The campaign of Donald Trump is promoting his newly unveiled maternity plan as the brainchild of his daughter, Ivanka Trump, but don’t look to her for assurances the benefits would cover gay men in same-sex relationships raising children.
In an interview published Wednesday with the women’s magazine Cosmopolitan, Ivanka Trump implied gay men would be excluded from the plan as she touted its extension of benefits to women everywhere, including those in same-sex marriages.
Asked why the plan doesn’t cover paternity leave, Ivanka Trump said the plan is a “giant leap from where we are today, which is sadly, nothing.” She added, “for same-sex couples as well, there’s tremendous benefit here to enabling the mother to recover after childbirth.”
“So it’s meant to benefit, whether it’s in same-sex marriages as well, to benefit the mother who has given birth to the child if they have legal married status under the tax code,” Ivanka Trump said.
When Cosmopolitan asked about same-sex relationships in which both partners are men, Ivanka Trump directed the magazine to check out the plan online, adding the intent is for women.
“The policy is fleshed out online, so you can go see all the elements of it,” Ivanka Trump added. “But the original intention of the plan is to help mothers in recovery in the immediate aftermath of childbirth.”
Asked for clarification on whether that means gay dads would be excluded from the plan, Ivanka Trump said, “Well, those are your words, not mine.”
“Those are your words,” Ivanka Trump said. “The plan, right now, is focusing on mothers, whether they be in same-sex marriages or not.”
The interview as a whole seemed to vex Ivanka Trump as it proceeded. After a subsequent question on her father saying in 2004 a woman’s pregnancy is bad for business, she lashed out.
“I think that you have a lot of negativity in these questions, and I think my father has put forth a very comprehensive and really revolutionary plan to deal with a lot of issues,” Ivanka Trump said. “So I don’t know how useful it is to spend too much time with you on this if you’re going to make a comment like that.”
Cosmopolitan apologized over Ivanka Trump’s finding the questions negative, but said they were based on her father’s comments. After answering a subsequent question on how the plan would be paid for, Ivanka Trump said, “I’m going to jump off, I have to run. I apologize.”
Trump’s maternity plan calls for six weeks of mandatory paid maternity leave and expanded tax credits to family for child care. The Trump campaign says same-sex couples would be included in the plan if a state recognizes they’re. (That’s all 50 states in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court decision extending marriage equality nationwide).
However, the Trump campaign website says the leave aspect of the plan would be available “for new mothers so that they can take time off of work after having a baby.” That would imply gay male parents would be ineligible for the leave because they would have a child through means other than natural birth.
Emily Hecht-McGowan, director of policy for the pro-LGBT Family Equality Council, slammed both Donald Trump’s plan and Ivanka Trump’s suggestion gay male parents would be left out it.
“The suggestion that we should embrace this sadly inadequate plan because it’s simply better than what we have now is a clear indication of just how out-of-touch with the working family this plan actually is,” Hecht-McGowan said. “Although Ivanka mentions that this policy helps same-sex couples it only impacts a small portion of the LGBTQ community. To propose a plan that provides only birth mothers with ‘maternity leave’ renders millions of parents invisible — men, women, adoptive, gay, straight — who desperately need paid time off to ensure their families, however they are created, are healthy, secure and cared for.”
Xochitl Hinojosa, a Clinton campaign spokesperson, said Clinton’s family leave plan has a paternity leave component that “would cover gay male parents.”
h/t Scott Bixby