During a recent press briefing at the White House, Donald Trump’s Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany dodged a question from Washington Blade reporter Chris Johnson about Trump’s ban on transgender service members which was announced out of the blue via Twitter three years ago.
The Trump policy requires the discharge of any current service member diagnosed with gender dysphoria, a characteristic of being transgender. Those service members are also not allowed any transition-related care. Additionally, anyone with a history of gender dysphoria is banned from enlisting unless they agree to serve as the sex assigned to them at birth.
Johnson asked if Trump would reconsider the policy and mentioned that 116 members of Congress have urged the Donald to end the ban especially in light of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, which banned anti-LGBTQ+ workplace discrimination.
The question led McEnany to abruptly pivot to the false claim that the president has a pro-LGBTQ+ record.
“I haven’t talked to him about that specific policy, but this president is proud that in 2019 we launched a global initiative to end the criminalization of homosexuality throughout the world,” said McEnany reading from a prepared list of inaccurate claims. “He has a great record when it comes to the LGBT community. The Trump administration eased a ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men and he launched a plan to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030.”
Johnson tried to stay on topic by pointing out that while the ban is still in place, there are over 14K active military service members who identify as transgender, polls showing 70% of Americans support the rights of trans people to serve the country they love, and major medical associations saying there’s no problem with transgender people serving.
But McEnany brushed those facts aside before moving on to another reporter.
“I have no updates for you, but several of the events that you cited, like the Supreme Court ruling, I would refer you back to Justice Kavanaugh, who said, ‘We are judges, we’re not members of Congress. Instead of a hard-earned victory won through the Democratic process, today’s victory is brought about by judicial dictates.’ So we’ll always stand on the side of correct statutory interpretation.”
Blade reporter @chrisjohnson82 pressed the White House if Trump would reconsider his ban on transgender people serving in the military. Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany insisted that the president "has a great record when it comes to the LGBT community" pic.twitter.com/fiWc7g1oqf
— Washington Blade (@WashBlade) July 13, 2020
Now, to anyone paying attention to Donald Trump and his administration here on Earth One, it’s clear that the Donald has a less-than-stellar record when it comes to the LGBTQ community.
Here’s just a shortlist of topics where Trump has attempted to harm or diminish the LGBTQ community:
First, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) rolled back a provision in the Affordable Care Act that banned anti-LGBTQ discrimination in health care settings.
Last November, HHS proposed removing regulatory provisions that explicitly prohibit organizations that receive HHS grant funding from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, sex, and religion.
In addition to transgender military service members, Trump has attempted to discharge HIV-positive military members.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has proposed allowing homeless shelters to discriminate against transgender people.
Trump’s Justice Department has argued in favor of those seeking the right to discriminate against LGBTQ people in the workplace. (p.s. they lost…)
Regarding the easing of restrictions on blood donations by gay men, when asked about the change in April Trump said he “didn’t know anything about that.”
Additionally, Trump has publicly stated his opposition to The Equality Act that would make discrimination against LGBTQ people illegal under federal law.
And then there are the slaps in the face like refusing to issue a Pride Month proclamation (which President Obama did all 8 years of his administration) as well as banning U.S. embassies from flying Pride flags during the month of June.
And by the way, how is that ‘global initiative’ to end the criminalization of homosexuality going? We’ve heard no word about it since it was announced