Pride.

Homophobia is still a serious problem in the United States.

When+the+Obama+administration+legalized+gay+marriage+in+2015%2C+the+White+House+was+lit+up+with+rainbow+colors+to+celebrate+the+achievement+for+LGBTQ+Americans.

@ObamaWhiteHouse Twitter

When the Obama administration legalized gay marriage in 2015, the White House was lit up with rainbow colors to celebrate the achievement for LGBTQ Americans.

In the midst of a global pandemic, an issue that Donald Trump’s administration has made a priority is stripping necessary rights away from Americans who identify as something within the LGBTQ community.

Instead of focusing on providing care to people who need it most and giving hope to those who are suffering from this deadly virus or just anxiousness, he is encouraging discrimination against these people as if it will do anything for our country other than hurt and divide its population. 

In late April, his administration announced their decision to end a policy that was meant to protect LGBTQ patients from discrimination. Getting rid of this policy makes it much easier for hospitals and health care workers to discriminate against patients solely based on their sexual orientation and/or gender. This decision could be life-threatening for COVID-19 patients that don’t identify as both heterosexual and cisgender.

This is not the only move that Trump and his administration have made that demonstrates discrimination against Americans who are LGBTQ.

While the death toll of COVID-19 continues to rise in the U.S., Donald Trump and his administration should be focusing on keeping people safe rather than putting anyone in harm’s way.”

Donald Trump has supported moves like banning transgender people from the military. 

Trump’s reasoning for banning transgender individuals from the military was that providing for their medical needs was becoming too costly. But in a tweet in 2017, he said, “Our military… cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”

In this tweet, he stated that transgender people are not only a burden to the military for financial reasons, but also that they somehow are a “disruption.” 

If someone is willing to put their life on the line to fight for this country, they should be able to do so. Transgender people are just as stable and mentally fit as anyone else that is allowed to serve and should be treated as such if they are able to meet the physical and mental requirements that are normally necessary to serve. There are also cases where cisgender people who serve have similar medical costs for different reasons.

Trump’s administration has also openly spoken against the Equality Act (H.R. 5), legislation that would strengthen civil rights protections for LGBTQ Americans. 

No one should have to be worried about losing their job, not being able to buy a house, or even dying simply because of a part of their identity that they cannot control.”

Shortly before a vote was going to be held for this legislation, the Trump administration said that they were opposed to it. Even though they claimed that they oppose discrimination, they stated, “…this bill in its current form is filled with poison pills that threaten to undermine parental and conscience rights.”

By not supporting this bill, Trump’s administration is allowing Americans who are LGBTQ to continue being discriminated against based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity in many areas including education, federal funding, public accommodations and facilities, employment, credit, and housing.

When Sarah Sanders was Trump’s White House Press Secretary, she said that Donald Trump’s support of religious liberty included a baker openly saying “We don’t bake cakes for gay weddings.” This means that he supports people being discriminated against for who they love even when all they are asking for is a baked good. 

Homophobia and discrimination against LGBTQ people in the United States are not new problems. 

Gay people were expected to lie about their sexuality to be in the military until Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was repealed by the Obama administration in 2011. Gay marriage was legalized only five years ago (June 26, 2015). 

Over half of the states in this country either permit or don’t have any laws against discrimination against LGBTQ people when it comes to foster care. In 11 states, state-licensed child welfare agencies can refuse to place or provide services to LGBTQ people if it conflicts with their religious beliefs. In 21 states, there are no protections against discrimination in foster care based on gender identity or sexual orientation.

Conversion therapy, a pseudoscientific practice of attempting to change someone’s sexual orientation from gay/bisexual to straight, has been proven ineffective, traumatic, and harmful multiple times but is still legal for minors in the majority of states in the U.S. 

With Pride month (June) just around the corner, it is necessary for all of us to understand why this month of recognition is completely necessary.

LGBTQ Americans have made amazing progress as a community, but it is clear that a lot more needs to be done before anyone can even come close to saying that Pride is unnecessary. It’s a celebration of how far the community has come, but it is also a time for all of us as a country to come together and recognize that millions are still being discriminated against for their sexual orientation or gender identity in ways that could be prevented at many levels.

The entirety of the United States, not just the LGBTQ population, deserves a leader that cares about the rights and wellbeing of all people rather than a select few. No one should have to be worried about losing their job, not being able to buy a house, or even dying simply because of a part of their identity that they cannot control.

As a nation, we are moving backward rather than forward with a leader who has made it clear that he does not have the best interests of LGBTQ citizens in mind. While the death toll of COVID-19 continues to rise in the U.S., Donald Trump and his administration should be focusing on keeping people safe rather than putting anyone in harm’s way.