What the Trump Presidency Will Mean to...
Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual and Transgender People
December 12, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) people face truly grave threats from the Trump regime.
Trump himself has not publicly demonized LGBT people in the same way he has Muslims and immigrants. But his government is committed to implementing the anti-gay Republican Party platform, and it is thick with Christian fascists! Vice president-elect Mike Pence believes Biblical law should guide the U.S. today; hostility to gay people has been his trademark throughout his political career. Senator Jeff Sessions, Trump’s nominee for Attorney General (who would have responsibility for protecting LGBT rights) has been 100% consistent in opposing any laws protecting LGBT people.
Here is some of what is at risk at their hands:
Same sex marriage was legalized nationally by a 2015 Supreme Court decision. Last January, Trump told Fox News that he would “strongly consider” appointing Supreme Court judges who would overturn that decision. Mike Pence told Congress in 2006 that gay marriage was a sign of “societal collapse.” Jeff Sessions introduced a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. What do you think this crew will do as it consolidates power?
Adoption is regulated by the states. Gay adoption was outright illegal in many of them until recently. In 2013, a federal law passed saying that adoption agencies receiving federal funds could not discriminate against gay prospective parents, and in about a dozen states there are state laws providing some degree of protection for gay—and in a very few states, transgender—people who want to adopt. But in the great majority of states, there is no protection, meaning that adoption agencies are free to discriminate against LGBT people, as long as their agency does not receive federal funds. And under the Trump regime (and Republican congress) that law could be repealed; religious exceptions established (excluding religious agencies from the law, even if they receive federal funds), or federal funding to adoption agencies (and hence anti-discrimination leverage) could be cut… in order to make adoption even more difficult for LGBT people.
“Conversion Therapy”—based on the idea that not conforming to traditional gender roles and identity is a sickness, aberration, or offense against god—is the practice of “deprogramming” LGBT people, particularly teens, with methods that include isolation, humiliation, electric shocks, and “praying the gay away.” It is illegal in California, and should be illegal everywhere.
But the Republican Party Platform defends this barbaric practice: “We support the right of parents to determine the proper treatment or therapy, for their minor children.” And Pence argued that the federal government should fight HIV-AIDS by funneling its resources “toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.” Trump’s nominee to head the Department of Education, Betsy DeVos, is also associated with support for “Conversion Therapy.”
Transgender rights and social acceptance are even more fragile than gay rights as a whole. Christian fascists have been spreading fear and hatred of trans people, in particular around the right to access public bathrooms, by equating trans women using women’s rest rooms with male rapists and child molesters.
Pence openly opposes any laws protecting transgender people. As Governor, Pence recently defied a federal directive that schools should allow transgender youth to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with, and then a number of local school districts in Indiana followed suit. Trump’s position is that the federal government should stay out of this issue and leave it to the states—knowing full well that Christian fascist forces are deeply entrenched in many state governments.
LGBT people are already the targets of bullying, beatings, and even murder, and the effect of the whole Trump campaign has been to greatly increase all hate crimes—against LGBT people, Blacks, women, Mexicans, and Muslims. This has intensified since the election and is bound to be further escalated after Trump takes office, as reactionaries get a clear signal from the highest offices in the land that it is right to carry out these attacks, and as laws that penalize these crimes are blocked or overturned.
Legal Protection Against Discrimination and Violent Attack:
The Trump team will fight any laws that protect LGBT people. Pence opposes “any effort to recognize homosexuals as a ‘discreet and insular minority’ entitled to the protection of anti-discrimination laws.” Senator Sessions opposed a law to classify violent attacks on or murder of gay people as “hate crimes” and provide protection from them.
Trump supports the federal First Amendment Defense Act, which protects people’s “right” to discriminate against LGBT people, as long as they have a religious motivation. (As Indiana governor, Mike Pence pushed through a similar bill, The Religious Freedom Restoration Act.) Today that means landlords could legally refuse to rent to gays, employers could fire them, etc., by claiming that homosexuality violates their religious beliefs.
But it is also important to point out the logic and direction of applying Christian fascist morality to modern society, as these laws do. In The Truth About Right-Wing Conspiracy… And Why Clinton and the Democrats Are No Answer, Bob Avakian quotes Christian fascist leader Pat Robertson describing “the biblical model” that should be applied today:
“In ancient Israel, it was believed that blood shed in murder would defile the land and that shedding the blood of a killer was restitution to the land.”
“Those who were considered incorrigible, who had committed unseemly acts that turned Israel against God or destroyed the fabric of society, had only one alternative—capital punishment. Through capital punishment, society was rid of that offense, and the land was cleansed of evil.”
Avakian goes on to note that
Here Robertson begins by speaking of murder, and he never specifically identifies any crime other than murder, but the fact is—and obviously this is well known to Robertson—in ancient Israel many acts besides murder brought the death penalty. As Robertson himself points out: “the same law that included the Ten Commandments also had clear provision for capital punishment for specific offenses.” But, also very significantly, Robertson avoids saying what those offenses were. For they included not only murder but also the alleged crimes of homosexuality, practicing witchcraft and magic, worshipping idols and gods other than the god of Israel, adultery and fornication—which, for women, meant any sex outside marriage—and rebelliousness, or even disrespect, on the part of children toward their parents. As shown in these examples (and many others that could be cited), in ancient Israel capital punishment was meted out for a number of things which, according to long-established standards of bourgeois society, are not even crimes, or certainly are not crimes deserving capital punishment.
This is what these people actually believe, even while they understand that at this point they can’t put their full agenda on the table without most people in society—even many of their supporters—seeing them as what they are, cruel and monstrous representatives of a deeply oppressive order. If they are allowed to consolidate their fascist regime (which includes the ability to violently crush any opposition), that “constraint” will cease to matter.
Dangers… That Cannot Be Allowed to Happen
What all of this amounts to is more than just the very real legal harm to peoples’ hard-won rights; it amounts to resurrecting and enshrining in law and culture the view that LGBT people are not people, not human beings, not deserving of love, respect or justice, and in fact, following the logic to its conclusion, an obstacle to god and country that must be forcibly broken or eliminated. This could well bring about horrors that people today may not be able to imagine. It is imperative that this NOT be allowed to happen.
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