Marks: What are Hillary and Trump’s stances on LGBTQA+ issues?

With the first presidential debate just behind us, the presidential campaign is heating up. Only a month remains until Oregon residents’ ballots are due. However, despite the election coming up, some of the presidential candidates’ views are still unclear  like what their positions are regarding LGBTQA+ issues.

Hillary Clinton’s website states that “lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans deserve to live their lives free from discrimination.” Clinton considers the Supreme Court’s ruling, which says LGBT couples should be able to marry, a success for America, but admits that the country still has a ways to go. With that said, the main goals she listed on her website for progress in the LGBTQA+ community are to: fight for full federal equality for LGBT Americans, support LGBT youth, parents, and elders, honor the military service of LGBT people, fight for an AIDS-free generation, protect transgender rights and promote human rights of LGBT people around the world. Although some of her points are a little more vague than I’d like to see, she still has a clear list of goals for the LGBTQA+ community, should she become president.

Contrary to Clinton, there was very little information to be gleaned from Tim Kaine’s website. However, it is stated that he supported Obama’s fight for “fair treatment for LGBT Americans.” He also supported the fight to stop the discrimination against nominating gay judges.

Overall, it is clear from this information that Clinton and Kaine’s campaign is prioritizing the LGBTQA+ issues, which an important step that all presidential candidates should take.

On the other side of the political spectrum, Donald Trump is not as clear on his stance regarding LGBTQA+ issues. Although he has stated that transgender people should use “whatever bathroom they feel is appropriate,” he has actually shown support for North Carolina’s HB2 law, which forbids transgender people from using the bathroom in public. This is just one of the examples that proves that Trump’s stance on LGBTQA+ issues is unclear. Moreover, he has also shown support for the First Amendment Defense Act  (FADA). The FADA states that the government cannot discriminate against people who are acting in the name of religion. An example of this was the controversy surrounding Kim Davis, who is a clerk in Kentucky who refused to distribute a marriage license to a gay couple.

Another way Trump has been unclear regarding his stance on LGBTQA+ issues is with his views on marriage equality. On one side, he has stated in the past that he does not support marriage equality. However, even after the Supreme Court passed a bill allowing same sex marriage to be legal, Trump was still ambiguous on his views. Although he did not support the Supreme Court’s decision, he was also unwilling to support a constitutional amendment that would re-ban same sex marriage.

To make Trump’s stance on LGBTQA+ issues even more confusing, his views on conversion therapy (therapy that forces LGBTQA+ people to become heterosexual), LGBTQA+ adoption, and anti-bullying are unclear. However, by choosing Mike Pence as his vice presidential candidate, Trump has shown his true colors. Pence signed a bill allowing businesses to discriminate against LGBTQA+ people. He also said that gay couples signal a “societal collapse,” and that they contribute to a “deterioration of marriage and family.” Furthermore, Pence stated that being gay was a choice. He opposed the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal which was a military policy that didn’t allow soldiers to openly identify as gay. He also opposed the Obama administration directive on transgender bathrooms, which allows transgender students to use whichever bathroom they prefer.

As a whole, it’s safe to say that Trump and Pence are against human rights for the LGBTQA+ community. They do not support transgender people enough to give them the dignity of using whichever bathroom they feel comfortable with, and they support bills and laws that allow people to discriminate against the LGBTQA+ community.

Although Trump’s views are not entirely clear, based on his past comments, which bills he supports, and his choice of vice presidential candidate, we can assume that Trump will not help the LGBTQA+ community.

Hopefully by the time we watch the next debate, the issues surrounding the LGBTQA+ community will be brought up and everyone will see what Trump’s views really are.

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Jadyn Marks

Jadyn Marks

Jadyn graduated from the University of Oregon in 2018 with a B.S. in political science and a minor in legal studies. She formerly worked as the opinion desk's associate editor. Prior to that, she had worked as a copy editor, news reporter, outreach director, and opinion writer.