Trump Opposes Equality Act Because Of Course

Donald Trump” by Gage Skidmore / CC BY-SA 2.0

In an announcement that surprised no one, President Donald Trump told the press via a senior administration official that he opposes the Equality Act. In an email sent to the Washington Blade on Monday, the official wrote:

The Trump administration absolutely opposes discrimination of any kind and supports the equal treatment of all; however, this bill in its current form is filled with poison pills that threaten to undermine parental and conscience rights.

The funny part is Trump once said back in an old interview that he thought including LGBTQ rights in the Civil Rights Act was a good idea. “I like the idea of amending the 1964 Civil Rights Act to include a ban of discrimination based on sexual orientation” he told The Advocate back in 2000. “It would be simple. It would be straightforward. We don’t need to rewrite the laws currently on the books, although I do think we need to address hate-crimes legislation. But amending the Civil Rights Act would grant the same protection to gay people that we give to other Americans — it’s only fair.”

What changed Trump’s mind? Probably sucking up to the Religious Right. Or it could be the fact that the Equality Act does more than what Trump proposed nineteen years ago. According to the Blade:

In addition to transgender inclusion, the bill seeks to update federal law to include sex in the list of protected classes in public accommodation and expands the definition of public accommodations to include retail stores, banks, transportation services and health care services. Further, the Equality Act would establish that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act — a 1994 law aimed at protecting religious liberty — can’t be used to enable anti-LGBT discrimination.

Given Trump’s history of housing discrimination, I guess that part of the Equality Act is too much for him.

This, of course, is to be expected from him. He’ll say he’s a friend to the LGBTQ community one day, and then change his mind in order to keep his supporters happy. The Blade did say, fortunately, that Trump’s personal position won’t affect the upcoming House vote on the Equality Act this Friday. I hope they’re right.