Walter Olson, a former Independent Gay Forum contributing author, shares his expectations about what’s ahead for LGBT issues in a Trump administration—and, tangentially, on the obtuseness of left-liberal LGBT political groups. [Update: a slightly revised and more accessible version was published Nov. 13 in the New York Post.] Excerpts:
• Freedom to marry is not going anywhere. The Supreme Court, even after two or three Trump appointments, is unlikely to reverse the outcomes of Windsor and Obergefell unless public opinion itself turns against those outcomes, which I do not believe it will.
• The plans of organized gay groups for sweeping new legislation are largely a dead letter. They will not admit that it was a mistake to have pulled support for the possibly enactable ENDA in favor of the overreaching Equality Act. (For reasons I have written about elsewhere, I myself favor neither of these bills.)
• Following the ACLU’s lead, organized LGBT groups will go on refusing to acknowledge any legitimate role whatsoever for religious or conscience exemptions in discrimination law and will decline to enter any negotiations to amend, refine, or otherwise improve measures like the so-called First Amendment Defense Act (FADA). That will in turn increase the danger that Congress will pass some version that is bad, unfair, or impractical.
• There will be at least one surprise that would ordinarily be seen as positive, such as the first appointment of a gay person to a Cabinet or Supreme Court post.
More. Walter adds in the Post version:
I was not a Trump backer in last week’s election, but you don’t have to support him to see the pattern. Since he began testing the political waters in the 1980s he has repeatedly and visibly distanced himself from the rut much of the GOP was mired in on this set of issues.
In his acceptance speech in August, when GOP conventioneers heartily applauded his pledge to “do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression” of jihadist ideology, he departed from his script: “I have to say, as a Republican, it is so nice to hear you cheering for what I just said. Thank you.”
By now it’s part of his brand, and no one cares more about protecting his brand than Donald Trump. I suspect to do that he’ll prove quite prepared to rein in the unwise impulses of some of his appointees.
And on “60 Minutes” Sunday night, CBS News reports:
Trump said after the Supreme Court ruling last year it’s the law of the land — and that he is “fine” with that being the case.
“It’s irrelevant because it was already settled. It’s law,” he said. “It was settled in the Supreme Court. I mean it’s done … these cases have gone to the Supreme Court. They’ve been settled. And– I th– I’m– I’m fine with that.”
This is only a surprise to those who got their news from the mainstream and LGBT media during the campaign, or read LGBT political groups’ dishonest fundraising appeals.