Trump’s Cabinet Concerns LGBTQ Members

Bianca Barretto, Staff Writer

Now that inauguration day has come and gone, some people’s worry isn’t just Trump anymore. It’s his staff. Trump’s cabinet and senior staff will have some of the most anti-gay politicians in the nation.

When Trump was still campaigning, he tried to emphasize that he supported gay rights, but do his claims come from his actual opinions? Was it all just a campaigning plot used to get the LGBTQ vote?

One of the anti-LGBT politician on Trump’s team is his Vice President, Mike Pence. VP Pence is closely associated with supporting “gay conversion therapy”, the practice of changing one’s sexuality through religious counseling or even electroshock therapy. Although his stance on conversion camps hasn’t been completely disclosed, Pence has publicized his opposition to LGBT rights in the past.

In 2006, Mike Pence supported the proposal of a constitutional amendment that would have defined marriage only to be between a man and woman. He had also voted against a law that would’ve prohibited LGBTQ discrimination in work environments, back in 2007. And just a few months ago, Pence rejected the mandate set by the Obama Administration on transgender bathrooms.

Being Vice President is going to give him a major influence in the White House. Some worry that Pence’s bias towards the gay community supports those who are fighting for homophobia and gender discrimination.

Another member of Trump’s team is potential cabinet member, Betsy Devos, who was nominated as the Secretary of Education. A lot of controversy has risen about Devos in the LGBTQ community, mainly because her stance on LGBT rights hasn’t been publicized.

Devos’ family has a recorded history of being against gay rights. According to The Human Rights Campaign, in 2012, Devos and her husband donated $200,000 to ban same-sex marriage in Michigan. Betsy’s Family foundation has also donated almost one million dollars to “Focus on the Family,” an Anti-LGBTQ orginazation that encourages gay conversion therapy/ camps.

With the millions of dollars Betsy DeVos and her family choose to spend against the LGBTQ community, she still has not talked to the media about her stance on LGBT rights and how she would help against discrimination against LGBT students all over the nation.

Not knowing this information can potentially harm the small cluster of students at Rancho who are part of the community.

“I feel that she [Betsy DeVos] should speak about her stance with LGBTQ community so that we know whether or not there is some sort of separation between her and the community,” said senior Leon Armstrong.

Armstrong is an avid member of Rancho’s Gay Straight Alliance and is a huge supporter of the gay community, seeing that he identifies with people who are a part of it.

“It’s really bad for the gay community [knowing majority of Trump’s cabinet members are anti-LGBTQ] because they have the power to take away the rights we have and the laws that help us.” Marrisa Gallardo, freshman, is also a strong advocate for the rights of LGBTQ students.

“It makes me feel frustrated because there [Trump’s cabinet] is virtually nothing we can do about his cabinet picks,” said Gallardo.

In order to preserve the safety of our students, Gallardo believes that we should promote community acceptance and educate students about LGBTQ rights.