Donald Trump has sent mixed messages with his statements not matching his deplorable policy decisions regarding his views on LGBTQ rights. The same presidential candidate who promised to “fight for” the rights of non-cis American citizens, who held a rainbow flag with “LGBTs for Trump” written on it during the presidential campaigns, has also announced a ban on transgender soldiers in the military, fought against protecting LGBTQ workers from discrimination, and publicly supported virulently homophobic candidates in red states like Roy Moore, who praised Putin for his murderous policies toward LGBTQ citizens in Russia.
Thank you to the LGBT community! I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 14, 2016
If Trump’s views in this particular area have wavered and flip-flopped since the beginning of his run for the presidency and throughout his first eight months in office, the same cannot be said for Vice President Mike Pence. Pence first entered the national spotlight as the governor of Indiana when he passed the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” a bill that allowed Indiana businesses to discriminate against gay customers. Pence has been outspoken in his quest to roll back LGBTQ rights since the beginning of his political career due to his rigid fundamentalist evangelical beliefs.
Trump’s choice for vice president stunned many who had previously heard the presidential candidate vow to protect these citizens, and with good reason. Pence is frighteningly anti-LGBTQ. However, Trump’s gleeful needling of Pence since taking up residence in the White House indicates that he is fully aware of just how horrible Pence’s views really are; he just doesn’t care. In fact, he laughs about it in front of others.
According to The New Yorker, inside sources recounted an incident in which Trump joked in front of a legal scholar during a meeting with the president that questions about gay rights should never be directed to Vice President Pence.
‘Don’t ask that guy—he wants to hang them all!’
With an LGBTQ ally like this in the White House, who needs enemies?
All hopes that Pence would be a more sane and dignified leader in the White House over Trump should be dismissed summarily. Pence’s extreme views on gay rights and abortion alone make that hope unfounded and an impossibility. It is almost worse, however, that the current president of the United States not only knows how deplorable Pence’s views are, but that he chose him as his vice president despite them.
For Trump’s disgusting and inflammatory rhetoric at the 2017 Value Voters Summit regarding the “religious freedom” to discriminate against LGBTQ citizens, see video below:
Featured image via Getty/Alex Wong