Monday, January 23, 2017

Is Trump Opening the Door to an Anti-LGBT Backlash?

Previous posts have looked at the anti-gay animus held by many of Der Fuhrer's cabinet nominees, in particular Jeff Sessions and Betsy DeVos.  And then there is Mike Pence, a virulent homophobe with a document ed record as an enemy of LGBT rights.  With LGBT rights having been scrubbed from the White House and Department of Labor websites within minutes of Trump's swearing in, the question now is whether Trump is intentionally opening the door to an anti-LGBT backlash. If so, he will be keeping promises made to a who's who of Christofascists that helped swing 81% of the evangelical Christian vote to a man who is the antithesis of true Christian values.  A column in the Washington Post contemplates what lies ahead.  Here are excerpts:
“Love it. We can say Fag again.”
That comment, from “Tired-n-Ariz,” was posted on a CBS news story about the disappearance of the LGBT rights page from shortly after Donald Trump took the oath of office on Friday.
It’s dispiriting that despite Trump’s campaign promise that he’d be a “better friend” than Hillary Clinton to the LGBT community, Day One of his presidency had a different headline: “Gays erased.” Jim Obergefell, the plaintiff in the landmark Supreme Court marriage equality case, was deeply disheartened. Trump and the GOP “will pretend that we don’t exist while they work tirelessly to strip away all the gains we’ve made toward being equal citizens of our nation,” he said.
Even worse, news articles that pointed out the disappearance of the page prompted a flood of inflammatory comments like Tired-n-Ariz’s.  It seems that many Trump supporters know they don’t need a filter anymore; they’re now empowered to name-call and deploy slurs once considered unacceptable.
“Saturday Night Live” host Aziz Ansari captured this new zeitgeist in a biting skit . . . . “As soon as Trump won, [these people were] like, ‘We don’t have to pretend like we’re not racist anymore! …We can be racist again, wooo!’ ” Or anti-LGBT. Or misogynistic. For those folks, Ansari had a message: “Please go back to pretending. You’ve got to go back to pretending.” 
 Michelangelo Signorile, author of “It’s Not Over: Getting Beyond Tolerance, Defeating Homophobia, and Winning True Equality,” sees things in a similar light, telling me that Trump’s “attacks on so-called ‘political correctness’ have given license to people to express their bigotry.”
Indeed, many of those commenting on the CBS news story returned repeatedly to the idea that the drive for LGBT acceptance and equality is a result of “all this politically correct crap,” as “boogerhillbill” posted. 
[T]he right to marry the person you love and take on the rights and responsibilities that come with the marriage contract is not a special right. Nor is the right to create a loving family; the right not to be fired from your job because of your identity; the right to visit your spouse in the hospital and make medical decisions on their behalf when necessary. These are the basic rights that heterosexuals currently enjoy; we don’t want more, but we do we want the same. is a reflection of the new president’s values, policies and priorities, and the erasure of LGBT issues from the site is a warning to us about our exclusion from his worldview. 
Let me leave you with the words of 21-year-old Elizabeth Hadfield, who lives in Durham, N.C. She told me: “As a trans woman, I am rendered worthless and invisible by those who I make uncomfortable via my very existence. The disappearance of the LGBT page from the White House website is just another attempt to render us invisible.”
As I said, sometimes a webpage is not just a webpage.

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