HRC and LGBTQ Community: Here’s the Real State of the Union
WASHINGTON -- Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, reacted to the advance text of Donald Trump’s 2019 State of the Union with the facts of his administration’s dangerous anti-equality record and stories from real members of the LGBTQ community impacted by his discriminatory agenda. LGBTQ people around the country and across the globe have been under near-constant attack by the Trump-Pence Administration since they took office. The Trump-Pence White House’s announcement of eliminating HIV domestically by 2030 has been met with skepticism in light of their disturbing record on HIV and AIDS.
“For more than two years, Donald Trump and Mike Pence have made attacking LGBTQ people and other marginalized communities a top priority of their administration,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “From undermining protections for transgender youth, to threatening to deport Dreamers, to attempting to ban transgender service members from the military, to working to eviscerate health care coverage for those most vulnerable -- this is a presidency rooted in prejudice and fear. But at every turn, we have put up roadblocks on this administration’s path of destruction and discrimination, uniting with our allies across movements. Now, with a pro-equality majority in the House of Representatives poised to pass the Equality Act and tackle other critical issues, we continue to demonstrate that when we stand together we are a force to be reckoned with.”
The Human Rights Campaign is amplifying the voices of LGBTQ people impacted by this administration’s hateful agenda in response to Donald Trump’s State of the Union address:
“Trans service members lace up their boots every day, accomplish the mission and prove again and again that we belong. We’ve faced the same arguments used against the inclusion of every minority group and shown them to be as inaccurate now as ever. We’re focused on protecting the ideals of the constitution we swore to defend; we just wish we didn’t have to do it under the swirling maelstrom of uncertainty that we face today.”
-- Lt. Col. Bryan Bree Fram, active-duty U.S. Air Force rocket scientist of 16 years
“For two years straight, the Trump-Pence administration has targeted my transgender son, and all transgender youth, for discrimination. Donald Trump has laid out an agenda built on fear and hate at a time when young people of every background need their government to have their backs. My child is not a political pawn, and we won’t stop fighting for him and other transgender people until everyone is treated with the respect that they deserve.”
-- Amber Briggle, a member of HRC’s Parents for Transgender Equality from Texas
"I was raised to be hardworking and to help others, but my ambitions are not possible under an administration that denies me a chance to achieve my dreams and further my education. My parents came to this country to provide me with more opportunities and a better life. As a college-educated and LGBTQ dreamer, I call the United States my home. I am not the exception. I represent a community that believes that we all deserve the right to be who we are, to achieve our dreams and also to serve our country."
-- Edgar, Young LGBTQ Dreamer and recent college graduate
“Today’s political climate has made it ever more dangerous to be a social outlier trying to navigate regular life. LGB and transgender persons, undocumented immigrants, those dependent on state or federal programs and employment: all of us are suspect to the whims of those who aim to placate the ignorance of voters. Yet, each act of persecution, each declaration of prejudice and each attack on our rights as human beings makes us, as a whole stronger. Tougher than spite, tenacious and determined, this same climate is one which will create heroes. Heroes of justice, equity and truth. Don’t give up the good fight; because the fruit is the last thing to appear on the tree of hope.”
-- Aryah Lester, Deputy Director, Transgender Strategy Center
"Transgender people and people living with HIV deserve a government that has our backs. If Donald Trump truly wants to stop the spread of HIV, his administration must reverse their attacks on Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act and the rights of LGBTQ patients. No real public health agenda can ever include dangerous cuts or discrimination against those who need services the most."
-- Blossom Brown, an activist and transgender woman living with HIV
Since Day One of this administration, the Trump-Pence White House has aggressively advanced an anti-equality agenda that endangers the safety and rights of LGBTQ people. They have constantly worked to undermine rights especially of transgender people -- from denying brave transgender service members their constitutional rights to the Department of Education’s refusal to respond to civil rights complaints from transgender students. Setting a dangerous precedent, the administration is even contemplating using the Department of Health and Human Services to erase trans people from existing protections by attempting to narrowly define “sex” against the expertise of medical and legal authorities and put forward regulations that would allow medical providers to turn away LGBTQ patients based on the providers’ personal beliefs.
Today, in a majority of states, LGBTQ people remain at risk of discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, education and health care. While the new pro-equality majority in Congress soon plans to reintroduce the Equality Act to address this, Donald Trump and Mike Pence have continued to relentlessly attack and undermine the civil rights of LGBTQ people at every turn.
The Trump-Pence administration also continues to jeopardize the safety of Dreamers, refugees and asylum seekers, including those who are LGBTQ, who are fleeing violence and persecution instead of allowing them safe entry into the U.S. From their cruel immigration policies harming LGBTQ and other asylum seekers stranded at the U.S-Mexico border to their failure to address the systematic torture, abuse and murder of LGBTQ people in Chechnya, the Trump-Pence administration has abdicated its duty to protect human rights at home and abroad. Their record speaks for itself -- a seemingly endless list of direct attacks on the fundamental equality of LGBTQ people.
Donald Trump also tonight stated a commitment to ending the transmission of HIV, a goal which, to date, has been undermined by the administration’s similarly relentless campaign to eviscerate access to healthcare for the communities most vulnerable.
Despite these challenges, the LGBTQ community remains resilient and continues to make progress towards equality. In the 2018 midterms, HRC and the LGBTQ community mobilized in historic fashion and pulled the emergency brake on the Trump-Pence administration. Exit polling data showed that LGBTQ voters made up 6 percent of the electorate and overwhelmingly supported pro-equality candidates by an 83 percent to 16 percent margin. With a new pro-equality majority in place, Speaker Pelosi and House leadership have made passage of the Equality Act a top priority.
HRC will never stop fighting for LGBTQ people, and we stand with coalition partners with a resolute message to Trump and Pence: “We will not be erased.”
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.