Since becoming President of the United States on 20th January 2017, President Trump has put forth a slew of Executive Orders and made both domestic and foreign affairs decisions that have been met with pushback. Many of these policy decisions have a direct impact on LGBTIQ people in the United States and around the world.
Jessica Stern, Executive Director of OutRight Action International, shares her reflection of President Trump’s time in office thus far:
President Trumps first 100 days in office have been harmful for many communities. He has tried to institutionalise xenophobic, anti-Muslim, anti-refugee, anti-women and anti-immigrant policies that perpetuate discrimination and promote divisiveness. All of them have an impact on LGBTIQ people who hold intersecting identities as parts of all of these groups.
Apart from keeping intact protections for federal workers against LGBTIQ based discrimination, it is hard to keep up with the list of illogical policies that President Trump has put forth in his first 100 days in office.
From appointing hate group C-Fam to an official government delegation to the United Nation’s annual conference on women, to reinstating the Global Gag Rule, which prevents organisations that receive U.S funding from providing comprehensive sexual reproductive healthcare to women, he has shown that he has no regard whatsoever for women’s rights.
Instead of investing in policies that promote peace and global engagement, this administration has preached building walls, calling for a Muslim ban — albeit in the form of naming specific countries, and expanding the military budget. Lowering the ceiling on refugee admissions by over 50%, Trump’s decision means that so many more individuals are denied safety and protection in the U.S. All of these decisions impact countless LGBTIQ people who live as immigrants, as Muslims, and live in places where their lives are in constant jeopardy.
President Trump’s policies have far reaching implications. By proposing to defund the United Nations and the State Department, he has demonstrated how little respect he has for the international system as a whole. This same international system is too often the only recourse for LGBTIQ people who cannot get justice in their own countries.
If President Trumps first 100 days are an indication of what we should expect from this administration in the next four years, we are in danger of setting back the clock on human rights in this country and globally. We must continue to resist all forms of discrimination and stand up for inclusion and tolerance. President Trump needs to understand that having an “America First” policy is no justification for failing to meet international human rights obligations. Above all he must put people first.