Trump remains indecisive on LGBT rights

Perspectives on the President: LGBT Rights

Hannah Rodriguez, Fiction Editor

This is the fourth article in a series in which The Freelancer will explore the policies of newly-elected-president Donald Trump and potential impact on La Serna High School students and culture.

There has been much controversy on President Donald Trump and his support for marriage equality (or lack of it). He states to support domestic partnership benefits, then says that he is against civil unions. As a formal candidate, he has shown support for the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) and refused to support the Equality Act. He expressed support for North Carolina’s HB 2 law (which is highly anti-LGBT), and opposes the Obama administration’s protection of transgender individuals in school environments. However, some see Trump as one of the most pro-LGBT Republican presidential nominees ever. Taking the recent terrorist attack on an LGBT Orlando nightclub into account, Trump did speak in favor of the marriage equality community. He has also said that there will be no undermining same-sex marriage law, because it has been voted for in the Supreme Court and therefore the case is closed.

Trump once defended American model Carrie Prejean (who believes that marriage should be between a man and a woman) and he also added that 70 percent of Americans agreed with her. He has suggested that a president’s opinion on marriage equality should not be significant because presidents have “other problems.”

The biggest controversy stands with Trump’s Vice President, Mick Pence. A largely political and evangelical Christian man, he is also one of the most anti-LGBT members in office. According to Michelangelo Signorile in his Huffington Post article, “…the media had bizarrely and irresponsibly portrayed Trump as ‘more accepting on gay issues.'” Dominic Holden at Buzzfeed pointed out that Pence has said that he and Trump have no plans in keeping Obama’s federal guidance to the states of protecting transgender students: “Donald Trump and I simply believe that all of these issues are best resolved at the state level,” he said in an October radio show with Focus on The Family‘s James Dobson. He added, “Washington has no business intruding on the operation of our local schools.”

Even though Trump says that the issue of same-sex marriage is settled, there is evidence that he will, in fact, have the marriage equality act overturned through appointing justices that will vote to have it overruled. Trump himself stated that he would “strongly consider that.”

All this uncertainty leaves many Americans wondering and waiting with bated breath; however, it appears that the only current course of action that can be taken at this time is more waiting. There are many of those patient waiters here on La Serna’s campus who have opinions and thoughts on Donald Trump and where he stands with the LGBT community.

“He [Trump] might not be the best person, but it might not be as bad as people make it out to be,” states Sarah Ensinger, a La Serna senior who is treasurer of the school’s LGBT club. When asked what she would do if Trump should decide to act against the LGBT community, Ensinger mentioned the fact that there is a senate that must all agree with him, and that the new president is not a dictator, so he should not be able to do whatever he pleases. Different members of the club have said that there will be no changes to the function of their club should anything outside of La Serna change regarding the rights of gay, lesbian, transgender, or bisexual people.

All in all, there is an extent to which it can be said that Donald Trump is either for or against same-sex marriage. The opinions circulating on and off campus take different views regarding the popular issue, and the end result is just waiting to be revealed.