The Dismantling Of Nation’s Most LGBT Friendly Places
Remember Trump’s RNC speech where he vowed, “I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology”? The rest of the administration apparently did not get the memo. Portland, Oregon; Salt Lake City, Utah; Phoenix, Arizona — three cities ranked among the top 20 in the United States for being LGBTQ friendly. With the appointment of the ultra-conservative Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, and his ultra-anti LGBTQ, so called “Bathroom Bill” (SB-6), came the first attack on the LGBTQ community, putting cities in the top 20, and nationwide, in peril.
The brief, published by Sessions on his second day on the job, gives schools the right to ban transgender students from using the bathroom of their gender. Make no mistake, this was only the warning shot; and at students, no less, a demographic that is encouragingly more LGBTQ friendly than the current generation in charge of the laws that are supposed to protect them. Trump has stocked his cabinet with gay-bashing conservatives, the way I might stock my own cabinet during Girl Scout Cookie season — with extreme prejudice (Trump will take only the white racist ones, I’ll take only the Thin Mints and Samoas).
None of this should come as a surprise. In September, when his poll numbers were tanking with the religious right-wing, Trump pontificated in a press release, “If I am elected president, and Congress passes the First Amendment Defense Act, I will sign it to protect the deeply help religious beliefs of Catholics and the beliefs of Americans of all faiths.” With that one press release, he essentially announced he’d legalize discrimination, because apparently a person’s faith is more important than an actual person.
While it remains questionable whether or not Trump is capable of tying his shoes without an aid present, the people doing his governing have shown themselves to be frighteningly competent when it comes to expressing their anti-LGBTQ views.
The most obvious example is Vice President Mike Pence, a man I imagine Trump enjoys referring to as his “number two”. As Governor of Indiana, Pence went to war with the court system to maintain the illegality of same-sex marriages. He avidly supported the Defense of Marriage Act — which states that marriage was to be defined as a union between a man and a woman — claiming it was a sign of “social collapse”, and would bring about the “deterioration of marriage and family.”
Then there’s this guy:
Steve Bannon, quoted as saying, “Kids raised by same-sex couples [are] twice as likely to be depressed, fat adults.” LGBTQ bashing, mental illness misconceptions, AND body shaming all in one go! Bannon is currently the White House Chief Strategist, and top advisor to the president — arguably the man with the most influence over our Commander in Chief. He is widely known as a Washington outsider, and for his alt-right “news” organization, Breitbart. His view that homosexuality is a plague on our nation is frightening, not only because he has the ear of the president, but he has actively encouraged his followers to use slurs, demonize women for using birth control, and is praised by Nazis.
So how can these top 20 cities keep their footing and advance in what seems to be an onslaught of laws set out to demonize people for being who they are? How can we, as a nation, expect to move forward? We’re already seeing it happen with protesters marching in the streets, calls to representatives, boycotting of Trump supporting brands, record breaking turnouts for town hall meeting — and voting! This is about more than just the presidential election. It’s up to us, guys. Take care out there, and make it your responsibility as a human being to stand up for others, and to take on an administration that won’t stand up for us.