Time For An Uncomfortable Conversation
Balancing relationships with Trump supporter friends can be a tricky business if you’re a non-Trump supporter on any given day. The inexplicable way one Trump statement can be heard, as if the words were utterly different, and interpreted by the two groups is staggering.
Efforts to say, “It’s just politics,” to maintain those relationships come with a daily landmine of Trump tweets or reactions. If you’re LGBT, that has been difficult, at best, on a typical day. The thin red line has been wiped out.
Unless you’re a Log Cabin Republican, it’s been easy to see in this administration that LGBT support has been a mouthpiece, not a reality. Religious Freedom laws in states like Texas allow services such as medicine, housing, and essential services to come into question.
The argument goes something like this: One’s religious beliefs allow someone to deny jobs, housing, and even medical services if someone doesn’t agree with LGBT behavior. Let’s be clear. These laws do not protect a shop owner from not serving black people because of religious reasons. An interracial couple cannot be denied a cake because the “artist” doesn’t believe in interracial marriage. These laws are focused on the legal discrimination of one community in America.
The interesting part of these laws is that while Christians can discriminate against LGBT, LGBT cannot discriminate against Christians because they are a legally protected group. The argument is, “These are states, not Trump.”
During Pride Month, the Trump White House has embarked on a quest to the SCOTUS to make it legally acceptable, on a federal level, to deny LGBT families the right to adopt or foster through Religious organizations. On June 12, 2020, the SCOTUS also removed Obama level protection for transgender patients, again, during Pride Month.
It’s time to start having an uncomfortable conversation with your Trump, supporting family and friends. How can you be an LGBT ally and a Trump supporter?
The simple answer is: You can’t.
To say you’re an LGBT ally and a Trump supporter is equivalent to saying, “I think Black people are a human being, they just shouldn’t be marrying white people.” In places where Religious Freedom Laws are in place, it’s the same as saying, “I don’t like what Hitler is doing to the Jews, but our economy is better.”
There are many in our country like Ted Cruz, who was a part of the Christian group during the primaries where the lead speaker said gays should be killed, who will subscribe to these limitations full stop. But they are not LGBT allies. Some would love nothing more than Queer America to go back to their closets.
“At least you can’t be killed here” has become a rationalization as to why it’s “ok” to allow these types of laws. As if being allowed not to be killed is a grand reason to be satisfied with having rights restricted or removed.
As the Trump administration petitions the SCOTUS for adoption and finding success in removing transgender protections, in August 2019, Trump made a new rule that federal contractors could deny employment or contracts to LGBT providers.
Remember, Christians cannot be denied jobs, housing, or medical care because they are a protected class of citizens in this country. An employer could be taken to court, and win, a case if someone fired or denied hire due to their religion. As we watch Trump and his party strip away the rights of American citizens, it’s clear that now has become a time for tough conversations.
Someone cannot be a Trump supporter and an LGBT ally. It’s that simple. But why not? As these rights are stripped from Americans who pay taxes, fight in wars, and provide essential services to everyone, they are told to live a “separate but equal” life.
If you are a parent of an LGBT child and a Trump supporter, you are potentially allowing Trump and these laws to strip you of a grandchild. Your children are living less than equal lives in America. Maybe you’re ok with that, but what if your child isn’t? What if your friends aren’t?
No one can justify that America is the land of opportunity when a Queer family is told the pediatrician won’t treat their children and perhaps have no other close access. Families are being evicted from homes, and people are being fired from jobs. But the refrain, again, is religion.
Catholic charities, according to Politifact, received more than $1.5 billion over two years. The Economist reported that 62% of the money that Catholic charities received was from the government, including local, state, and federal government.
When higher than half a budget comes from the people, shouldn’t all the people benefit from it? Numbers like these sparks the age-old debate if Churches should receive taxpayer money, which no one is willing to have. It is worth noting that Catholic charities cannot discriminate against someone for being a Satanist. Satanists are a protected religion.
It is plain that Trump and the GOP are coming after the rights of LGBT people. First, they protected cakes and now can deny medical services. The SCOTUS transformation to a “conservative” judiciary has opened up the real possibility to overturn Obergefell V Hodges, Gay Marriage.
Four Justices dissented against gay marriage in 2015. Justice Alito wrote that marriage is “inextricably linked” to procreation. He also used the now-famous “religious liberty” as a reason to dissent.
Justice Thomas dissented because LGBT was no longer imprisoned or physically restrained from having relationships. Thomas also stated, “Liberty is only freedom from the governmental action, not an entitlement to government benefits.” Maybe someone should let Catholic charities know that?
Justice Roberts opined his anger that because LGBT hadn’t won the right through state elections for gay marriage that it would invalidate the process by going through the SCOTUS. What Roberts logic leaves out is that marriage is a Federally protected institution affording rights to married couples regardless of the state they visited. Winning an election for marriage in Oregon didn’t mean equal rights in say Alabama.
So here we are in Pride Month. The LGBT community can now legally be discriminated against due to a “religious” belief on a state and federal level. It is legal to fire someone based on their sexual identity. It is permissible to deny housing or medical benefits. Does this sound like being an ally?
Supporting these measures as Americans and propping up Trump is a clear indicator that a person is not an ally of the LGBT community. Confronting your Trump adoring family and friends will be difficult and even painful. But, at least you’ll know who is really on your side and who you can count on having your back. Having this conversation will also tell you who you can’t.