Through this election, Trump has been called out for being sexist, racist, xenophobic, and Islamophobic. This was especially evident in Sunday’s debate, where Clinton called him out multiple times on his disrespectful comments to women, his racist remarks about African Americans and Latinos, and his unconstitutional plan of banning Muslims from entering the United States. However, since Trump is so blatantly racist and sexist, people tend to forget he’s homophobic too.
Trump claims he’s an ally to LGBTQ people. He even sells a shirt with the message “LGBTQ for Trump”. Selling a shirt, however, does not make up for his homophobic actions and support of homophobic individuals.
The people you surround yourself with say a lot about who you are. Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, has been nothing but homophobic in the past. As governor of Indiana, he signed a bill into law that prohibited laws that “substantially burden” a person’s ability to follow their religious beliefs. This law, which may sound good on the surface, had the goal of allowing Christians and Catholics to “follow their religious beliefs” by discriminating against LGBTQ people. When Pence was asked six times if this law would make it legal for a merchant to refuse gay customers, he avoided the question.
The VP’s homophobic actions don’t stop there. In 2000, he proposed a bill that would ban federal dollars being given to organizations that “encourage the types of behaviors that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus”. He planned to use the saved money to fund conversion therapy. In 2006, he supported an amendment to the Constitution banning same sex marriage. In his speech, he said “societal collapse was always brought about following an advent of the deterioration of marriage and family.” He also went on to say being gay was a choice and keeping gays from marrying was not discrimination but a reinforcement of “God’s idea”. In 2007, he voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act that would protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in the workplace. In 2010 he opposed the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (a law that stopped soldiers from openly identifying as gay), telling CNN he didn’t want to see the military as a “backdrop for social experimentation”. In 2013, he signed a bill to jail same-sex couples who applied for a marriage license. Finally, he rejected Obama’s directive on trans rights and bathrooms, arguing it was a state issue.
Although Pence is pretty bad, it doesn’t end with him. Trump has vowed to appoint extremely conservative judges to the Supreme Court, to follow in the footsteps of Antonin Scalia. He even endorsed North Carolina’s HB2. Trump’s campaign manager would probably be as bad as Pence if she had the power. She’s a former pollster for the “National Organization for Marriage”, which is extremely homophobic. Trump’s campaign CEO has called a trans woman “a guy in a dress” and posted an article claiming “no one believes trans women are women”. These are the people Trump hired. These are the people Trump surrounds himself with.
Even Trump’s promises and endorsements show his underlying homophobic nature. He’s given speeches for anti-LGBTQ groups. He’s pledged to sign the FADA, a bill that would allow LGBTQ discrimination at a national level. After the Pulse tragedy, he posted this tweet, applauding himself. Two months after Pulse, he headlined an anti-LGBTQ event in Orlando.
Don’t let America’s silence fool you – Trump is not a friend to the LGBTQ. Selling a shirt is not support. Saying you have gay friends is not support. Support is action. Support is pro-LGBTQ speeches. Support is a team that believes in equality. Support is pro-LGBTQ bills. Silence is not support.