Not long ago, Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump was pitching himself as a friend to the LGBT community.
He seemed to actually believed that if you “ask the gays” they would tell you he was the best choice.
Trump on Saudi Arabia, the Clintons, women and "the gays" https://t.co/8OzX9IJbNg— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) June 15, 2016
He even signaled support to the transgender community, saying they should be allowed to use the bathrooms matching their gender identity.
It did not take long before he reversed himself, however, saying he supported the state in the battle between North Carolina and the federal government over HB2.
Trump as friend to the LGBT community was always going to be a tough sell, what with his claim that he would work to overturn the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage and his support of so-called “religious freedom” laws that allow for discrimination.
The Republican party platform also supports those laws, and against same-sex marriage and parenting. It includes language about parental rights concerning the mental health care of their children that seems to be in favor of the thoroughly debunked “ex-gay” or “conversion” therapy.
The Log Cabin Republicans have called it the most anti-LGBT platform in the party’s history, which is saying something.
Then, just to erase any remaining doubt that the “new” and apparently never changing Grand Old Party was not going to listen to its own recommendations for how to stay a viable national party after their most recent presidential campaign embarrassment, Trump selected far right conservative Christian Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate.
Pence has a long history of anti-LGBT rhetoric and legislation, including signing a religious freedom bill into law before the backlash forced him to backtrack.
While pushing for a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman, he said, “societal collapse was always brought about following an advent of the deterioration of marriage and family.”
Pence also voted against employment non-discrimination for the LGBT community.
Meanwhile, the Democratic platform has this to say:
Democrats applaud last year’s decision by the Supreme Court that recognized LGBT people — like every other American — have the right to marry the person they love. But there is still much work to be done. LGBT kids continue to be bullied at school, a restaurant can refuse to serve a transgender person, and a same-sex couple is at risk of being evicted from their home. That is unacceptable and must change. Democrats will fight for comprehensive federal nondiscrimination protections for all LGBT Americans and push back against state efforts to discriminate against LGBT individuals. We will combat LGBT youth homelessness and improve school climates, and we will protect transgender individuals from violence. We will promote LGBT human rights and ensure America’s foreign policy is inclusive of LGBT people around the world.
It is a stark contrast and one the LGBT community and its allies will be wise to keep in mind as they travel to the polls in November.