The prospect of another Donald Trump presidency would pose a “serious risk” to LGBTQ+ rights, but queer advocates say they’re “battle-ready”.
On Tuesday (15 November), Trump announced he would be running for president in 2024, making him the first president in history to be attempting another presidential bid following impeachment.
As the most anti-LGBTQ+ president in modern history, he couldn’t help including a transphobic dig in his announcement from Mar-a-Lago, insisting that if elected, he would not “let men… participate in women’s sports”.
During the torturous four years that Trump was in office, he relentlessly attacked the LGBTQ+ community, stripping discrimination protections, banning trans people from serving in the military, and erasing LGBTQ+ language, data, and resource pages from government websites.
But, since he left the Oval Office, anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric has continued to escalate in US politics, meaning that a second Trump presidency could be even more disastrous than the first.
Human Rights Campaign interim president Joni Madison said: “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.
“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 demonise us, our relationships, and our families.
“His time in office saw a relentless onslaught of unconscionable executive orders that made it harder to live as an LGBTQ+ person in this country.”
Madison noted the “rainbow wave” seen in the US during the midterm elections, and the fact that Trump-backed candidates underperformed spectacularly, and urged voters to “stand together in opposition to his candidacy, and to ensure Trump forever remains a one-term president”.
GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis reflected on the more than 200 attacks on the LGBTQ+ community by the Trump administration, tracked by the organisation’s Trump Accountability Project, and said: “It was an administration defined by anti-LGBTQ actions and rhetoric, and policy that empowered white supremacists and fueled racism, xenophobia, antisemitism and misogyny.”
Mayor Annise Parker, president and CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund, said that “another Donald Trump presidency presents a serious threat to our nation’s LGBTQ community which continues to face rampant homophobia and transphobia fueled by his divisiveness”.
Parker continued: “Donald Trump and those who wish to follow in his footsteps continue to use our community – and LGBTQ kids in particular – as political pawns in their quest for power.
“When our fundamental rights are challenged, our kids’ safety and wellbeing are threatened and our leaders are terrorised, going back is not an option.
“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.”
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed 424 legal actions against the Trump administration during the four years of his presidency, and ACLU executive director Anthony D Romero said that the organisation is ready to keep fighting.
“Trump appointees on the federal bench have done their best to gut abortion rights, limit voting rights, and strip immigrants and LGBTQ individuals of their basic rights,” Romero said.
“Even as we are engaged in those battles today at all levels of government, the ACLU will be battle-ready for a second Trump administration.
“If Donald Trump believes that a second term would allow him to continue with the unconstitutional and un-American policies of his first term, the ACLU will be ready to fight back at every turn.”