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As Donald Trump’s administration continues to roll out names of people who will lead the country for the next four years, one thing has become glaringly obvious: Based on their voting histories, donation records, endorsements, or public statements, all of Donald Trump’s cabinet and cabinet-level picks are against LGBTQ rights and protections.
Despite Trump’s unusual (and fleeting) moments of kindness toward the LGBTQ community—once at the RNC and more recently when he held the pride flag upside-down at a Colorado rally—his vice president-elect and cabinet have shown little or no acceptance for LGBTQ people.
Jeff Sessions, his attorney general pick, has voted to ban same-sex marriage and exclude sexuality orientation from hate-crime legislation, and has co-sponsored a bill in Alabama to enable the state definition of marriage to supersede federal definition. Education Secretary Betsy Devos has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to anti-LGBTQ causes, including organizations that practice conversion therapy. Chief of Staff Reince Priebus believes heterosexual parents are the “best case scenario” for children (a quick fact-check shows otherwise), and Mike Pompeo, Central Intelligence Agency director, has expressed similar views.
Trump’s secretary of transportation, Elaine Chao, is the only person in his cabinet so far who hasn’t spoken openly about the LGBTQ community and doesn’t have a voting record. She has, however, campaigned for her husband Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has led opposition to LGBTQ rights.
Considering Trump’s cabinet, vice president, and key players from his campaign and post-election team, including Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conaway, the LGBTQ community and their allies have cause for concern under this new administration.
Mehak Anwar is a reporter whose work focuses on LGBTQ rights, intersectional feminism, and race. Her byline has appeared in Bustle and the Huffington Post.