Despite pledging to support and protect the LGBT community during the 2016 Presidential Campaign, Trump has only harmed us since being elected. Shortly after winning the Presidency, Trump appointed people with anti-LGBT views to high levels of office. These include, but aren’t limited to, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary of Education Betsy Devos, and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson.
Throughout the first year, the Trump Administration’s true colors have shown – no, they’re not a rainbow – as they displayed little more than contempt for our community. We have cataloged this aggressions and created a timeline below. Please allow it to dispel the myth that Trump has ever stood with us.
Department of Health and Human Services create anti-LGBT division to defend "religious liberties"
January 18, 2018 Health Department, Discrimination
Department of Health and Human Services created a new division within the Office for Civil Rights(OCR) to protect doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professions who refuse to treat certain people or participate in a procedure on due to their religion. The new division, called The Conscience and Religious Freedom Division, dramatically shifts the function of the OCR from protecting against discrimination to defending it. The healthcare industry has a long history of discriminating against LGBT people and now the government will not only allow it, but shield them from the backlash.
Department of Education refuses to hear transgender students complaints of discrimination
January 16, 2018 Education Department, Erasure
The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights(OCR) has refused to hear discrimination complaints from at least three transgender students. ORC told the students that they are no longer required to handle their discrimination complaints, according to a Huffington Post report.
Trump fires all members on his HIV/AIDS council without explanation or replacements
December 29, 2017
Trump fired all members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS(PACHA), offering no explanation nor assigning replacements. Since being founded in 1995, PACHA has advised the president on HIV/AIDS policies. The firings come months after six members resigned because Trump “doesn’t care” about HIV/AIDS.
Health Department withholds thousands of public comments critical of their transgender, abortion policy
December 18, 2017 Health Department, Erasure
In October, the Trump Administration sought public opinion on its plan to curtail anti-discrimination regulations enforced by the Department of Human and Human Service(HHS) in favor of protecting religious freedoms. HHS has only released 80 comments of the 10,729 comments they received from the public. Sources inside the HHS say the comments published were handpicked to support the administration’s narrative. The agency faces legal challenges, but have said they’re under no obligations to release the other 10,649 comments.
Centers for Disease Control bars the use of seven words, including “Transgender,” in official budget requests
December 15, 2017 Health Department, Erasure
Policy analysts at the Centers for Disease Control(CDC) were told that they are forbidden from using seven words, including “transgender” and “fetus,” within the agency. The order came down from senior CDC officials just weeks before the government will allocate resources for 2019.
Trump Endorses Roy Moore for U.S. Senate
December 4, 2017 Donald Trump, Discrimination
In a non-shocking move, Trump did not stand with the LGBTQ community as he endorsed Republican Roy Moore for U.S. Senate. Moore has repeatedly stated that “homosexual conduct” should be illegal and while serving as Alabama’s Chief Justice, Moore instructed probate judges not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Department of Justice OKs denial of Civil Rights for LGBTQ Americans in the name of religion
October 6, 2017 Justice Department, Discrimination
Department of Justice(DOJ) released a guidance stating that a claim of religious liberty would be enough to dismiss violations of civil rights for LGBTQ people. While basically giving an open license to employers to discriminate against LGBTQ Americans, DOJ Secretary Jeff Sessions said: “No one should be forced to choose between living out his or her faith and complying with the law.”
Department of Justice says Civil Rights Act doesn't protect Transgender workers in memo
October 5, 2017 Justice Department, Discrimination
Department of Justice(DOJ) Secretary Jeff Sessions instructs DOJ attorneys that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not protect transgender individuals from employment discrimination. The memo reads “prohibition on sex discrimination encompasses discrimination between men and women” and “does not encompass discrimination based on gender identity.”
Trump nominates Don Willett to United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
October 3, 2017 Donald Trump, Discrimination
Don Willett once likened marriage equality to marrying bacon, chided a Texas trial court for approving the state’s first same-sex marriage petition, an argued that spouses of same-sex married couples should not get the same publicly funded benefits as spouses of other married couples. 35 LGBT organizations include Lambda legal oppose his nomination, stating that “LGBT people will not be able to obtain a fair hearing from him,” based on his record. On December 13th, Willet was confirmed by the Senate 50-47.
Trump nominates anti-LGBT lawyer Kyle Duncan to the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
September 28, 2017 Donald Trump, Discrimination
Kyle Duncan has strong anti-LGBT beliefs. He considers marriage equality to cause “damage to our national civil life” and that the Supreme Court’s decision on Obergefell “raises a question about the legitimacy of the Court.” He described the Obama Administration’s opposition to North Carolina’s House Bill 2(HB2) — an anti-transgender law — as something “gone wrong” and has called “experts” in court who have likened transgender identities to anorexia. Lambda Legal has criticized Duncan, saying he “deployed offensive and baseless ‘gender fraud’” arguments when representing Virginia’s Gloucester County School Board against Gavin Grimm, a transgender high school student barred from the boys’ bathroom. Duncan’s nomination is pending before the Senate Judiciary Committee. If confirmed, Duncan will serve Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.
Trump nominates anti-LGBT lawyer Gregory Katsas to United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
September 7, 2017 Donald Trump, Discrimination
Described as “Trump in a robe” by The Progressive Alliance for Justice, and the “Architect of Administration’s Anti-LGBT Agenda” by Lambda Legal, Katsas nomination has been opposed by over 40 LGBT organizations citing his “Prolific” Anti-LGBT Legal Work. Katsas has been given credit for turning the military’s ban on transgender troops from a tweet to actual policy, was involved in the Department of Justice amicus briefs supporting Masterpiece Cakeshop as well as the brief which argued that the 1964 Civil Rights Act does not protect sexual orientation. Katsas was confirmed by the Senate 50-48 on November 28, 2017.
Trump nominates anti-LGBT lawyer Matthew Kacsmaryk to federal court
September 7, 2017 Donald Trump, Discrimination
Trump nominated Matthew Kacsmaryk to serve as a US District Judge for Northern Texas. Kacsmaryk, while not as inflammatory as Mateer, still holds anti-LGBT biases. He is strongly opposed to marriage equality and expressed support for Kim Davis refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.
Department of Justice argues in favor of Masterpiece Cakeshop
September 7, 2017 Justice Department, Discrimination
Masterpiece Cakeshop was a bakery in Denver, Colorado. In 2012, they were asked to make a wedding cake for a soon-to-be-wed gay couple. The owner refused the couple’s request, citing his Christian beliefs against same-sex marriage. Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission found that Masterpiece Cakeshop violated the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act(CADA). CADA prohibits businesses from discriminating on the basis of race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. Masterpiece Cakeshop appealed this decision all the way to the Supreme Court. The Department of Justice filed a brief in favor of Masterpiece Cakeshop’s discrimination of the couple, requesting the Supreme Court to rule that laws barring discrimination against LGBT individuals violate the First Amendment.
Trump nominates anti-LGBT lawyer Jeff Mateer to federal court
September 7, 2017 Donald Trump, Discrimination
Jeff Mateer was nominated to serve as a US District Judge for Eastern Texas. Mateer has a strong anti-LGBT ideology, going so far to calling transgender children “Satan’s plan” and same-sex marriage as “debauchery”. He doesn’t believe in the separation of church and state, calling it a “myth” and supports conversion therapy. His nomination was withdrawn in December.
Trump signs presidential memorandum, formalizing ban on transgender military members
August 25, 2017 Donald Trump, Defense Department, Discrimination
The memo reverses an Obama-era directive to allow transgender individuals to enlist in the military and for the Department of Defense(DOD) and Department of Homeland Security(DHS) to discharge all existing transgender members beginning March 2018. While transgender members were allowed to serve openly, the enlistment of open transgender individuals was not implemented. The memo halts the use of all DOD and DHS resources for sex-change surgery for existing members.
Trump nominates Steven Grasz — unqualified, anti-LGBT judge — to federal court.
August 3, 2017 Donald Trump, Discrimination
Trump nominated Steven Grasz, despite being deemed “unqualified” by the American Bar Association(ABA) due to his severe anti-LGBT bias, stating he was unable to set aside “ideological convictions to decide cases fairly.” Grasz supports conversion therapy and discrimination against LGBT employees in the name of religious liberty. The Senate confirmed Grasz on December 12th, 50–48. The vote was along party lines. Steven Grasz will serve on the Eighth Circuit overseeing Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and North Dakota.
Department of Housing and Urban Development removes LGBTQ resources and information from government websites
July 6, 2017 Housing Department, Erasure
28 democratic senators penned a letter to Department of Housing and Urban Development(HUD) Secretary Ben Carson asking him to do more to protect LGBT people. The letter claims HUD has been removing resources and information from their government website designed to protect LGBT individuals from discrimination. “It is concerning that HUD apparently removed these tools from its website, which are meant to assist grantees in meeting their underlying obligations under the law,” the senators wrote.
Department of Education closes transgender discrimination investigation and withdraws previous findings
June 14, 2017 Education Department, Erasure
The Education Department’s(DOE) Office for Civil Rights closed an investigation into the discriminatory practices at an Ohio School and withdrew its previous findings. The investigation was centered around a Sparta, Ohio elementary school who barred a transgender student from using the girl’s bathroom and failed to address harassment the student faced from both students and teachers alike. The DOE found that the school violated the student’s civil rights under Title IX. However, it rescinded this decision without providing legal justification or reason.
Trump Administration does not recognize June as LGBT Pride Month
June 1, 2017 Donald Trump, Erasure
Pride month, first officially recognized in 1999 by Bill Clinton, commemorates the Stonewall Riots, which occurred in late June 1969. In the past, presidents have hosted events and even lit up the Whitehouse in rainbow colors during Pride. Trump declined to recognize Pride, instead proclaiming June as the Great Outdoors Month, National Ocean Month, African-American Music Appreciation Month, National Caribbean-American Heritage Month, and National Homeownership Month.
Department of Justice files motion against law prohibiting LGBTQ discrimination when providing health care
May 3, 2017 Justice Department, Discrimination
Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act(ACA) prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, sex, skin color, national origin, age, or disability. A previous injunction against Section 1557 prevented the Department of Health and Human Resources(HHS) from enforcing it. In March, the Justice Department(DOJ) refused to appeal this injunction. In May, the DOJ filed a motion to pause litigation. Section 1557 stays in effect, however so does the injunction barring the HHS from enforcing it.
Department of Justice drops a federal lawsuit against North Carolina's "bathroom bill"
April 14, 2017 Justice Department, Discrimination
The lawsuit, initially filed by the Obama administration, challenged North Carolina’s House Bill 2(HB-2). HB-2 removed local governments’ ability to create anti-discrimination laws, minimum-wage laws, and forced Transgender people to use the bathroom corresponding to their birth sex, regardless of hormones, paperwork, or surgery. The Trump Administration dropped the lawsuit due to North Carolina repealing HB-2, while introducing a new version. This version, which did not include the restrictions on bathrooms, still limited local governments from enacting anti-discrimination laws or minimum-wage laws, drawing ire from many civil rights groups.
The Census Bureau removes proposed LGBTQ categories for the 2020 census
March 27, 2017 Commerce Department, Erasure
Three years before every census, Bureau of the Census(BOC) must submit a report of planned subjects, or categories, to Congress. For a brief moment, it appeared the 2020 census would be the first ever to include an LGBTQ subject. However, hours after releasing the report, the Census Bureau submitted a revised copy to Congress, removing the LGBTQ category. BOC stated the previous version was released “inadvertently” and had been corrected.
Department of Health and Human Services removed LGBTQ questions from elderly survey.
March 20, 2017 Health Department, Erasure
When the Department of Health and Human Services(HHS) released a draft version of 2017 The National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants(NSOAAP), LGBT activists were outraged to find the only change to the survey was the removal of questions pertaining to LGBTQ status. HHS uses the annual inquiry to help allocate federal funding to groups that work with the elderly. The NSOAAP added the questions about LGBT status first in 2014. That survey reported that 3 million Americans over the age of 55 identified as LGBTQ, higher than previous estimates.
Department of Housing and Urban Development announced it would not continue with two proposed initiatives combating LGBTQ homelessness
March 10, 2017 Housing Department, Erasure
The first initiative was a study about how to best combat LGBTQ youth homelessness. Of the United States 1.6 million homeless youths, 40% of them identify as LGBTQ. The second initiative focused on curtailing LGBTQ discrimination at HUD emergency homeless shelters. It would have involved a poster outlining both the rights of the individual.
Department of Justice declined to appeal order barring enforcement of LGBT discrimination in health care laws
March 1, 2017 Justice Department, Discrimination
The Attorney General of Texas — Ken Paxton — sued the federal government over Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which prohibited discrimination in health care against women who have had abortions or transgender people. A temporary injunction was granted, barring the Health & Human Services Department from enforcing the law. The Department of Justice was given until midnight on March 1st to file an appeal. The Department of Justice declined this opportunity.
Justice and Education Departments revokes Obama-era guidance for transgender students' bathroom use
February 22, 2017 Education Department, Justice Department, Discrimination
In May 2016, Then U.S. President Obama issued guidance to all public schools that Title IX, a federal law, protects transgender students right to use bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity. On February 22nd, The Justice and Education departments revoked this guidance, stating it does not “contain extensive legal analysis or explain how the position is consistent with the express language of Title IX, nor did they undergo any formal public process.”
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