Why LGBT People Are Scared About Trump’s Presidency
For LGBT Americans, Donald Trump’s impending presidency is more than an uncomfortable conversation at dinner. They’re worried for their basic human rights. And that might sound like an exaggeration, but it’s not. Here’s why.
1. His Anti-LGBT “First Amendment Defense Act”
This basically just says that if you claim to be uber religious, you can discriminate against gay people in your business dealings. But it’s not just for businesses. Landlords and healthcare providers can discriminate too. This means that in some states you might not be able to get a job, rent a place to live, or get coverage for medical treatments as a gay person.
2. His Supreme Court Nominees
Not only is there a vacancy for Trump to fill now, but there will likely be up to three more during his term. This could hurt LBGTQ people because all 11 of Trump’s possible Supreme Court choices are conservatives. Just his first appointment would make the court 5-4 conservatives, which means they could reverse the recent ruling in support of marriage equality if it comes up for a vote again. Trump has said he will not seek to overturn this ruling, but it could still happen if someone seeks to appeal the ruling.
Religious liberty claims are used by most of his nominees to oppose protection for LGBTQ Americans regarding many of their basic rights. One of his nominees Diane Sykes even claimed that anti-gay groups should receive government subsidies under the constitution. Read: the government should back groups of homophobic people and give them money, inevitably furthering their prerogatives.
3. Mike Pence
Trump’s vice-presidential pick, Mike Pence, supported redirecting government funding from HIV/AIDS research to conversion therapy in 2000. As a public figure this sets a super great example for the millions of people who were previously secretly homophobic.
4. Hate Crimes
Every day there are reports of both verbal and physical altercations, with a surge in hate crimes against LGBT people. Leaving the house can feel dangerous, especially in more conservative states. Even if you haven’t seen it yet, it is still happening. Even if none of the anti-LGBT legislation is passed, discrimination and public embarrassment appear to be increasing.
The only concrete power Trump has had so far, he used to appoint traditionally homophobic men and women to his transition team. Jeff Sessions has opposed any move for LGBTQ rights in his role as an Alabama Senator, and now will be the Attorney General. Nikki Haley, the new ambassador to the U.N, strongly opposes gay marriage. And these are just two of his picks. These people now have not only power in America, but international power.