November 10, 2016 at 5:30 pm EDT | by Chris Johnson
Trump transition team raises alarms as anti-LGBT agenda emerges
Donald Trump

Donald Trump (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

A prominent anti-LGBT organization is readying its agenda to undo LGBT rights as President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team begins to take shape and includes some notoriously hostile figures.

The National Organization for Marriage in a blog post Wednesday unveiled a four-point plan aimed at undoing LGBT rights advanced under the Obama administration, including marriage equality and writing discrimination into the law in the form of the First Amendment Defense Act.

Here is our plan:
 
We will work with President Trump to nominate conservative justices to the U.S. Supreme Court, individuals who will adhere to the words and meaning of the constitution. Such justices will inevitably reverse the anti-constitutional ruling of the Supreme Court imposing same-sex ‘marriage’ on the nation in the Obergefell decision, because that decision lacked any basis in the constitution.
 
We will work with President Trump to rescind the illegal, over-reaching executive orders and directives issued by President Obama, including his dangerous “gender identity” directives, attempting to redefine gender just as he sought to redefine marriage.
 
We will work with President Trump to reverse policies of the Obama administration that seek to coerce other countries into accepting same-sex ‘marriage’ as a condition of receiving US assistance and aid. It is fundamentally wrong for a president to become a lobbyist for the LGBT agenda, and we are confident that will end in the Trump administration.
 
We will work with President Trump and Congress to pass the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), which Mr. Trump supports. FADA is critical legislation to protect people who believe in marriage from being targeted by the government for persecution.

It’s unknown whether Trump would follow through with any of these actions. Although Trump had a reputation for being a relatively pro-LGBT candidate among other Republicans, he said he opposes marriage equality, would rescind the Obama administration actions he thinks are unconstitutional and would sign the First Amendment Defense Act into law.

The newly unveiled Trump transition team website under the banner of “Protecting American’s Constitutional Rights” reiterates Trump’s support for “religious freedom,” which is considered code among conservatives to mean anti-LGBT discrimination.

“This includes the Tenth Amendment guarantee that many areas of governance are left to the people and the States, and are not the role of the federal government to fulfill,” the website says. “The Constitution declares that as Americans we have the right to speak freely, share and live out our beliefs, raise and protect our families, be free from undue governmental abuse, and participate in the public square.”

According to schematics widely circulated in the media, the president-elect has selected for his transition team supporters who have anti-LGBT histories.

Leading the team on domestic issues is Ken Blackwell, who serves as a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and on the board of directors for Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. In addition to supporting measures that would have banned same-sex marriage, Blackwell when seeking the position of chair of the Republican National Committee in 2009 said being gay is a choice and can be changed.

“The reality is, again…that I think we make choices all the time,” Blackwell said. “And I think you make good choices and bad choices in terms of lifestyle. Our expectation is that one’s genetic makeup might make one more inclined to be an arsonist or might make one more inclined to be a kleptomaniac. Do I think that they can be changed? Yes.”

JoDee Winterhof, the Human Rights Campaign’s senior vice president for policy and political affairs, said in a statement the selection of Blackwell to lead domestic policy for the transition is bad news for LGBT people.

“Ken Blackwell is a man who has spent his entire career going after LGBTQ Americans,” Winterhof said. “Blackwell’s leadership role in president-elect Trump’s transition team should be a major wake up call for anybody who ever had any doubt that LGBTQ people are at risk.”

According to Bloomberg, reportedly in consideration for the position of U.S. attorney general is former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), who vigorously opposed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal, has expressed interest in the position of defense secretary and Trump has reportedly told the senator he could have his pick of appointments.

Other members of the Trump transition team cited as red flags by the Human Rights Campaign are former Attorney General Ed Meese, a fellow at the Heritage Foundation who has said same-sex marriage “shows how the culture has deteriorated over two centuries,” and former U.S. Office of Personnel Management chief Kay Cole James, who in her book “Transforming America from the Inside Out,” compared gay people to drug addicts, alcoholics, adulterers, or “anything else sinful.”

“Ed Meese and Kay Cole James, who are also reported to have key roles, have been vocal opponents of equality and other issues we care deeply about,” Winterhof said. “The people President-Elect Trump picks to serve in his administration will have a huge impact on the policies he pursues. We should all be alarmed at who he’s appointing to key posts on his transition team.”

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

31 Comments
  • “Hillary can’t claim to be supportive of these communities while trying to increase the number of people coming in who want to oppress them.” -Donald Trump

    • The people who want to oppress them are already here. They are NOM and other Christian conservative groups like the Family Research Council. You aren’t fooling anyone with your displaced fear tactics.

      This will become very clear and evidently the coming year as hostile legislation and SCOTUS nominees are put up to vote!

        • Thank you for posting this!

        • I think our self proclaimed lgbt leaders need to start organizing a March on Washington again to bring us to the U.S. capitol in huge numbers! We need to present ourselves as a strong United front that refuses to let them roll back our progress!!

          We also need a big moral booster and nothing does that better than being among an endless sea of your own showing us United in a common cause!

          We need all those corporate leaders that spoke up in Indiana and North Carolina to join us and speak directly to congress this time in large numbers!!

          They want to hit us hard and we need to show we won’t just take it!!!

      • I have to wonder about people and their understanding of the words they use. For example, TXpoast’s comment has nothing close to “fear tactics” in it. On the other hand, this article is filled with fear tactics, claiming how bad we are going to have it with a cabinet that hasn’t even been chosen yet.

        Don’t get me wrong, I do share some fear that many republican party leaders will do their best to halt progress for our community, but people going bonkers over things that haven’t happened yet just makes us look like people they should fight against.

        Also, don’t just regergitate the democratic party lines because that is what you are told to believe. We are some of the more intelligent people in this country. Lets act like it and think for ourselves.

        • No one tells me what to believe. Trump has made it clear what he plans to do. He opposes marriage equality and will appoint judges that will overturn it. He supports the religious restoration act and FADA, This is comes straight from his own mouth and televised.

          Trump has supported Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, and praised Jerry Fallwell, jr. He has been seen chummy with Pat Robertson. He has asked for advice from Rick Santorum and Ben Carson who vehemently oppose our rights and freedom.

          Tell us to fear muslims while ignoring the christian conservatives here is trying to prey on us with scare tactics! Stop living in denial and open your eyes.

          A GOP controlled Congress with an anti-gay Presidential administration means they will cram as much against us as they can. Their christian conservative base will demand it!

          I don’t need him to pick a cabinet. Mike Pence is is VP and that pick says it all. Tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are! Pence is on records as stating he is a christian first before anything else, including being an American or Republican! That will guide him and what he tells Trump to do!

          • I didn’t say anything about half of what you responded to me here with. In fact I said I share your concerns. I only said that I don’t think the pre-overreaction helps and that claiming someone is using fear tactics who didn’t use anything of the sort makes me wonder if you understand what it means. In fact with your new post about “scare tactics”, you clearly don’t know what it means.

          • Do you know what scare tactics mean? The post said Hillary wants to let in millions of people who want to kill us into the country. If that isn’t a scare tactic, then obviously you don’t know what one is! That was the gist of my post and yet it escapes you. It’s meant to get us to believe Trump and his party are our friend and best hope when that’s far from the truth.

            It’s not over-reacting. It’s being proactive rather than sitting around to be reactionary! I’ve been throw conservative Republican Administrations before and seen what they’ve done to us. Many of the same players in power back then are getting a chance to be in power again and have influence.

            As I said, I don’t need him to pick a cabinet. The agenda has been made very clear to us. We know the GOP Controlled Congress and Pence will be pushing this agenda regardless of the cabinet. The AG won’t be a champion for our rights like Eric Holder or Lynch is now.

      • Why are you lying?

    • Sound like a fool! Americans have been killing gays forever

    • Comparing Hillary to Donald, and considering the Parties that each of them represent, there is no comparison. Your reference fails.

      • When we were struggling for state level same-sex marriage here in New York — Trump was aggressively opposed at all times. I live here, so I know. It’s the reason — long before he ran for president — that I refused to enter his buildings.

      • Hillary Clinton was fixed on bringing in tens of thousands of men from the Middle East who want gay people dead. She took millions from countries which routinely torture and execute gay people. Was that really what you wanted? Count your lucky stars the majority of Americans had more sense than that.

  • So much for our self-proclaimed leaders telling us that Marriage Equality is settled law. It was a narrow-victory and our enemies won’t give up on undoing it anymore than they have on abortion. Here’s your rude awakening. You had better rethink the action of disbanding your marriage equality organizations.
    Let’s see Caitlyn Jenner find value in her chosen party now!

    FADA will be the worst possible legislation ever and it be used to basically nullify our rights and dignity. With the GOP controlling it all, it’s going to get very ugly.

    Better get over the shock and fear and get moving on your own survival strategies. The community will need to stand together and get aggressive if necessary just like any other minority group. Civil unrest maybe necessary.
    Take America back again…for our enemies that is!

  • People need to understand that the First Amendment Defense Act not only will set back the rights of the lgbtq community but it is also going to be a slap in the face to any other minority or anybody else that is deemed to be against someone else’s religious beliefs. It is going to give any person the right to refuse any kind of service to anyone based on them just saying it’s against my religion. So people need to wake up and realize that your religious rights are protected under the First Amendment of the Constitution there is no need for any other legislation to try and force someone else’s religious beliefs on anyone else you can practice all you want and do anything and pray to anybody you want but when that encroaches on my beliefs then you’re pushing into my civil rights so the First Amendment Defense Act is something we do not need and it never needs to go in front of anyone for a vote.

  • Blackwell, I am not gay but being gay is not a choice. It’s how you were born and you can’t change it. I guess we are starting off on a sour note. You can’t mold people into what you want them to be. My first born son is guy and 2 of my cousins are and were gay.

    They are not gay, they are not lesbians they are not transgender and they are not heterosexual , They are people and what they do behind closed doors is no ones business but theirs, and they need not announce it every time they enter a room.

  • just what the country needs, a bunch of mincing, wailing men, whose favorite thing is another man’s behind. you people need to dust of your bibles, and read what is said about the poofs/swishes.

  • According to the AP: Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel is being discussed for a role in President-elect Donald Trump’s transition planning.

    Peter Thiel is anti-lgbt? Who would have thunk.

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