What A Trump Presidency Means For The LGBT Community

Spoilers: It ain't good.

In a shock to progressives in this country, Republican candidate Donald Trump has been declared the winner of the 2016 presidential race.

What that means for America is anyone's guess—though the Dow already dropped more than 750 points before the election was called.

But what it means for the LGBT community?

Below, we look at several key LGBT issues, and where Trump and his administration are likely to stand on them.

Marriage Equality

This real, lesbian, wedding took place on a ferry boat in Washington State. It includes pre and post wedding photographs of the brides.

It's hard to know how Donald Trump will address marriage equality in his presidency: He's been firmly against same-sex marriage since 2000, when he said "the institution of marriage should be between a man and a woman."

And in a January appearance on Fox News, he lamented the Supreme Court's ruling on Obergefell v. Hodges, suggesting he would "be very strong on putting certain judges on the bench that I think maybe could change things."

But he's also suggested he felt, right or wrong, the matter had been settled.

"I mean at some point, we have to get back down to business... They have ruled on it. I wish that it was done by the state."

In 2006 Trump's running mate, Mike Pence, claimed "societal collapse was always brought about following an advent of the deterioration of marriage and family." That same year he supported a constitutional amendment banning marriage equality in Indiana.

Seven years later, Pence signed a bill jailing same-sex couples who attempted to apply for a marriage license.

Anti-LGBT Discrimination

Trump has pledged to sign the First Amendment Defense Act, which protects discrimination on religious grounds and prohibits the government from taking action against anyone who "believes or acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman."

That's good news for homophobic bakers nationwide.

The measure would also invalidate President Obama's executive order from 2014 that bars federal contractors from discriminating based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Trump/Pence win also effectively kills the Equality Act, or any effort to protect LGBT Americans from discrimination in the workplace, housing, healthcare or other arenas.

On his website, Pence declared "Congress should oppose any effort to recognize homosexuals as a 'discrete and insular minority' entitled to the protection of anti-discrimination laws similar to those extended to women and ethnic minorities."

In 2015, he signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law, allowing businesses and individuals in Indiana to deny services to LGBT people—or anyone else, for that matter—under the guise of “religious freedom.”

Hate Violence

In his convention speech in Cleveland, Trump called upon the specter of the Pulse nightclub shooting, promising, “As your president, I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology."

What he'd do against hateful native ideology is another matter. It is doubtful, though, he will encourage stronger hate-crime data collection and laws.

Mike Pence, meanwhile, complained when the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Bill was signed into law in 2009. He insisted it was part of a “radical social agenda” that would have “a chilling effect on religious expression, from the pulpits, in our temples, in our mosques and in our churches."

Trans Rights


Trump has promised to nominate Supreme Court justices in the model of Antonin Scalia, one of the high court's most anti-LGBT jurists. With Gavin Grimm's case coming before the court next year, that doesn't bode well for the transgender community.

Mike Pence, meanwhile, has also vowed an "immediate" review of executive orders issued by President Obama—including, presumably, his directive to schools to allow students to use facilities matching their gender identity.


Initially Trump said he favored allowing trans people to use the bathroom of their choice, but closer to Election Day, he came out in support of North Carolina's HB2.

“I’m going with the state. They know what’s going on, they’ve seen what’s happening," he told reporters. "I’ve spoken to your governor, I’ve spoken to a number of different people, and I’m going with the state.”


Trump has not issued a policy statement about addressing HIV/AIDS in America or worldwide.

Governor Pence, however, cut AIDS spending in Indiana and slashed the budget of the state Planned Parenthood, the only provider of education and prevention tools in some parts of the state.

In March 2015, he declared a public health emergency in the city of Austin, where the HIV rate in the town of about 4,300 skyrocketed.

Conversion Therapy

Psychiatrist listening to a patient

The GOP campaign platform has been widely criticized as the most anti-LGBT in the party's history—among its planks is support for parents forcing so-called conversion therapy on their children.

Mike Pence also supports the debunked efforts to "cure" LGBT people: On his campaign website, he wrote "Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior."

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