Gay community jittery over Trump

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People protest outside Trump Tower following President-elect Donald Trump's election victory in Manhattan, New York, REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
People protest outside Trump Tower following President-elect Donald Trump’s election victory in Manhattan, New York, REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

The election of Donald Trump to the presidency sent panic through much of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

The community,  will for the first time in eight years,  face an administration hostile to its civil rights goals and a president-elect who has expressed a desire to reverse many of its political gains.

Jay Brown, a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest gay rights organization, said its office had received calls from frightened people who wanted to know what the election results might mean for them.

Some callers wondered if they should speed up wedding plans so they could be married before the inauguration, in case a President Trump tries to overturn gay marriage, he said.

Others worried that the military would reinstate “don’t ask, don’t tell,” the ban on openly gay and lesbian service members that ended in 2011.

“This is a devastating loss for our community,” Mr. Brown said. “It is something a lot of folks are still trying to wrap their heads around.”

Mara Keisling, the executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, agreed.

“All across America right now there are millions of people who are terrified,” she said.

Trump has no reputation for personal animosity toward gay people, and the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay and lesbian political organization, congratulated him on his victory.

He employed gay people in the Trump Organization, spent most of his life in socially liberal New York City, and surprised some Republicans this year when he said transgender people should “use the bathroom they feel is appropriate,” a view held by few others in the party.

But many L.G.B.T. leaders said they were unmoved by accounts of Mr. Trump’s personal tolerance.

“Even if people believe that about Trump, what is true is he will now be held to the G.O.P. platform,” said Rea Carey, the executive director of the National L.G.B.T.Q. Task Force.

She called it the most anti-L.G.B.T. platform in recent memory.

Carey called Mr. Trump’s public statements on gay and transgender issues “confusing and conflicting.”

As a candidate, Mr. Trump told Fox News that he would “strongly consider” appointing Supreme Court justices who would overturn same-sex marriage but later in the campaign held a rainbow flag onstage and presented himself as gay friendly.

Trump has also promised to nullify all of Mr. Obama’s executive orders, including one that bans anti-L.G.B.T. discrimination by federal contractors and another that protects the rights of transgender students, she said.

Gay and transgender leaders said they were especially alarmed when Mr. Trump chose Mike Pence, who has a long record of opposition to gay rights, as his running mate.

“What we know about Mike Pence is that he led a direct, massive and concerted effort in the state of Indiana to deny equality to L.G.B.T. people,” Carey said. “It’s not like Trump didn’t know who he was.”

As governor of Indiana, Pence opposed gay marriage and signed into law a bill that made it legal for businesses to cite religious freedom when refusing service to gay and transgender people, for example a bakery that refused to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding.

As a member of Congress, Mr. Pence voted against employment nondiscrimination protections for gay and transgender people and also voted against the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

His opposition to gay rights goes back at least to his first congressional campaign, in 2000, when he opposed same-sex marriage and the non-discrimination laws that protected L.G.B.T. people.

Source: New York Times

Read more http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/11/us/politics/trump-victory-alarms-gay-and-transgender-groups.html?_r=0


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