With midterm elections on November 6, anyone who might be sitting on the fence needs to be loudly awakened before that fence causes splinters up your ass. If you’re LGBTQ or care in the slightest about LGBTQ people, I’m here to tell you to not vote Republican—and Michelangelo Signorile heartily agrees. A longtime compatriot of mine, Signorile is the groundbreaking, closet busting activist, author (Queer in America, Life Outside), and Sirius XM host. He paused to give me five very potent reasons why Republicans are repugnant for gays.
Trump’s Attempted Trans Military BanErik McGregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty
Said Signorile, “The courts have been really good at stopping that from going into effect, but the big problem is he’s been able to stack the courts. They just put a whole bunch of new federal judges and appeals court judges and of course Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, so we can’t trust that the courts will be able to protect us. We have to try to win back Congress to try to prevent him from further radicalizing the court.”
Update: It gets worse. Trump’s administration is now attempting to define gender as only male or female, and only what is determined by your birth genitals—thereby taking away the very existence of trans people, and whatever protections they might have!
“Religious Freedoms” Hamper Our RightsJulie Dermansky/Corbis via Getty
Signorile: “The whole religious liberty issue is opening up a Pandora’s box of ways they can discriminate against queer people. All businesses, anyone who feels they just don’t want to serve anybody whose religion they don’t agree with or who don’t follow their beliefs, landlords, employers—they can carve out exceptions to every statute that protects LGBT people, through the courts. We still don’t have a federal law protecting people against discrimination in housing and employment, but a lot of states do. They’re going to push for discrimination of any kind, and that will open an even bigger Pandora’s box of other people’s rights—like Jews and Muslims. The Christian evangelicals can try to use that to say ‘I don’t want to hire a single mother, somebody who had premarital sex, a Jewish person.’ [Supreme Court justice] Neil Gorsuch is already on board with the religious liberty crusade. I don’t trust Kavanaugh either, so it’s very dangerous to have him on the Supreme Court.”
Marriage Equality Is in DangerJEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty
Signorile: “One plan has been for years now to chip away at it in the way that they did with abortion. They’re following the same exact blueprint. And using the religious freedom thing is the way to do that. If they can have a baker deny a wedding cake, have a chapel deny a gay couple, a catering hall deny a gay couple—all these are ways to make gay marriage into second best marriage. They allow adoption agencies to ban adoption for gay couples. That’s the chipping away strategy. The other plan is to try to overturn Obergefell outright. The long term plan of the religious right is to try to get a ruling that would overturn that marriage equality ruling of 2015, and give it back to the states. ‘If New York wants it, fine. If Alabama doesn’t want it, that’s fine.’ Gorsuch already wrote a dissenting opinion inviting states to challenge that ruling. These justices are originalists like Scalia. They probably believe sodomy should be illegal.”
But of course Trump insists on same-sex marriage when it suits his interests. Signorile reminds us that Trump is requiring that gay diplomats with partners must marry them or the partners lose their Visas—even though in their native countries, being gay-married outs them and could have them arrested or even killed.
Trump’s False PromiseErik McGregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty
Let me explain that former Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s book relayed that Trump only vowed to protect LGBTQ people in his convention speech because he’d made a deal to win over a delegate if he said that. Says Signorile: “I don’t know how anybody could have believed he would protect LGBT people when he was making promises to the religious right throughout the campaign that he would take away marriage equality. And even if he made a deal to say that, he only said he’d protect LGBT people from a hateful foreign ideology—i.e., he was attacking Muslims in the process. Even if it was a promise, it was a pretty ridiculous promise, and of course he wasn’t going to honor it. He promised the religious right he was going to take away LGBT rights. We were snookered and it’s a complete sham. It’s the media that’s to blame for allowing him to promote himself in any way as pro LGBT, just because he used the term. ‘Oh my God, he supports LGBTQ rights.’ No, he doesn’t. He said ‘from a hateful foreign ideology.’ He didn’t say he’d protect us from the Family Research Council. [Self-loathing gay capitalist] Peter Thiel spoke at the convention. He gave Trump money. He gave him cover to look like he was pro gay. All of it was to put on a face, just like Kanye West—to make it look like he has black supporters, so white people can say, ‘He’s not racist.’”
And Here’s the Biggie…Getty
The above points have a lot to do with the discriminatory agenda of Donald Trump. But Trump is not up for election on November 6, other Republicans are. So let’s be clear about why we should vote against them. Explains Signorile, “They have rubber stamped everything he’s done. They haven’t stopped him from doing anything. Congress could have immediately passed a bill stopping him from banning transgender people in the military if they wanted to. There were Senators—even Republican Senators—who spoke out against it, but they didn’t do anything. They have voted for every horrible thing he’s done, even as they claim to be outraged by his recklessness, and they haven’t stopped him from moving forward with so many things that have discriminated against people, including withdrawing a directive that Obama had put in place to protect transgender students. This Congress has not stood up to him on anything, particularly LGBT rights.”
Conclusion: Vote. Them. Out. And then we’ll finally have something in common with them—we’ll all be out.
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