You may notice that this series jumped from Big Lie #2 all the way to #7. I apologize for the confusion: it will be remedied when the directory is complete and the Big Lies are lined up in the proper order.
However, this Big Lie, which I have been hearing and reading from my many theater friends and colleagues, was nicely highlighted today by the Washington Blade, an LGTB publication of long standing in the District. It chose today to publish an extensive post called “All of Trump’s anti-LGBT actions since last Pride (plus a few welcome moves).” The piece nicely shows why the accusation of anti-gay bias is a politically convenient fabrication.
Big Lie #7 was launched immediately after the election. Gay rights activists decided to join in the attacks on Trump by their fellow progressive base members, even though Trump’s history and statements suggested that he was the most gay-friendly Presidential candidate in history.
“This morning, LGBTQ people — particularly young people and their parents — woke up scared and filled with questions about our country and their place in it,” Sarah McBride, national spokeswoman for the LGBT Left Human Rights Campaign, said. McBride added that “much of our community’s progress over the last eight years is at risk after yesterday’s election.”
This was fantasy, fear-mongering, and deliberate misrepresentation. The greatest threat to gays was the presence of Mike Pence, who had been adamantly against gay marriage as Governor of Indiana, as Trump’s running mate. He was chosen to appeal to the Religious Right, and the Mid-West. Vice Presidents are almost always chosen for their states, regions, and constituencies, not ideological affinity with the President. Ike chose Nixon as his VP, and detested him. Kennedy disagreed with LBJ on many issues, but needed Texas in the electoral vote column.. George H.W. Bush was well-Left of Reagan, but Ronnie needed to mollify the Republican center (back when it had one). I think it is fair to regard Pence as anti-gay, but Vice Presidents are not Presidents.
Nobody called Barack Obama an idiot just because Joe Biden is.
As for Trump, he couldn’t have been much more pro-gay. He had donated heavily to charities that focused on the AIDS outbreak in the 80s and 90s. In 1999 he went on record saying talked about adding sexual orientation to the Civil Rights Act. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago is believed to be the first private club in Palm Beach admit a gay couple.
In June 2015, Trump condemned the terror attack at the LGBT Pulse nightclub, and uttered the inconvenient truth that Islam and the LGBT community were incompatible. Trump told Republican delegates, “As your President, I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology.”
(Islam is a hateful ideology, you know.)
Trump unequivocally reiterated his acceptance of same sex marriage in an interview with Lesley Stahl. “It’s irrelevant because it was already settled. It’s law. It was settled in the Supreme Court. I mean it’s done,” he said when Stahl asked if he supported marriage equality.
At the same point in his Presidency, Barack Obama was saying that he was “evolving,” but not yet ready to accept same sex marriage. Oddly, nobody among LGTB leadership sounded the alarm as Obama took office, or spun dire prophesies about the anti-gay purge to come.
Trump also said he would not try to appoint judges who would seek to overturn the same sex marriage ruling, again saying, “It’s done. It– you have– these cases have gone to the Supreme Court. They’ve been settled. And, I’m fine with that.”
Why were LGBT leaders telling members of their community that Trump’s election presented a threat to gay marriage? They were lying, that’s all. They were and are allied with the Left, the Left was and is violently opposed to Trump. Gays were being good soldiers, and like the rest of the “resistance,” dishonest and corrupt ones.
Now let’s look at what the LGBT community cites to justify its continued false narrative (aka Big Lie) that President Trump is a foe of their rights. Here’s a typical example: “Trump’s TIMELINE OF
..which leads off with the sentence,
“Since the moment Donald Trump and Mike Pence walked into the White House, they have attacked the progress we have made toward full equality for the LGBTQ community and undermined the rights of countless Americans.”
The quality of logic employed here is signaled very early, with statements like, “Trump signed an executive order stating policy to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — landmark legislation that provides access to healthcare for millions of LGBTQ people.” Yes, I remember well how the principled objections to Obamacare were based on its alleged benefits to LGBT citizens. Another alleged example of Trump’s anti-gay hate? “HRC and millions of demonstrators around the world came together for the Women’s March to protest Trump and his new administration aimed at tearing back our progress.” Ah! If people organize protests claiming something is true, then it is true. Got it.
My rule for all such lists is that if the accusers have a legitimate case, he, she, they or it will not include contrived, ridiculous, obviously tortured claims like these. In law school, we were taught to avoid desperate or contrived arguments in our briefs, because they undermined the strong ones and signal weakness of an advocate’s position.
The few genuine examples of the Trump Administration opposing items on the LGBT political agenda on this site are policy disagreements, and that’s all they are. Big Lie #7 is predicated on the “If you’re not 100% supportive of everything we want, then you’re against us, and that means you hate us, because we are obviously infallible and always right” theory. This isn’t unique to LGBT advocates; it is the same theory whereby all critics of affirmative action, opponents of slavery reparations, those who didn’t think Barack Obama was wonderful, or who question whether every cop who shoots an unarmed black man is a murderer have proven they are racists. This is right out of the progressive play book.
The Blade’s list is more responsible by leagues: as the headline stated, it even includes the positive, LGBT-supportive measures the Trump Administration has undertaken in the past year:
- Trump restaffed the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS with 11 new appointees.
- Trump has appointed LGBT individuals to various posts, including Mary Rowland, a lesbian with ties to the LGBT group Lambda Legal whom Trump named to a federal judgeship in Illinois, and Patrick Bumatay, a gay federal prosecutor whom Trump named for a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.
- President Trump’s State of the Union address announced an initiative to end the HIV epidemic by 2030, asserting “remarkable progress in the fight against HIV and AIDS” in recent years. The plan seeks to reduce new HIV diagnoses by 75 percent within five years, and by 90 percent within 10 years. Efforts will focus on 48 counties, D.C., and San Juan, Puerto Rico and seven states where the epidemic is mostly in rural areas.
- Trump’s budget request for fiscal year 2020 followed up on the State of the Union address pledge, seeking $300 million in new funds for domestic HIV programs.
- In his tweet recognizing June as Gay Pride Month, Trump emphasized acknowledged his global initiative to decriminalize homosexuality. Same-sex relations are illegal in 71 countries. The project is led by U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, the highest-ranking openly gay person in the Trump administration.
- The President tweeted: “Great news today: My administration just secured a historic donation of HIV prevention drugs from Gilead to help expand access to PrEP for the uninsured and those at risk. Will help us achieve our goal of ending the HIV epidemic in America!” The Department of Health & Human Services had reached a deal with Gilead to make PrEP available for generic production one year earlier and to secure a donation of the medication for up to 200,000 individuals each year for up to 11 years.
- The United States joined 15 allied countries at the U.S. Organization for Security & Cooperation in Europe in an investigation of alleged anti-gay human rights abuses in Chechnya.
Prof. Glenn Reynold’s running joke whenever the President engages in more support for Israel comes to mind here: “Worst Nazi President ever!” Those seven items are inconsistent with a President who is “anti-LGBT,” and in fact disprove the accusation all by themselves. If President Trump were truly “anti-LGBT,” why would he bother to embrace any of these measures? That community is allied with his enemies; it is not a constituency that he needs to pander to, since it gives him nothing but abuse.
The negative items on the Blade’s list, meanwhile, demonstrate neither bigotry nor hate. Some are definitely wrong-headed (and, in my view, unethical), such as the so called “conscience clause” protections for health workers and pharmacy workers who have religious objections to same sex relations. These positions and actions, however, are not anti-LGBT just because that community supports different ones. There are legitimate reasons to oppose the Equality Act (#3 on the Blade’s list) , for example, other than “anti-LGTB” hate.
The Blade’s list also shows the telltale signs of desperation and bootstrapping. For example, President Trump, says the Blade, showed his anti-gay bias by meeting with Ginni Thomas and other anti-LGBT activists, and “quietly listening.” (This is #2 on the list) My favorite of the Blade’s alleged smoking guns is “anti-LGBT” action #17, however:
“Trump gave an unflattering moniker to Pete Buttigieg, the gay presidential candidate with growing support in the Democratic primary. Trump dubbed him “Alfred E. Neuman,” the Mad Magazine character famous for the phrase, “What Me Worry?” In a dog whistle that perhaps gay people could hear, Trump said, “Alfred E. Neuman cannot become president of the United States.”
I love it. It’s so, so MSNBC, so progressive, so typical of the “Gotcha! You’re a racist/xenophobe/sexist/homophobe!” tactic that was polished into high art during the Obama Administration. Trump engages in juvenile name calling with everyone from Rosie O’Donnell to Marco Rubio to Hillary Clinton to Adam Schiff, but when he does the same with Buttigieg, it’s proof of anti-gay bias.
Sure. I’m convinced!
Does anyone seriously believe that Trump wouldn’t have called him “Alfred E. Newman” if he were as straight as laser beam?
Enough. The Big Lie that Donald Trump is anti-LGTB is a cynical device without evidence or justification that relies on the audience’s ignorance and bias to succeed.