Trump Administration's LGBTQ+ Policy: Globally Versus Locally

The Trump Administration is notoriously known for being negative toward the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Plus (LGBTQ+) Community. Vice President Mike Pence has frequently been accused of being a supporter of conversion therapy and once Donald Trump joked that Mike Pence wanted to hang all gay people. Recently, the Trump Administration announced a new initiative to lead a global effort to decriminalize homosexuality. Roughly 70 countries currently criminalize homosexuality. According to the administration's statement, they do not have a specific plan to implement their initiative, but they hope to have help from the United Nations and the European Union. When a reporter asked Trump about the initiative, recently, he stated he did not know what the reporter was referring to. 

Since this global initiative envokes a very different tone toward the LGBTQ+ community than the Trump Administration has previously shown, many LGBTQ+ advocates and organizations remain skeptical of the intentions of the campaign. While this initiative may seem positive on its face, it is important to ask the critical question: why is the Trump Administration focusing on international LGBTQ+ rights, but at the same time creating policies that are negative for LGBTQ+ Americans?

To many, it seems contradictory that Trump believes in protections for LGBTQ+ people abroad, but not at home. The Gay Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) cited over 90 ways that the Trump Administration has harmed LGBTQ+ people in the United States since the beginning of the Trump presidency. Here I have listed five examples of the Trump Administration's anti-LGBTQ+ policies:

  1. The ban on trans people serving in the military upheld by the Supreme Court
  2. Rescinded two Obama guidances that stated trans students and trans workers are protected under federal law
  3. Promoted religious liberty guidance, urging federal agencies to respect religious liberty which has been in direct conflict with LGBTQ+ rights as seen in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case
  4. Department of Health and Human Services promoted defining sex as unchangeable, either male or female for Title IX interpretation
  5. Trump’s Administration has publicly supported adoption agencies denying adoption services to LGBTQ+ couples

These policies and actions by the current administration show that they are not allies of the LGBTQ+ community, but rather have been actively rolling back their rights and protections. If the Trump Administration is not willing to protect LGBTQ+ Americans, then why are they willing to protect LGBTQ+ people of different countries? Some people think the reason for this global initiative to decriminalize homosexuality may be to gain political clout in the international human rights world. Others are suggesting that this policy is directed to target Iran in hopes of gaining support from European Nations to take a stand against Iran, which the Trump Administration has been advocating for. Regardless of the motivation for this global initiative one thing is clear, the Trump Administration needs to set a positive example on LGBTQ+ human rights by lawfully protecting members of the LGBTQ+ community. 

(Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 567)

(Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4)