In October 2016, during his campaign for the presidential election of the United States, Donald Trump could have been seen as a liberal Republican considering LGBTQ issues. He has waved a rainbow pride flag at a rally in Colorado. Back the 1990s he supported amending the Civil Rights Act to include sexual orientation liberties.
Despite his promises, his election turns to be a terrible regression for LGBTQ people (and not only…).
All the President’s political actions concerning the rights of LGBTQ happened to be a huge backsliding after the progressive laws and views of President Obama’s term.
First most of his political entourage is known for their conservative views and actions towards sex liberties. Jeff Sessions, nominated in February as the new Attorney General of Justice Department, has withdrawn guidance issue to schools on the treatment of transgender students, signaling that it would no longer consider the country’s responsibility to protect them. Instead, their fate is left to states and local school districts.
On that same month, the Southern Poverty Law Center (an American association known for its surveillance works concerning the far right and institutions advocating hate in the U.S.) published a report ‘The Year in Hate and Extremism’, saying that Trump’s campaign helped inspire a rise of new hate groups, including anti-LGBTQ groups.
On March 20 was released the National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants (NSOAPP), which helps the federal government decide where to send funding each year. But the Trump administration’s 2017 survey revealed a huge shift in questions relating to sexual orientation or gender identity, as these questions have been removed from the its goals.
One of the latest decisions made by Trump is the announcement through his Tweeter account on July 26th of a ban for transgender people to forbid them access to the military service. Financial costs were the reason invoked by the President. This is a direct attack at former President Obama’s policy, which acted to end a longstanding ban that prevented transgender people from serving openly in the military in June 2016. Meanwhile the RAND Corporation, a think tank specialized in research and analysis of the American army estimates that in 2016 2450 of the 1,2 million of the army’s members were transgender.
Last but not least, there’s also the question of the freedom of religion. The First Amendment Defense Act introduced in 2015 which states that the federal government “shall not take any discriminatory action against a person, wholly or partially on the basis that such person believes or acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or that sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.” Supposed to protect the First Amendment, the core concerning the sex equality. This bill can of course be used as a treat for LGBTQ’s people, and is used in that purpose by the Trump’s administration.
Ones of the only remaining American institutions that still manage to defend and reaffirm LGBTQ’s rights are the courts. Let’s hope a shift in Trump’s administration will come, especially considering that American society is progressive towards that issue, such as the major part of the GOP.