President Trump: A Giant Step Backward for LGBTQ Inclusion and Equality

There is much speculation after the election on the future of LGBTQ rights.  If we go by what President-elect Donald Trump said during the campaign, it is a scary and uncertain time for the LGBTQ community.  In fact, Dr. Patrick Egan, an associate professor of politics and public policy at New York University says, “It’s grim,” for the future of LGBTQ rights under President Donald Trump.  Trump ran for office on one of the most anti-gay platforms in history. That is cause for concern says Egan because even if Trump doesn’t have a vendetta against LGBTQ Americans, his campaign and his vice-president do.

According to Egan, the following LGBTQ rights will be safe under a Trump presidency:

Marriage Equality Even if Trump nominates conservative Supreme Court justices, it passed with conservative Justice Antonin Scalia 5-4.  Also for the Supreme Court to consider overturning its ruling, a relevant conflict on the issue of marriage equality would need to occur on a state level. Then, the court would need to agree to hear it. Egan said, the justices are unlikely to overrule a precedent that’s been established so recently.  The general public per opinion polls, supports marriage equality.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell The measure that prohibited LGBTQ Americans from serving openly in the military was overturned in 2010 with wide support. There have been minimum calls to reinstate it.

While that is good news, the following pursuits for LGBTQ rights will be suspended with a Trump presidency according to Egan.
Equality Act The Equality Act would establish employment discrimination rights for the LGBTQ community. All efforts to put this on the agenda for Congress are, “…just completely dead in the water” said Egan.

Grants The Obama Administration awarded grants to LGBTQ social services organizations. These grants will be discontinued under President Trump.

Transgender Support The Obama Administration’s guidelines for protecting transgender students from discrimination in public schools will be gone. The Trump administration is likely to stand behind state judges who rule against the guidelines. Also it’s unlikely Trump’s administration will openly oppose discriminatory “bathroom bills,” such as North Carolina’s House Bill 2, as Obama’s has.

Religious Freedom Law Egan believes that a stronger version of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act will be introduced in Congress and signed by Trump. The only way for Democrats to stop it would be filibustering or holding the congressional floor until a vote on the bill becomes impossible.

Egan also states that whether or not Trump moves to restrict LGBT rights will depend if he feels the need to pay back the Christian right for its support. So we don’t know how Trump will respond to anti-LGBTQ bills until they cross his desk next year.

But one thing is clear: Trump’s administration will be a giant step backward for LGBT inclusion and equality.

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