills to advance LGBT rights, not be passed until a thorough examination has been completed of the cost of potential health problems that could arise from “promoting” homosexuality.
As head of Health and Human Services, Price could be influenced by his extreme views and place LGBT-related research or HIV-related research on the back burner. Issues of whether insurance companies must cover certain surgical procedures may also come to a head under a Price-led HHS department. Lastly, Price is a fierce opponent of the Affordable Care Act and has called for its complete repeal. This could be problematic for LGBT people with pre-existing conditions or low-income people who get their insurance — and subsidies to pay for it — through the Obamacare health exchanges.
 Ben Carson - Position Nominated For: Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
LGBT Record: As a presidential candidate, Carson established himself as a doctrinaire social conservative with anti-LGBT views. Among Carson’s more inflammatory statements are that same-sex behavior by prisoners proves homosexuality is a choice, that gay marriage was responsible for the fall of the Roman Empire, and that transgender people cannot change their assigned sex at birth anymore than they can change their ethnicity. He has compared same-sex marriage to bestiality, compared gay people to pedophiles, and said that same-sex marriage is a Marxist plot to destroy America’s moral foundations.
 [O]ne of the likely targets of a Carson-run HUD may be a recent update to the Equal Access Rule for shelters. Under the rule, adopted in September, shelters that operate single-sex facilities or sex-specific projects must provide all individuals, including transgender and gender nonconforming people, with access to programs, benefits, services and accommodations based on their gender identity.  . . . If Carson is given free reign, these protections could be repealed.
 Mike Pompeo - Position Nominated For: Director of the CIA
LGBT Record: During his three terms in Congress, U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo has largely been opposed to LGBT rights. . . . . He is a supporter of legislation that could potentially allow individuals and businesses to discriminate against LGBT people under the guise of “religious freedom.” He also voted against an LGBT-inclusive version of the Violence Against Women Act. Betsy DeVos - Position Nominated For: Secretary of Education
LGBT Record: DeVos  . . . and her husband have donated to Focus on the Family, a conservative Christian group that opposes LGBT rights. Focus on the Family also promotes conversion therapy aimed at changing sexual orientation or curbing the behavior of LGBT people and those with same-sex attraction. Other members of her extended family have donated to other anti-LGBT causes . . .
 The chief issue with a DeVos-run Department of Education would likely be the position that the department adopts with respect to transgender students and whether they are protected under Title IX. DeVos’ position on the Obama administration’s current guidance for school administrators is unknown, but her ties to right-wing groups have led transgender advocates to call on Trump to rescind her nomination. Another issue that may arise would be the use of federal education funds, in the form of vouchers, to support private schools that encourage conversion therapy for LGBT-identifying youth.
 For my white, heterosexual Christian "friends" I would ask that for a moment they put themselves in the shoes of LGBT citizens who now have to worry about their rights being attacked or rescinded.  Remeber, some of these nominees support groups that would re-criminalize being gay.  Would you be sleeping well at night?  I doubt it.

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