Metro Weekly

NOM wants to repeal marriage equality under Trump administration

Repeal of gender identity guidance and passage of First Amendment Defense Act also on NOM's wish list

NOM's Brian Brown, Photo: NBC / Meet the Press

NOM’s Brian Brown, Photo: NBC / Meet the Press

While the nation’s top LGBT organizations were dismayed at the election of Donald Trump as president, the National Organization for Marriage is ecstatic. In an open letter to supporters posted on the organization’s blog, NOM President Brian Brown hailed Trump’s victory and committed to working with the new administration to advance the organization’s top priorities.

“We are confident that our voice and our views will be important in a Trump administration,” Brown wrote in the post, which was titled “The Plan.” “This is a bright and exciting time for NOM, and we are committed to taking full advantage of the opportunity we have.”

Specifically, Brown outlines four major priorities that NOM hopes to achieve under Trump:

  • nominating conservative justices to the U.S. Supreme Court who will reverse the marriage equality decision in Obergefell v. Hodges; 
  • the repeal of any pro-transgender executive orders or directives, such as the Department of Education’s guidance on allowing transgender students to access the restroom matching their gender identity;
  • reversing policies that “coerce” countries receiving foreign aid to improve their records on LGBT rights; and
  • passing the First Amendment Defense Act, which would allow people to deny service to LGBT people based on personally held religious or moral objections.

“We’re excited about the future, and we are looking forward to work with the Trump administration to restore marriage, uphold gender, protect religious liberty and promote families,” Brown concluded.

Brown’s post was picked up by gay blogs, who ran screeching headlines warning of a possible reversal of LGBT rights under a Trump administration. But LGBT Republicans who are either supporting Trump or cautiously optimistic about a Trump presidency say there’s no evidence that he intends to roll back LGBT rights or that he supports any of NOM’s desired policies. Gregory T. Angelo, president of the Log Cabin Republicans, has said it would be hard for any individual to achieve the standing necessary to bring a lawsuit against marriage equality, let alone overturn the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell.

Angelo also says that the First Amendment Defense Act is highly unlikely to pass through a Republican Congress, let alone make it to Trump’s desk to be signed into law.

“Log Cabin Republicans have lobbied against that, because it, much like the Equality Act, interestingly enough, is overly broad and could lead to unintended consequences,” says Angelo. He points to the fact that the National Organization for Marriage is the only organization still supporting the bill, as several other socially conservative groups, including the Family Research Council and the American Family Association, have pulled their support for FADA because of its overly broad language.

“I think a lot of the talk about religious liberty and the screaming from the Left about how Donald Trump was going to allow institutionalized discrimination is going to turn out to be another example of crying wolf,” adds Republican activist Christopher Barron.

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