“Historic Fact: Donald Trump Will Be The First President To Support Gay Marriage From The Beginning”
So reads the headline over a piece by Bruce Carroll on a site called Independent Journal Review, in which the views of the author of the article “are exclusive to them and do not represent the views of IJR.”
Carroll points out the following: “Donald Trump is the first President of the United States who was elected as an open supporter of the gay community at large and gay marriage specifically. Let us not forget that until it was politically expedient, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton both opposed gay marriage for the overwhelming majority of the time taxpayers paid for their lifestyles.”
And while Carroll never uses the adjective “transgender” in his piece, he does use the “LGBT” term a few times, such as this one: “President Trump now has a historic platform to demonstrate by deeds that he shows no animus toward the LGBT community yet at the same time not advocating for special rights.”
And then he says this: “I have confidence that Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions will carry out our civil rights laws in an equal fashion, which includes LGBT protection and protection of religious freedom.”
Of course, the part about “religious freedom” will be a sore point for many if people are allowed to discriminate in the name of religion . . . but I digress. I’m guessing we will get back to that particular issue if and when the Trump administration moves on it.
What I really want to talk about is Trump and the LGBT community. There are fears among many that Trump will move to derail the rights already won by lesbian and gay people, and that his administration will put up roadblocks for trans people.
My crystal ball is murky on these issues. There is no doubt that Trump has many anti-LGBT folks around him these days. But he does support same-sex marriage, and he has shown in the past that he has no issues with trans people: in Canada in 2012, for example, his Miss Canada Pageant organizers tried to bar a trans woman, Jenna Talackova, from competing in the contest. After much hullabaloo in the media, Trump’s U.S. office overrode the Canadian organizers with this statement: “As long as she meets the standards of legal gender recognition requirements of Canada, which we understand that she does, Jenna Talackova is free to compete in the 2012 Miss Universe Canada pageant.”
I can’t recall him saying one nasty word about trans people at the time.
More recently, he has been somewhat wishy-washy about the so-called “bathroom issue” that concerns so many conservative types. While campaigning in April 2016, Trump said “transgender people should be allowed to use whatever bathroom they feel most comfortable with — including at Trump Tower in New York,” the New York Times reported.
But he took some heat over his stance from Republicans, so he supposedly flip-flopped on the issue and claimed he supported North Carolina’s anti-trans law . . .
And so it goes.
I don’t for a minute think that Donald Trump harbours any bad feelings for LGB and T people. But many of the people he is naming to important positions certainly have shown that they would like to restrict the rights of LGBT folks. Will Trump be able to contain them? Will he be in office long enough to contain them . . . because he may be the only buffer between an anti-LGBT administration and the LGBT community.
Time will tell. I’m sure I will be writing more about this.
Meanwhile, a somewhat sad piece I handled for my paper was one from a Washington Post writer yesterday about the increase in homophobia he has seen in the past few days.
Steven Petrow writes in a story headlined “Erasure of LGBT page from White House website empowers homophobes and bigots” that he has read several inflammatory reader comments in mainstream news reports about the new WhiteHouse.gov site not having an LGBT page.
Like this one, on a CBS News site from a reader calling himself Tired-n-Ariz: “Love it. We can say Fag again.”
It is standard procedure for new White House administrations to start with a new website — indeed, the Obama White House site has been archived. And it is certainly not surprising that a Republican administration won’t do much to advocate for LGBT people — and won’t have a special page devoted to them.
But some haters out there feel they now have licence to openly express slurs against LGBT people, and it will only get worse if Trump doesn’t make some sort of statement decrying the bigotry.
Let’s hope the American media press him on these issues.
Again, as the British like to say, it’s early days yet . . . I will be writing more about these issues.
Photo: Buck Angel: This is what women could see in women’s public washrooms and dressing rooms if legislation is enacted forcing trans men to use women’s facilities. (Source: Buck Angel/Eli Schmidt / Buck Angel Entertainment)