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Fact Check

A thorough debunking of every lie about Trump on LGBT issues

The Human Rights Campaign redefines LGBT equality as special treatment, overreach, and incompatible with the First Amendment.

No action from the Trump administration has taken away any rights for LGBT Americans, nor has the administration attempted to do so. Yet the LGBT lobby, gay media, and mainstream media continue to push the false narrative that the administration cruelly targets gay Americans.

A powerful tool in this sustained smear against Trump is a list of “50 Trump Attacks” on LGBT people compiled by the Human Rights Campaign, a 501(c3) nonprofit that bills itself as the largest LGBT political lobbying operation in the country.

The Obama/Biden administration, often in election-year hail Marys, passed guidelines and policies regarding LGBTs that, without question, infringed on the Constitutional rights of other Americans, especially religious groups. For HRC, GLAAD, and their associates, LGBT equality has been redefined to mean overreach, special treatment, and prioritizing one group’s rights over others. For those organizations, gays cannot have equality without state-sponsored persecution of other communities they deem hostile.

This overreach, or gay supremacy, hurts, not helps LGBT Americans. After years of rapid gains, acceptance of homosexuality has dropped among millennials in recent years, not because of “hate speech on the Internet” as the media would claim, but because of the radical direction the gay rights movement has taken, spearheaded by gay media and organizations like the HRC and GLAAD as they attempt to redefine biological sex, force women to share sex-segregated spaces with biological males, advocate for children on hormone blockers, promote the sexualization of children with so-called “child drag queens,” and even flirt with embracing pederasty and pedophilia.

Scratch just below the surface of any accusation by the HRC of LGBT persecution under Trump and what comes to light is not a culture of hatred from the White House, rather the basic conflict of visions between left and right playing out as usual in our politics.

That conflict, at its core, pits equality of opportunity, on the right, against the forced equality of outcome, from the left. HRC long abandoned the LGBT individuals it once purported to care about – look no further than how it slanders, maligns, or ignores gay conservatives – to become little more than well-funded agents of the Democratic Party and the left’s broader plan for America. LGBT is only one cog in that vast machine – a leviathan born in Maoist China that has infected America like a virus and now openly seeks the complete destruction of Western, Christian, capitalist societies.

In digging through virtually any Trump administration policy of the last three years, HRC worked tirelessly to find magical gay fairies where they simply didn’t exist. For them, every stroke of the pen from the Oval Office must, somehow, have gays in the crosshairs. This is how such bloated organizations like the HRC, which should have dissolved or collapsed after gay marriage became the law of the land, continue to fundraise: through deception, spin, and fear. Without it, they don’t have jobs. But in the course of battling for their own survival, they are doing irreparable harm to real gay Americans and American society at large.

In order to reach that nice, round number 50, the HRC’s list of lies was frequently redundant and often just plain silly. For that reason, a handful of such prolixities were intentionally not included in the list below while the general spirit of those claims is addressed.

In the Workplace

Myth 1: Opposition to the Equality Act

The deceptively-named Equality Act was anything but and would have legalized religious persecution and stripped away Constitutional rights regarding religious freedom. Several LGBT organizations, including the Log Cabin Republicans, opposed the Equality Act because it targeted a small number of religious groups from openly practicing their beliefs. The Equality Act was largely seen as LGBT overreach and not promoting equality for all Americans.

Myth 2: Supported employment discrimination against LGBTQ people

HRC claims “The Trump administration submitted amicus briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court supporting discrimination against LGBTQ people.”

The Trump administration does not “support employment discrimination against LGBT people.” The Trump administration submitted an amicus brief arguing that the existing law, specifically the Civil Rights Act of 1964, did not already cover LGBT people, and, if the law were to cover anti-LGBT discrimination, it would need to be changed. At the time the law was passed, in 1964, no mainstream politician in the country even publicly contemplated banning discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Arguing that the law says something is not the same as wishing it so. For example, no one argues that the current federal civil rights law covers discrimination based on people’s weight or body size, which is a problem in our society. Saying that current law does not cover weight/body size discrimination is not the same as supporting such discrimination. Indeed, an opponent of such discrimination would point specifically to that lack of coverage in arguing for change.

With regard to LGBT rights, recent cases known as Bostock, Zarda, and Harris Funeral Homes involved whether the Civil Rights Act of 1964 included, as protected classes, LBGT people. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 bans discrimination based on “sex.”

For half a century, pro-LGBT groups supported the expansion of the federal civil rights laws because, the groups claimed, LGBTs were not already covered under the Civil Rights Act and other, related laws at the federal level. Pro-LGBT groups have been arguing for decades exactly what the Trump administration argued in court: the law doesn’t currently cover LGBTs.

The Trump administration argued that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 did not already cover LGBT people, and that, if such discrimination were to be banned, the law would have to be changed. In 2020, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of interpreting “sex” to include sexual orientation and gender identity. Of the two Trump appointees to the Supreme Court, one voted to the effect that LGBT people were not currently covered; the other, Justice Neil Gorsuch, voted that LGBT people were currently covered, and wrote the majority opinion to that effect.

Myth 3: Banned transgender service members from the military

Trump’s Executive Order does not ban transgender Americans from serving openly in the military, only those currently undergoing medical intervention for gender dysphoria. This is in line with almost all existing military policy regarding personnel who require prolonged, regular medical care, including diabetics. The policy is also in line with existing rules on enlistees currently undergoing mental health treatment, or who have experienced mental health problems in the past. Until May 2019, the World Health Organization listed Gender Identity Disorder as a mental illness. The ban on transgender in the military remained in effect for nearly all eight years of the Obama presidency. In June 2016, Obama lifted the ban just ahead of the 2016 election. Trump reversed course on Obama’s very late and hasty decision, allowing military personnel to decide the best course for future policy.

Myth 4: Kicked people living with HIV out of the military because of their status

Persons with HIV-positive status may continue to serve in the military if they are in career fields with a low possibility for deployment or if they are unlikely to deploy because of rank or experience. An Air Force spokesman noted in 2018 that more than 150 asymptomatic HIV-positive airmen had been returned to duty after evaluation. Navy personnel who are HIV-positive may deploy to certain large platform ships.

HIV-positive service members are barred from deployment in the Middle East, which could adversely affect their continuation in the military. That’s in part because, in the Trump administration, an effort has been made to reduce the unequal burden of deployment. As The Washington Post reported in 2018, the policy is known colloquially as “deploy or get out,” and “any service member who is deemed unable to deploy for 12 consecutive months will be evaluated for separation. Pregnant and postpartum service members are excluded. Those suffering from wounds received in action receive ‘special consideration.’” Then-Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said, “You’re either deployable, or you need to find something else to do. I’m not going to have some people deploying constantly and then other people, who seem to not pay that price, in the U.S. military. If you can’t go overseas [and] carry a combat load, then obviously someone else has got to go. I want this spread fairly and expertly across the force.”

Earlier this year, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a preliminary injunction against the Air Force, preventing the discharge of personnel based on HIV status.

With regard to all progressive diseases, service members are evaluated for their ability to perform duties, whether the condition represents a risk to their health or that of other service members, and whether the condition imposes unreasonable requirements on the military to protect them.

Myth 5: Created a hostile work environment for LGBTQ federal employees

This claim from the HRC comes from one article in Politico, in which unnamed sources report: “[The Trump administration] fostered a climate where six staffers who are LGBT described removing their wedding rings before coming to work in the morning, taking down photos of their partners and families or ultimately finding new jobs further away from certain political appointees. They did not want to be identified; two said they feared being reassigned for being gay.” There is no evidence or policy to back this up and the staffers paranoia and fear is entirely subjective.

In Healthcare

Myth 1: Advocated for the elimination of the entire Affordable Care Act

Repeal of the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, has been a longstanding priority for the Republican party, which opposed Obamacare’s socialization of the healthcare industry and rules such as the individual mandate. This is one of dozens of examples where the HRC attempts to inject LGBT politics into policies that don’t specifically concern LGBT people at all.

Myth 2: Created a Religious Discrimination Division and “conscience rule”

The HRC claims, “HHS created a new office whose sole purpose would be to defend physicians and other medical professionals who decide to refuse care, including to LGBTQ patients” and “rules designed to allow health care providers to refuse to treat a patient on religious or moral grounds.”

The Trump administration supports religious freedom, which is protected by the First Amendment. In cases in which a medical professional’s religious convictions conflict with the provision of care, alternative arrangements are made for patients to receive that care. Given shortages of physicians and other medical professionals, it makes little sense to deny them the ability to continue their work without having their rights violated.

Much of the implication from leftwing LGBT groups involves patients diagnosed with gender dysphoria seeking hormone replacement therapy and sex-reassignment surgery. Not all physicians agree this is the best treatment for gender dysphoria, as there’s no evidence that medical intervention lowers suicidality in transgender patients. The Trump administration’s directive allows physicians to decline treatment they feel is harmful or violates their personal beliefs, while there remains no shortage of doctors who may feel other ways and are available to treat patients.

Myth 3: Cutting over $1.35 billion from PEPFAR budget

The 2021 budget request for PEPFAR was $4.419 billion, less than previously allowed. However, PEPFAR is only part of the government’s effort regarding HIV/AIDS. In February 2020, the Washington Blade reported, “The [Trump] budget seeks $716 million in discretionary investments for the ‘Ending the HIV Epidemic’ initiative, which is $425 million more than what Congress agreed to appropriate late last year in the omnibus for fiscal year 2020. . . . In a joint statement, the Partnership to End HIV, STD & Hepatitis — which comprises the AIDS United, the National Alliance of State & Territorial AIDS Directors, the National Coalition of STD Directors, the National Minority AIDS Coalition and the AIDS Institute — hailed the request for $716 million as ‘an important scale up of current funding.’”

Myth 4: Fired the HIV/AIDS Advisory Council

Members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) are appointed by the president. For a time, President Trump held over the members appointed by President Obama. He then thanked them for their service and made his own appointments. He “fired” the old council only in the sense that every president “fires” the appointees of a previous president and replaces them with his own.

In Schools

Myth 1: Guidance for Schools on Transgender Students 

Trump rescinded a directive from the Obama administration that threatened to withhold federal funding for schools that did not allow students to use the restrooms and locker rooms, and join sex-segregated sports, based on the gender self-identity. The Obama directive did not require any parental consent or advice from medical professionals or counselors concerning students and the use of sex-segregated facilities. It threatened funding from schools if they did not comply with an individual student’s self-identity, regardless of whether they had been diagnosed with gender dysphoria or were undergoing treatment. By removing the directive, Trump kicked the issue back to states, parents, and individual school districts. This also means any civil complaints filed by transgender students were to be addressed on a local level and not a federal one.

Myth 2: Sexual Assault

The HRC claims, Secretary of Education Betsey DeVos “rescinded Title IX rules related to schools’ obligations to address sexual harassment, including sexual violence.”

The Obama administration essentially threatened schools if they did not adopt certain procedures for dealing with allegations of sexual harassment and assault. These procedures effectively eliminated any semblance of Constitutional protections, forcing the accused to prove their innocence, to do so without the ability to challenge accusatory testimony, and to do so in forums that would be extremely hostile. Many commentators considered this one of the most egregious, indefensible actions of the Obama administration.

Myth 3: Eliminated language protecting LGBTQ children participating in the 4-H program

The Human Rights Campaign claims “The Trump-Pence Administration ordered 4-H programs to remove a policy specifically welcoming LGBTQ children in the 4-H program.” It is unclear why LGBT students were specifically welcomed into 4-H programs, put 4-H programs appear to have been a target of the left for some time. A 2010 study found that being a member of 4-H, or junior ROTC, or Future Farmers of America, or winning awards from those organizations reduced students’ chance of getting into a prestige college, other factors being equal.

Myth 4: Used Title IX to discriminate against transgender students 

Biological males competing in womens’ sports within public school systems is a highly controversial issue that even the Obama administration wouldn’t touch. Trump’s Department of Education rightly argued that gender identity is not explicitly covered in existing federal law, known as Title IX. The Department of Education and the Executive Branch is not charged with writing laws, only enforcing them. This issue has been left to local school districts and states, not the federal government.

In Housing, Government and Public Accommodations

Myth 1: Allowed emergency shelters to deny access to transgender and gender-nonconforming people

The rule proposed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development would consider biological sex, not gender self-identity in placement of people in single-sex emergency shelters. The proposed rule would scrap the Obama administration’s 2016 guidance requiring such shelters to accept transgender people but retains its 2012 rule barring federal housing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The intent of the proposed rule appears to be to protect women and children in women’s shelters, many fleeing domestic violence, from encountering and being forced to sleep alongside biological males, which may make them feel unsafe. The rule allows for shelters to decide when biological males should be housed alongside women. Obama’s mandate meant the government forced battered women’s shelters to take in biological males if they identified as women. The HUD proposal allows shelters to operate as single-sex accommodations should they chose to do so and does not affect LGBT-specific housing shelters.

Myth 2: Placed transgender incarcerated persons in the wrong prison

In 2016 four female prisons sued the federal government for being forced to be housed with transgender inmates, claiming their constitutional rights were violated. Because of the lawsuit, the Bureau of Prisons then rescinded the Obama-era policy that forced female inmates in federal prison to be housed with biological males.

Myth 3: Dropped a lawsuit suing North Carolina over their discriminatory “bathroom bill”

The Trump-Justice Department dropped an Obama-era lawsuit suing the state of North Carolina for their discriminatory “bathroom bill” known locally as HB2. The lawsuit was federal overreach and most likely would have failed. The issue of bathroom use has been seen by the Trump administration as a local or state issue, not a federal one. When asked about transgender bathrooms, President Trump famously said “[Transwoman Caitlyn Jenner] can use any bathroom she wants” at Trump-owned properties.

Myth 4: Argued on behalf of a business that refused service to LGBTQ customers

The premise itself is false as no business has been accused of refusing to serve customers because they are LGBT. The Trump-Justice Department filed an amicus brief supporting the case of a Colorado bakery that declined to make a wedding cake for a gay wedding ceremony in the Supreme Court case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado. The baker in question never refused to serve LGBT customers, which he had done so happily for many years. The case involved being forced to bake a wedding cake for a gay wedding. The baker felt to participate in a gay wedding by baking the cake was a violation of his religious beliefs. The case went to the Supreme Court and the baker won. The claim grossly ignores plaintiffs like the baker are a small minority of business owners and LGBT people have countless options to patron other businesses who will happily fulfill their requests.

In Children and Families

Myth 1: Allowed foster care programs to discriminate while accepting taxpayer funds

Trump administration has never opposed adoptions by same-sex couples. The Trump administration opposes a ban on adoption agencies that, for religious reasons, decline to facilitate adoptions by same-sex couples. The Trump administration advocates for more, not fewer, adoptions, including adoptions involving agencies that arrange adoptions by same-sex couples and adoptions involving agencies that, for religious reasons, do not. 

There are 440,000 children in the US living in foster care awaiting adoption. There is not a single state that prohibits same-sex couples from adopting. 40 percent of all adoption agencies and 83 percent of public agencies report adopting at least one child to a same-sex couple. The old rule forced several adoption agencies to close down. For example, Catholic Charities of Illinois was forced to shut down its adoption service after 40 years of operation over fears of losing government funding under the old rules. The new rules mean more adoption agencies are able to open their doors and operate which, in turn, means more children are being adopted. Studies also show that faith-based adoption services are more successful at placing older children and children with disabilities into homes.

Private adoption agencies have First Amendment rights. There are LGBT-friendly foster care programs and adoption agencies across the country. Allowing a small number of religious agencies to operate within their belief systems does not restrict the ability of LGBT Americans to become foster parents. Mothers who chose adoption should also have the right to decide the type of agency they would like their children to be placed in.

Myth 2: Refused visas to partners of diplomats

Married same-sex partners of diplomats may receive visas as with their straight counterparts. For national security reasons, unmarried partners of diplomats, gay or straight, are not permitted visas. 

Myth 3: Changed rules to deny surrogate born children citizenship 

HRC claims “The Trump Administration has interpreted immigration rules specifically so the child of a same-sex couple born abroad via surrogate would be considered ‘born out of wedlock’ and making it more difficult to obtain U.S. citizenship.” This is false, as any rules regarding surrogacy and citizenship apply across the board to all couples. In fact, even LGBT media will admit that the barriers to citizenship for children born abroad who are surrogates, and not genetically related to either parent, is routine for mixed-sex couples. These cases, for both same-sex and heterosexual couples are rare.

In May 2019, the case of Rose and Adiel Kiviti, a heterosexual couple whose child Kessem was born outside the U.S. with the help of an egg donor and gestational surrogate, made headlines. Even though the parents were married, the State Department treated it as an “out of wedlock” birth because the child is not the biological offspring of the parents. This is not always a bar to attaining citizenship for the child, but it requires extra steps such as proving the ability to support the child financially and proving the parents lived in the U.S. for five years prior to the birth. Adiel fell short of five years. An almost identical case involving a same-sex couple and their surrogate child made headlines the following year. In both cases, a judge declared the child to be a citizen at birth.

In Representation

Myth 1: Nominated anti-LGBTQ judges

In 2019, the Senate approved the nomination of Mary Rowland to the District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the first LGBT judicial nominee from Donald Trump to be confirmed by the Senate. Rowland is a member of the Gay and Lesbian Bar Association and has done pro bono work for Lambda Legal, a nonprofit LGBT legal aid group. That same year, President Trump appointed openly gay Patrick Bumatay to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, one of the most influential courts in the nation. In 2020, President Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court appointee, Neil Gorsuch, wrote the majority opinion in Bostock v. Clayton County, a case that outlawed workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Myth 2: Eliminated the State Department Envoy for LGBTQ Rights 

The State Department eliminated the position of special envoy for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights in 2019. That same year, the Trump Administration announced its global initiative to decriminalize homosexuality in the 69 nations where it remains illegal. Of those nations, nine put homosexuals to death. Those countries are Afghanistan, Brunei, Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, United Arab Emirates, and Sudan. Less than a year after Trump announced the initiative while speaking to the United Nations General Assembly, Sudan removed the death penalty for homosexuals.

Myth 3: Erased transgender people 

HRC claims “Trump’s HHS proposed a new definition that would narrowly define sex as either male or female, unchangeable, and determined by birth.”

The “new” definition of the term “sex,” as noted by the New York Times is the one that was in effect throughout history until the Obama administration, mostly in its last days, redefined “sex” to mean “gender identity.” Those two terms have different meanings, as acknowledged by the vast majority of people, including most transgender people. Recognition and respect for transgender people – those whose gender identity does not match their biological or “assigned at birth” sex – does not require that one arbitrarily change the meanings of words.

Myth 4: Instructed the CDC to cease using the word transgender

HRC claims “The Trump administration in 2017 created a list of banned words for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that included the word transgender among others like diversity, and science-based.”

Under Obama, the CDC was increasingly instructed to divert resources away from studying disease and instead focus on social justice issues like “diversity” in their official reports. The Trump Administration abandoned Obama-era directives for the CDC that had little to do with medicine or studying disease.

Myth 5: Blocked questions regarding sexual orientation from consideration for the census

In 2016 the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics studied the feasibility of including questions about sexual orientation and gender identity on U.S. census forms, which are typically filled out by one member of the household for everyone else in the household. The study found LGBT respondents had the most difficulty and discomfort with such questions on the census. “Perceptions of difficulty for self and others in the household were more frequent among LGBT respondents. While there were not many consistent demographic trends, we found that most of the respondents who had difficulty and sensitivity with the SOGI questions were lesbian, gay, or bisexual, often being unable to align their self-identity with the response options provided; this was especially true for transgender respondents,” the study found.

In Leadership

Myth 1: Refused to recognize the ongoing epidemic of violence against black transgender women

Black transgender women are a minuscule portion of the population but their lives matter as much as any other American. Still, if you extrapolate the data on their representation in the greater population, black transgender women experience violence at a lower rate than biological women and a lower rate than the general population nationwide. There are an estimated 700,000 trans women in the U.S. and on average of 21 are murdered per year. That’s 3 per 100,000 individuals. The overall murder rate in the U.S. is 5.3 murders per 100,000 people.

Like biological women, most instances of violence against transgender women occurs in domestic abuse situations with a partner or lover. Virtually every instance of violence against black transgender women in recent years has been perpetrated by a black male, and not, as the media would like to insinuate, conservatives or Trump supporters or so-called “hate groups.” Black transgender women are also far more likely than the general population to chose to put themselves in high-risk situations where the potential for violence is elevated, such as engaging in prostitution or drug-dealing. It is unclear how the HRC proposes the federal government move to address personal choices, personal associations, and attitudes of members of this population.

Myth 2: Joked about Pence’s desire to hang LGBTQ people

In 2017, Trump joked about Vice President Pence’s relationship with the LGBT community and said “Don’t ask that guy—he wants to hang them all!” The president was making fun of organizations like HRC because they lie constantly about Vice President Pence and attempt to paint him as violent and hateful toward LGBT people.

In the World

Myth 1: Embassy Pride Flags

The media and the gay left lied by claiming the Trump administration banned U.S. embassies across the world from flying the LGBT Pride Flag during Pride Month. Of the 307 U.S. embassies, consulates and diplomatic missions around the world, in 2019 three requested to fly the Pride flag during the month of June. The embassies were told they could fly the flag anywhere on the premises as long as it was not on the central flagpole, which is reserved only for the American flag and no other flag. The German embassy hung several Pride flags that year. In accordance with State Department rules, none were on the central flag pole.

Myth 2: Left the U.N. Human Rights Council

HRC claims “Trump and Pence, over LGBTQ and other issues, removed the United States from the U.N. Human Rights Council.” This is correct. The Trump administration left the U.N. Human Rights Council because other nations – such as Sudan, Nigeria, the Congo, Bahrain, and Afghanistan – that jail, execute and oppress homosexuals and women were also member nations on the Council. For these reasons, the Trump administration left in protest, believing the Council was a hypocritical body and refused to call out the human rights abuses of other nations that sat on the council.

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