Metro Weekly

LGBTQ Groups Condemn Donald Trump’s Presidential Announcement

Former president trumpets right-wing cultural issues, particularly attacking transgender youth, athletes, and military members.

Trump silhouette – Image by Ginettigino, via Dreamstime

Following former President Donald Trump’s announcement on Tuesday that he would again seek the White House in 2024, several LGBTQ groups condemned Trump and blasted him for his record on issues related to LGBTQ equality. 

Those groups blasted the former president for his record on LGBTQ equality and sought to cast him as mean, spiteful, out-of-touch, and obsessed with pushing so-called “culture war” issues in order to pander to social conservatives, who comprise a substantial chunk of the Republican Party’s most loyal voters.

Trump, never one to tone down his rhetoric, filled his speech with plenty of “red meat” issues for Republicans to sink their teeth into.

He railed about how he planned to deny federal funding to schools engaged in “radical civics and gender insanity,” a reference to the ongoing debates in various school boards regarding the inclusion of lessons that touch on racial issues and policies that affirm transgender students’ gender identities.

The former president also hit on the issue of transgender participation in sports — which polls have shown most Americans oppose — and confirmed his opposition to allowing transgender athletes to compete on sports teams based on their gender identity.

“We will not let men, as an example, participate in women’s sports. No men! My people tell me ‘Sir, that’s politically incorrect to say,'” Trump said, seeking to cast himself as a truth-teller who openly defies so-called “wokeness” and cancel culture. “I say, ‘That’s okay, I’ll say it anyway.'”

Trump also appeared to allude to the fact that he might reverse the Biden administration’s policy allowing transgender service members to serve openly in the U.S. military, decrying the imposition of a “radical left ideology” on the Armed Forces.

“We in the LGBTQ+ community have watched over the past seven years as Donald Trump’s hateful language and discriminatory policies have emboldened waves of bigotry, disinformation, and violence,” Joni Madison, the interim president of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement.

“Even as Republican voters have become increasingly supportive of LGBTQ+ people — registering majority approval of nondiscrimination projections and marriage equality — he and his extremist MAGA supporters have worked tirelessly to try to slander and demonize us, our relationships, and our families.

“[Trump’s] time in office saw a relentless onslaught of unconscionable executive orders that made it harder to live as an LGBTQ+ person in this country. A majority of Americans rejected Donald Trump twice, and we expect that voters will again reject his malevolent, dystopian vision for our country.

“Trumpism failed again in this year’s midterm election, with his endorsed candidates rejected by voters in crucial Senate, gubernatorial, and down ballot races in states such as Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin,” she added. “In 2024, he is bound to fail once again, and the Human Rights Campaign will work to mobilize the 62 million ‘Equality Voters’ — for whom LGBTQ+ equality is a make-or-break issue — to stand together in opposition to his candidacy, and to ensure Trump forever remains a one-term president.”

The LGBTQ media advocacy organization GLAAD also condemned the former president, claiming to have documented “more than 200 attacks” by the Trump White House against the LGBTQ community from 2017 to 2021.

“[The Trump-Pence administration] was an administration defined by anti-LGBTQ actions and rhetoric and policy that empowered white supremacists and fueled racism, xenophobia, antisemitism, and misogyny,” Sarah Kate Ellis, the organization’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “The unmistakable message from the 2022 midterms is that Americans value freedom, support the democratic process, and reject the divisive policies of the recent past.”

Annise Parker, a former mayor of Houston, Texas, and the president and CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund, called the prospect of another Trump presidency “a serious threat to our nation’s LGBTQ community which continues to face rampant homophobia and transphobia fueled by [Trump’s] divisiveness,” especially those who are LGBTQ youth.

“When our fundamental rights are challenged, our kids’ safety and wellbeing are threatened, and our leaders are terrorized, going back is not an option,” Parker said in a statement. “Donald Trump is one of the most bigoted leaders of our time and his continued anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and actions are dangerous and unqualifying. … The next presidential election is an opportunity for voters to break from candidates who promote the politics of hate and instead choose a leader who supports fairness and equality for all Americans.”

U.S. Reps. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) and David Cicilline (D-R.I.), the co-chairs of Equality PAC, the political arm of the Congressional LGBTQ Equality Caucus, noted that the former president had twice been impeached, accusing him of “fomenting an insurrection” in order to pressure Congress into refusing to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election.

“The 2022 midterm elections proved that there is no appetite among the American people for Donald Trump to serve in any elected office,” the congressmen said in a joint statement. “Nevertheless, it would be irresponsible not to take his 2024 campaign seriously. Trump is a threat to our democracy and an enemy of the LGBTQ community.

“During his first term, Trump never missed an opportunity to roll back protections for our community, including demonizing the trans community — and, in particular, trans kids — and appointing judges that were hostile to efforts to advance LGBTQ rights and equality,” Takano and Cicilline added. “While we remain confident that we will defeat Trump again, we must do everything we can to ensure this man never gets any closer to the White House.”

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