There’s a glaringly obvious difference between Donald Trump and Barack Obama’s reactions to the historic Supreme Court LGBT+ ruling
As Donald Trump, no doubt dented by his defeat Tuesday (June 16) at the Supreme Court, resigned to “living with” the fact LGBT+ people now have basic employment rights, Barack Obama, once again, set the standard.
Justices delivered a stunning victory to the LGBT+ rights movement after the Supreme Court ruled that the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sex discrimination, applies to gay and trans workers and protects them from workplace discrimination.
The former US president took to Twitter to celebrate the thumping win, sharing a photo of the White House under his administration in 2015 splashed with the colours of the LGBT+ Pride flag – a photo subtly barbed, considering Trump’s White House was shrouded in darkness the first day of Pride Month.
Today reminds us that progress might be slow. It might take decades. But no matter what things might look like today, it’s always possible. Happy Pride month, everybody. pic.twitter.com/ey7p2TgEEf
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) June 16, 2020
Barack Obama: ‘But no matter what things might look like today, it’s always possible.’
“Today reminds us that progress might be slow,” Obama tweeted to his nearly 200 million followers.
“It might take decades. But no matter what things might look like today, it’s always possible.
“Happy Pride Month, everybody.”
Not a misplaced capital letter or exclamation mark in sight.
So, what do ‘things look like today’?
Not good, to be frank.
Across multiple areas of policy – including education, housing, employment and healthcare – the Trump administration has sought to narrow the legal definition of sex discrimination. In doing so, chisel the already fragile protections enshrined onto trans citizens.
As much as in the arena of employment, Trumps’s efforts to make it easier for companies to fire staff for being LGBT+ were stifled, within healthcare, things took an ugly turn on Friday (June 12).
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Administrators finalised revisions to an Obama-era rule that erased protections for trans patients against discrimination by doctors, hospitals and health insurance companies. The devastating reform dealt an almost symbolic blow after it was announced on the four-year anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting.
Republicans clogging Congress have long stalled equality measures passed by the Houses, the Supreme Court has emerged as an avenue for LGBT+ equality at a time where lawmakers persistently work to stymie it.
LGBT+ citizens have witnessed across the last four years an almost two-pronged crisis.
A harsh rollback of their rights, whether the banning of trans folk serving in the military or the draining of HIV/AIDS funding to pay for child migrant detention, set against a backdrop of dizzying rises in ant-LGBT+ hate crimes.