When Donald Trump promised at the 2016 Republican National Convention to “do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens,” the community hoped he would prove more moderate in his gay-rights policies than his party platform has been. Two years and countless anti-LGBTQ policies later, those words have proven to be meaningless.
Since taking office, the Trump administration has attempted to institute a ban on transgender people in the military. LGBTQ protections in health care and school settings have been rescinded. The LGBTQ community has been erased from important government surveys. Religious liberty guidance has been issued, effectively allowing federal agencies to discriminate against anyone who does not share the same religious beliefs. His administrative appointees have blatantly denounced the LGBTQ community. Betsy DeVos, Education Secretary, has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to anti-LGBTQ organizations. Vice President Mike Pence has supported conversion therapy and signed legislation that sent same-sex couples to jail simply for filling out a marriage application. The notoriously anti-LGBTQ Family Research Council has been deeply involved in the recommendation of anti-LGBTQ federal judges, 40 of whom have been appointed so far.
In the wake of the election, LGBTQ Community Centers across the nation came together with CenterLink to form a vital and necessary network of resistance. Center Action Network (CAN) was created FOR community centers BY community centers. This unprecedented collaboration keeps members advised of threats or changes to policies affecting the LGBTQ population and creates quick, easy actions for members to take; allowing us to speak as a unified voice.
Our most powerful resistance tool is voting. Your vote provides the opportunity to voice your opinion, stand up for what you believe in, support your local community center, and hold your elected officials accountable for their behavior while in office. This year's midterm elections are particularly vital for preserving LGBTQ rights. Every voice matters, so #RememberInNovember and get to the polls.