This article was published on August 15th, 2016
The US presidential election has caught the entire world by storm, the unexpected and highly controversial republican candidate Donald Trump will go head to head with Hillary Clinton, who hopes to become the first female president in US history. But, as is often the case, the media focus is largely ignoring their respective LGBT stances, so when it comes to LGBT rights, who is the best candidate, Clinton or Trump?
To help you understand where both candidates are with our rights, here is a quick breakdown of their stances on LGBT issues:
Donald Trump states that he has the interests of the LGBT community at heart by his proposed ban on Muslims from entering the country, as he claims they are responsible for the majority of the oppression on the gay community. This is a claim that isn’t factually correct, the vast majority of hate crimes against the LGBT community are undertaken by Christians and this also completely ignores the Muslim LGBT community. Trump has also gone on record to publicly oppose national marriage equality and wants to support the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), which would legally protect business in discriminating against LGBT individuals on the grounds of ‘religious freedom’. He has also stated that he won’t protect laws that allow trans-gender people to use public or school bathrooms that are in line with their gender identities and has no section on his campaign website dedicated to LGBT policies.
Hillary Clinton on the other hand, has actively championed many favourable policies including being openly critical of equal marriage opponents and fighting to change dishonourable discharges to honourable discharges for military members forced to leave due to their sexual or gender identities. She has also been outspoken in her support for LGBT equality and has a section on her campaign website dedicated to her LGBT policies and stance. However critics claim that Clinton’s political history shows no long-term commitment to LGBT rights and they are not entirely wrong. She is currently championing LGBT rights in meaningful and effective ways but this was not always the case. It seems likely that this is an attempt (and a successful one) to win over the LGBT community but it is up to you to decide whether her newfound commitment will translate into actual effective actions should she win the presidency.
Considering the above there is an obvious choice as to which presidential candidate is more genuinely committed to the LGBT plight, even when you factor in the criticisms of Clinton. It is hardly surprising that an estimated 80% or more of the US LGBT community support and are planning to vote for Clinton.