Every single Trump cabinet member so far opposes LGBT rights
Every single cabinet member appointed by Donald Trump so far opposes LGBT rights.
The Republican President-elect has begun appointing his top team ahead of his inauguration in January.
So far the billionaire – who claimed he would “protect our L-G-B-T-Q citizens” while running for election – has appointed a string of politicians who oppose LGBT rights.
With many spots still up for grabs, here’s a run-down of Trump’s cabinet so far:
Attorney General Jeff Sessions
Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions is known as one of the most conservative and anti-LGBT members of Congress, holding a 0 percent rating on the Human Rights Campaign’s Congressional Scorecard on LGBT rights.
He fought vocally against equal marriage and discrimination protections for LGBT people, and opposed lifting the ban on openly gay people serving in the military.
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos
Betsy DeVos is a prominent donor to the anti-gay marriage lobby. She previously donated $200,000 in a successful bid to add an anti-gay marriage amendment to the Michigan ballot.
DeVos family organisations have also made large donations to anti-gay marriage causes – $500,000 to the National Organization for Marriage, and $100,000 to Florida4Marriage.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price
Another opponent of LGBT rights in Congress, Price is a co-sponsor of the First Amendment Defence Act, which would legalise discrimination against LGBT people on the grounds of religion.
He holds a zero rating on the Human Rights Campaign’s Congressional Scorecard on LGBT rights, opposing anti-discrimination protections.
When equal marriage became law, he fumed: “Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court serves only as further encouragement to use the court system as a systematic springboard to enact agendas outside the democratic and legislative structures of government.
“Thirty States have held statewide ballots banning gay marriage since the year 2000, and yet legislating from the bench has superseded both public approval and our elected representatives.
“This is not only a sad day for marriage, but a further judicial destruction of our entire system of checks and balances.”
Vice President Mike Pence
The Governor of Indiana stirred up international outrage last year when he signed Indiana’s controversial ‘Religious Freedom Restoration Act’, giving businesses the right to discriminate against gay people on the grounds of religion.
Pence claimed the law was intended to “protect” organisations from having to provide services for same-sex weddings,.
Earlier this year appeared unable to answer when asked whether it should be legal to fire people because of their sexuality.
Pence recently confirmed plans to roll back Barack Obama’s executive protections on LGBT rights, so that “the transgender bathroom issue can be resolved with common sense at the local level”.
Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao
Secretary Chao served in George W Bush’s Cabinet as Labor Secretary, overseeing a Department of Labor which was opposed to LGBT anti-discrimination protections.
In recent years she has campaigned heavily for her husband, Republican Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell.
McConnell, who led opposition to LGBT rights in the chamber, voted against adding sexual orientation to definition of hate crimes and supported a constitutional ban of same-sex marriage.
The below are Cabinet-level officials
White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus
The current Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Priebus has steered the GOP into its most anti-LGBT position in decades, helping pass its most homophobic policy platform in decades.
The GOP platform opposes same-sex marriage and adoption, opposes a ban on ‘gay cure’ therapy, and supports ‘religious freedom’ laws to effectively permit anti-LGBT discrimination.
Defending the platform earlier this year, Priebus claimed that “the facts say” that children who aren’t raised by opposite-sex couples are more likely to be drawn to drugs and crime. His claim was rated false by PolitiFacts.
Priebus has – you guessed it – a nought percent approval rating on HRC’s congressional scorecard.
National Security Advisor Michael Flynn
The retired US Army Lieutenant has a history of opposing LGBT rights, recently attacking Obama administration for lifting the ban on transgender people serving in the military.
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After the Pentagon lifted the ban, he fumed: “Too often, way too often, our troops are instead are distracted by trivial matters, trivial matters about what words to use, what terminology is politically correct and what bathroom door to open up.
“My God, war is not about bathrooms. War is not about political correctness or words that are meaningless.”
Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley
The Governor of South Carolina initially vowed to defend her state’s ban on same-sex weddings amid a lawsuit.
She said: “The citizens of South Carolina spoke – they spoke something that I, too, believe, which is marriage should between a man and a woman. I’m going to stand by the people of this state, stand by the constitution, I’m going to support it and fight for it every step of the way.”
Haley also only agreed to endorse Mitt Romney in 2012 after checking he opposed equal marriage, confirming: “I asked him about family and he believes that marriage should be between a man and a woman.”
The Governor appears to have toned down her opposition in recent years. Governor Haley dismissed calls for an anti-trans bathroom law in her state, and also cryptically called on the GOP to “respect modern families” in a recent speech.
Rebutting Obama’s State of the Union address, she hinted: “If we held the White House, we would respect differences in modern families, but we would also insist on respect for religious liberty as a cornerstone of our democracy.”
However, actions are louder than words. Under her tenure, South Carolina has continued to have no statewide LGBT anti-discrimination protections, and she has not acted to support any.