The Daily Beast just highlighted a story by Scott Bixby which needed to be told. It is about the plight of LGBT members of the so-called “caravan” of people making their way north to the Mexican-American border to seek asylum to find safety in a country where they can live free from fear.
Read: “LGBT Migrants Fled Persecution Back Home. Then They Fled the Caravan: LGBT migrants will wait as long as it takes to follow President Trump’s restrictive new rules for asylum seekers—even if those rules seem designed to discourage waiting at all.”
Not unexpectedly, living as a member of the LGBT community in countries like Honduras is especially hazardous. Of course prejudicial attitudes about gender identity are still prevalent in the United States. There has been a hard-fought battle for social acceptance and legal equality since the Stonewall uprising in 1969. Finally same sex marriage is legal in the United States thanks to the June 26, 2015 Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. This is a lasting legacy of Justice Kennedy who cast the deciding vote in the 5-4 decision. Still shamefully four of the justices didn’t think there was a guaranteed right for same-sex couples to marry which was covered by both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Does anybody wonder for a second how the current Supreme Court would have ruled on same-sex marriage?
There is no doubt whatsoever that LGBT and others in the long list of letters describing members of the non-straight community will be better off in the United States. Homophobic violence and police indifference is rampant in some of the Central American countries these migrants are fleeing from. According the The Daily Beast, Honduras passed a law in 2001 that criminalized what they called immoral behavior that “disturbs the tranquility of their neighbors” It gave the police authority to arrest people who “violated modest, decency, and public morals.”
However, the president who said in his acceptance speech at the RNC Convention Trump he would to do “everything in my power to protect LGBT citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology” and who stood literally behind the rainbow flag during the campaign has shown his true colors, and they are not rainbow, in his anti-LGBT decisions. If Trump has any flag at all it is the flag of a heartless unempathic bigot.
Ten days into his presidency—the same day that the White House released a statement vowing that President Trump would be “respectful and supportive of LGBTQ rights”—the Education and Justice Departments issued a joint letter rescinding a 2016 Obama administration guidance that had protected transgender students’ access to appropriate restrooms and locker rooms under Title IX’s ban on sex discrimination in public education.
The president has also signed an order barring transgender people from serving in the U.S. military, rescinded protections for transgender people in the prison system that allowed them to be held in populations that correspond with their gender identity, and, according to Bob Woodward’s book Fear: Trump in the White House, referred to gender reassignment surgery as getting “clipped.” The administration is also reportedly considering narrowly defining gender as a biological, unchangeable condition determined by genitalia at birth—essentially wiping trans identity out of legal existence.
Even some members of the LGBT community in the United States who don’t follow politics closely or who just watch Fox News don’t understand where Trump really stands on issues that affect their lives. For example, on election afternoon a friend of mine was getting gas at a manned gas station. She knew the 20-year-old attendant very well. She asked him if he’d voted and he said he was planning to vote after work. She asked if he didn’t mind telling who he voted for and he said “sure, I think I’ll vote for the Trump people.”
My friend asked why and he said “because of all the things he’s done for the people.” When she asked what he did for him he said he really didn’t know.
My friend, who knew the man since he was a child living in a group home, and knew that he was gay said “well, you know that he’s against gay people.” He looked puzzled so she enumerated some examples.
He took this all in and said, “I didn’t know that, thanks for telling me. Now I will vote for the Democrats.”
She suggested he watch MSNBC instead of Fox.
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