Since Donald Trump was elected to office on November 8, he has named several members of his administration and transition team. Every single appointee deserves to be thoroughly vetted. And amongst his cabinet picks are three individuals with particularly troubling anti-LGBTQ records: Representative Tom Price, Betsy DeVos and Senator Jeff Sessions.

On Tuesday, President-Elect Trump named Tom Price as his choice for Secretary of Health and Human Services. Price, who would lead the 80,000-person Department, earned a score of “zero” on the past three HRC Congressional Scorecards. He has:

  • Voted against the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act
  • Voted against repealing the ban allowing lesbian, gay and bisexual people to serve openly in the military
  • Voted against federally funded needle exchange programs
  • Voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act
  • Voted for a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman. After the Supreme Court’s historic ruling in favor of nationwide marriage equality last year, Price said that the ruling was “not only a sad day for marriage, but a further judicial destruction of our entire system of checks and balances.”
  • Voted against the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act
  • Opposed the Affordable Care Act, which extends vital protections to LGBTQ people in healthcare settings
  • Opposed a woman’s right to choose and voted to defund Planned Parenthood
  • Called the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education issued guidance for school districts to ensure transgender students are treated with dignity in public and federally-funded schools “absurd.”  

“Representative Tom Price has a long record of undermining equality,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “As Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, it will be his job to serve all Americans – something he’s spent years avoiding as a United States Congressman. Tom Price must immediately clarify what his plans are when it comes to ensuring the health and safety of LGBTQ Americans.”

Last Wednesday, Trump selected DeVos for U.S. Secretary of Education. Her family’s foundation, The Douglas and Maria DeVos Foundation, as well as her own foundation, The Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation, have funded major anti-LGBTQ organizations and campaigns:

  • The Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation -- run by DeVos’s in-laws -- donated more than $800,000 in funding to Focus on the Family, one of the nation’s most anti-LGBTQ organizations that encourages the dangerous practice of so-called “conversion therapy.” So-called “conversion therapy” involves a range of dangerous and discredited practices that falsely claim to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.
  • In 2012, DeVos and her husband donated $200,000 to Michigan’s ballot measure to ban same-sex marriage
  • The Douglas and Maria DeVos Foundation donated $500,000 to the National Organization for Marriage
  • DeVos’s mother, Elsa Prince Broekhuizen, donated $450,000 to support Proposition 8.

“If Betsy DeVos is to serve as our nation's Secretary of Education, she must clarify whether she shares her family's support for this abusive practice (conversion therapy), or if she'll pledge to work to ban it,” Griffin told Politico.

Trump also tapped vehemently anti-LGBTQ Alabama Senator Sessions to be U.S. Attorney General. If confirmed, Sessions would lead the U.S. Department of Justice, which is tasked with the fair and impartial administration of justice. Sessions received a zero on HRC’s congressional scorecard, and the ACLU characterizes his voting record as anti-civil rights. This troubling appointment is in stark contrast with Trump’s pledge to be a “president for all Americans.” Sessions has:

  • Voted for a Constitutional ban on marriage equality
  • Voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act
  • Spoke in opposition of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell
  • Cosponsored the so-called First Amendment Defense Act, legislation that could allow Kim Davis-style discrimination against LGBTQ people across the nation
  • Voted against both the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act and expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation, gender and disability
  • Voted against repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
  • Opposed the Voting Rights Act
  • Voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act
  • Opposed immigration reform

“It is deeply disturbing that Jeff Sessions, who has such clear animus against so many Americans -- including the LGBTQ community, women and people of color -- could be charged with running the very system of justice designed to protect them,” said Griffin.  “When Donald Trump was elected, he promised to be a president for all Americans, and it is hugely concerning and telling that he would choose a man so consistently opposed to equality as one of his first -- and most important -- cabinet appointees.”

All cabinet members are all subject to Congressional approval.


Don't miss a post

Sign up for RSS feeds

Have a news tip?

Share it with us

Community discussion

Read the guidelines