Metro Weekly

Gay congressman: Trump will “eviscerate” LGBT rights if elected

Sean Patrick Maloney warns Trump could easily undo LGBT rights, either through executive order or his Supreme Court picks

Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y. (Photo:  Office of U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, via Wikimedia).

Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y. – Photo: Office of U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney.

“Look no further than the folks he wants to put on the Supreme Court. He’s told us who he’s going to appoint, and they will eviscerate all of the rights we’ve won at the Supreme Court.”

–Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), speaking to SiriusXM Progress host Michelangelo Signorile about the danger that a Donald Trump presidency would pose to LGBT rights. Signorile recounted the interview with Maloney, conducted during last week’s Democratic Convention in Philadelphia, in a blog post on The Huffington Post. Maloney marveled at the idea that LGBT people did not see any difference between Trump and Hillary Clinton on LGBT issues.

“We’re talking about a very dramatic fork in the road here,” said Maloney. “And for those of us who have maybe gotten a little complacent with all the progress we’ve made: Look, we don’t have any workplace protections in 29 American states. You could be fired for being LGBT any day of the week. There is no legal recourse. So it is very important that we get legislation on the federal level.”

Maloney pointed out that a majority of the House actually supports LGBT nondiscrimination, but House leadership has rigged votes in order to defeat any pro-LGBT amendments, as they recently did in when Democrats tried to remove anti-LGBT provisions from a defense bill. He said that’s why it’s necessary to take back the Congress as well as get a Democratic president — so that future LGBT legislation, such as the Equality Act, will not be blocked. 

“If you have Hillary Clinton in the White House, and you get more Democrats in the House and we take the Senate, they’re not going to be able to rig that process. We actually have the votes and what we showed is that you can’t bring this anti-gay stuff on the floor anymore and get away with it. And so, they’ve had to retreat into this rigging the process, where they won’t let us have amendments,” Maloney said.

But Maloney also warned that Trump could do damage without even consulting Congress. For instance, he could repeal President Obama’s executive orders prohibiting LGBT discrimination in government employment and by firms that contract with the U.S. government.

“Those federal contractors employ 28 million Americans. So this is significant workplace protection for a large part of the American workforce — those are gone [under Trump],” Maloney said.

John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com