Trump’s terrifying rollback of LGBT+ rights goes completely unchecked during disastrous first debate with Joe Biden
LGBT+ issues were sidelined in the first presidential debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump, which some are already calling the “worst of all time”.
The messy and hostile debate amounted to 90 minutes of insults and accusations peppered with constant interruptions from the president, who predictably had no intention of abiding by the moderator’s rules.
The two elderly men sparred bitterly on topics ranging from coronavirus and the economy to Obamacare and racial violence, but the terrifying rollback of LGBT+ rights didn’t even get a look in.
Viewers were deprived of the chance to hear candidates speak about Trump’s ban on trans people serving in the military, his Supreme Court bid to block same-sex couples from adopting, his efforts to eliminate LGBT+ healthcare protections, or the fact that the GOP continues to officially support the reversal of marriage equality.
Nor did they hear about either candidates’ views on the Equality Act, a nationwide conversion therapy ban, or the shocking violence against trans women of colour.
However, amid the president’s torrent of misleading or inaccurate claims he did find time to directly address the white supremacist Proud Boys group.
Fox News moderator Chris Wallace asked Trump point blank to denounce the violent, Islamophobic, transphobic and misogynistic hate group, but the president was unable or unwilling to fully do so.
“You have repeatedly criticised the vice president for not specifically calling out Antifa and other left-wing extremist groups,” Wallace said. “But are you willing tonight to condemn white supremacists and militia groups?”
“I’m willing to do anything, I want to see peace,” Trump claimed. “Then do it, sir,” the moderator quickly replied.
But the best Trump could muster was “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by,” before immediately deflecting: “But I’ll tell you what, and I’ll tell you why, somebody’s got to do something about Antifa and the left because this is a leftwing [problem].”
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The Proud Boys gleefully accepted the “shout out” which they interpreted as the president’s endorsement, and within the hour they had added his ambiguous instruction to their new logo.
Proud Boys organiser Joe Biggs posted: “President Trump told the Proud Boys to stand by because someone needs to deal with Antifa… Well, sir! we’re ready!!”
This. This is Donald Trump’s America. https://t.co/wld2mmGTwe
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 30, 2020
Donald Trump Jr would later try to clarify with CBS anchor Gayle King that his father “misspoke”, but the damage was done.
The next presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden is scheduled to take place on 15 October. Give us strength…