Category: World Hits: 8
Nearly every one of Donald Trump's cabinet-level picks has trafficked in homophobia for years. Here's how Trump is making good on his pledge to "protect our LGBTQ citizens."
Vice President Mike Pence
Mike Pence's illustrious career of treating LGBTQ Americans as lesser human beings, opposing their right to serve in the military and to marry, and trying to divert federal funding for AIDS away from AIDS groups and toward groups promoting the dangerous practice of "conversion therapy" is widely documented.
Expect Pence’s Indiana law granting religious folks special rights to discriminate against LGBTQ Americans to serve as a model for how Republicans will seek to attack the rights of LGBTQ citizens. Yes, it was billed as a RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act) in the mold of the federal RFRA from the ‘90s, but it went much much further in giving private citizens a basis to justify discrimination and defend themselves against lawsuits, and not just those brought by the federal government. “Religious freedom” will be the rallying cry for attacking LGBTQ freedom in Trump’s administration.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions
Sessions has been a staunch opponent of LGBT rights, opposing the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and saying that hate crimes protections for LGBT people “cheapen the civil rights movement.” In 2006, Sessions voted to advance a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. After the Supreme Court extended marriage equality nationwide, Sessions said that gay people could already get unofficially married:
“People could get married before the Supreme Court ruling, two people could call themselves married” he explained, saying that same-sex couples could “go off at the beach and have flowers and play rock music” in a symbolic, but not legally recognized, ceremony.
Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price
Over the years, Price co-sponsored a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. He voted against a bill that banned employers from discriminating against gay people and a bill that fought anti-gay hate crimes. He called the Obama administration’s guidelines allowing transgender students to use the bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity, “absurd.”
Price went out of his way to back Kelvin Cochran, an Atlanta fire chief who was terminated in January 2015 after employees received copies of his self-published book, which equated homosexuality with pedophilia and bestiality. The city’s mayor claimed Cochran was fired for his “judgment and management.” But Price, along with five other Georgia lawmakers, signed onto a letter asking the mayor to reinstate him.