After receiving the significant support of Matt Drudge and Peter Thiel, Trump appoints people with a history of being against gay rights. This is really something considering that without both of them, Trump would have done a lot worse in elections. It goes to show that although Trump seems to give some value to loyalty, he is still nonetheless willing to cheat and/or betray just about anyone in some way. His rhetoric is unreliable, and like most politicians, it is more insightful to look at the deeds instead of the words.
President-elect Donald Trump has called himself a “supporter” of LGBT rights, but his senior staff picks include some of the most virulently anti-gay politicians in the country, leaving LGBT groups uncertain and worried about what path he will eventually take.
Topping the anti-gay list is Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who Chad Griffin, the president of the Human Rights Campaign, called “the number one face of hate in the country.”
Early in his career, Pence advocated siphoning off government money for HIV treatment and instead putting it toward gay “conversion therapy.” He has urged Congress to “oppose any effort to put gay and lesbian relationships on an equal legal status,” and as recently as last year, Pence signed a license-to-discriminate bill that allowed business to refuse service to LGBT people.
Trump’s pick for attorney general Sen. Jeff Sessions has a voting record rated “zero percent” by the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights group. Sessions voted for a failed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and against the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the policy that did not allow gay people to serve openly in the military. He also opposed expanding the definition of a hate crime to include LGBT people.
“It is deeply disturbing that Jeff Sessions, who has such clear animus against so many Americans including the LGBTQ community, women and people of color could be charged with running the very system of justice designed to protect them,” Griffin said in a November statement.
Trump also named Betsy DeVos a billionaire Republican donor and anti-gay activist as education secretary. DeVos’s family, which includes Blackwater founder Eric Prince, has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to anti-gay groups, including groups that advocate for “conversion therapy.”
Trump’s top White House adviser Steve Bannon is the former chairman of Breitbart News Network, which has published headlines like “Gay Rights Have Made Us Dumber, It’s Time to Get Back in the Closet,” and “Day Of Silence: How The LGBT Agenda Is Hijacking America’s Youth.”
The Trump transition’s policy team also includes Ken Klukowski, a Breitbart editor and right-wing lawyer who Politico reported is the transition’s point person for “protecting constitutional rights.” Klukowski has worked for several anti-gay groups, including the Family Research Council and American Civil Rights Union, and served on the faculty of Liberty University widely considered a haven for anti-gay evangelicals.
Many members of the LGBT community were alarmed by Trump’s election, with gay and transgender rights organization receiving a massive number of calls from people concerned about facing increased discrimination or the prospect of marriage equality being overturned.
Trump told Leslie Stahl on CBS’s 60 Minutes shortly after the election that he would not try to overturn the 2015 Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage. “It was already settled, he said. “It’s law. It was settled in the Supreme Court. I mean, it’s done.”