Trump administration's attack against Gay rights
In 2016, Donald Trump, running for presidential candidate, after the massacre at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, promised to support the rights of the LGBTQ community. He swore, “As your president, I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens.” However, President Trump’s Administration, in its first year of office only, has garnered a striking record against gays and lesbians. How has Donald Trump limited the advancement of gays in American society? Let’s see.
In 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (HHS OCR), under President Obama’s government, implemented The Affordable Care Act. This act stated that discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity through sex stereotyping is prohibited in health facilities, programs, and activities that receive federal funding.
However, in December 2016, a court order was passed that prevented HHS from enforcing the nondiscrimination policy. The U.S. Department of Justice, under Trump’s administration, did nothing to overturn the court order but instead requested that the action against the gays stayed.
A skydiving instructor, Donald Zarda, filed a lawsuit claiming that he was fired for his sexual orientation. He claimed that this act against him was unfair in accordance to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This act, passed to protect employment rights, stated that discriminating on the basis of sex, color, religion and national origin is prohibited.
However, Trump’s administration claimed that this act is not applicable to LGBT workers. In 2017, the U.S. Justice Department forced the federal appeals court in Manhattan to deny the lawsuit by Donald Zarda. The Justice Department argued that this act does not apply to the LGBT community because companies that fire workers based on their sexual orientation would do so whether workers are male or female.
Nomination of gay opponent
Mr. Trump did not stop there. He also announced that he was nominating Sam Brownback as the nation’s ambassador for international religious freedom. Sam, the governor of Kansas, is a vocal opponent of gay rights. He not only pushed for a ban on same sex marriage in 2015, but also signed an executive order in Kansas that stopped the state government from taking action against religious groups who denied services to gay people.
The actions of Donald Trump were a complete reversal from his predecessor, Barrack Obama, who made repeated attempts, using legal arguments and administration actions, to protect the rights of gays and lesbians.