One of President Donald Trump’s most attractive qualities while on the campaign trail was that he didn’t need a translator, like most politicians seem to require. He understood what Americans were most frustrated about, and even since assuming the presidency he’s been able to cut through the fog the media creates on a daily basis.
Trump’s unique ability to stand up in the face of serious pressure from the Left is exactly why it’s so important that he does not back down from undoing or mediating the damage that the Obama administration’s 2014 executive orders have caused to religious freedom and common sense public policy.
Trump has been most effective when he attacks the Left’s characterization of certain issues head-on and says things as they are. We saw this most incredibly during the third presidential debate, when, rather than shying away from a question on his stance against “women’s rights,” Trump proceeded to describe quite graphically what takes place during a partial-birth abortion and pointed out that Clinton supports such an abomination. Trump simply cut through the Left’s rhetoric, and the media backed down.
It is time for President Trump to do the same on religious freedom. The Left claims that religiously motivated citizens and organizations discriminate against LGBT persons based on their “sexual orientation or gender identity.” Yet an adoption agency “discriminating” against a same-sex couple because they believe that children should be placed in a home with a mom and a dad simply means they are choosing an option that is best for the child, not discriminating against the same-sex couple based on their sexual orientation. Again, policies that require students to use the locker room that corresponds with their biological sex is not discrimination on the basis of gender identity, but it is a distinction between objective traits that is necessary for the privacy and safety of women.
The problem arises when we conflate these distinctions with legitimate discrimination, making the adoption agency into hateful bigots. By all means, Trump should promise to “protect the LGBT community from oppression.” But if he takes no action to differentiate many Americans’ sincere religious and moral convictions from real discrimination, he will send an ominous message to many of his greatest supporters. Trump has a fantastic executive order ready to go that could fix many of the threats to our most important freedom, with one signature.
Should they ignore this issue, the Trump administration will be effectively treating people and organizations who believe that marriage is between a man and a woman, or that children should have a mom and a dad, or that girls should be able to shower without males entering their locker rooms, as bigots who are oppressing LGBT persons.
Moreover, if Trump refuses to act, it will only be for the sake of solving a problem that doesn’t exist on a large enough scale to require federal oversight. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) reports that 89 percent of Fortune 500 companies already have policies against considering sexual orientation in their employment decisions. Within aggregate data, there is no evidence of LGBT persons being turned away from hotel chains, major restaurants, or major employers. This is not to say that LGBT persons don’t face other forms of discrimination, but just not the kind that a federal mandate could solve. Instead, the mandate hurts small private businesses, self-made Americans, and religious charities.
In leaving Obama’s 2014 executive orders in place with no remedy, Trump would allow the forgotten men and women who placed their hope in him to be cast as deplorables under law. These “anti-discrimination” laws are designed to reinforce the Left’s characterization of normal Americans as uneducated fundamentalists, clinging to their “guns, or religion, or antipathy to people who aren’t like them.” The ghosts of Hillary and Obama are apparently still hanging around the White House, accusing good, faithful, and reasonable Americans of discrimination.
The law is a teacher, and if Trump does nothing to distinguish religious and moral convictions from discrimination, our children will grow up in a nation whose laws say that their parents were no different from racists.
All this time, President Trump has defended his supporters from Hillary’s claim that they are just deplorable racists; that they are sexist; that they are xenophobic and Islamophobic. He has called out the media for their lies and hypocrisy. After watching the protests surrounding the inauguration and Trump’s first moves while in office, it’s hard to imagine him gaining any friends on the Left by upholding Obama’s unconstitutional SOGI executive orders. It’s time for Trump to address one more category in Hillary’s basket and vindicate those of us who the Left unjustly labels “homophobic.”
Photo credit: Max Goldberg via Flickr, CC BY 2.0