Margaret Hoover and Tyler Deaton explain how the President can work with Congress to resolve the conflict between LGBT issues and religious freedom issues in a fair, sustainable way.
— This article previously published in CNN by Margaret Hoover and Tyler Deaton
Many of us believed, with good reason at the time, that President Donald Trump might be a new kind of Republican when it came to LGBTQ issues.
As a candidate, he became the first GOP nominee to promise from the convention dais to protect LGBTQ Americans and feature an openly gay man on the primetime convention floor. He waved a rainbow pride flag at a campaign rally in Colorado, and welcomed Caitlyn Jenner — quite literally with open arms — at his inaugural celebration.
Less than a week ago, the media and the public alike marked Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office by, among other things, comparing his actions as president to the promises made during his campaign. One promise — “to protect our LGBTQ citizens” — rings particularly hollow in light of Trump’s actions in office so far. And now, he is expected to sign an executive order that would license discrimination against LGBTQ Americans in the name of religious liberty.
As CNN has reported, a senior administration official said it is “definitely possible” the White House could sign the order as early as Thursday to coincide with the National Day of Prayer (though that official cautioned that the timing of executive orders out of the Trump White House can often change).
Even before his prior gestures, Trump had a history of support. As Washington Post journalists Michael Kranish and Marc Fisher document in Trump Revealed: The Definitive Biography of the 45th President, Trump’s favorable inclination toward gay rights dated to his membership in the Reform Party in the late 1990s. Trump supported amending the Civil Rights Act to include sexual orientation protections and supported the repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.