To say that Donald Trump has been an unorthodox president would be the understatement of the century. The seemingly endless scandals that engulf the real estate magnate turned public servant show no signs of letting up either. Take for example, Mr. Trump’s relationship with the LGBTQ community.
In many ways, the Trump administration has turned back the clock on policies that were key to LGBTQ equality, especially with its stance on transgender people.
Yet, the president also seems to be more progressive than his Republican predecessors in regard to the gay community, at least in rhetoric. So, when the administration announced that it was planning an international campaign to decriminalize homosexuality, journalists were quick to get some clarification as to what exactly was going on within the mind of the eccentric commander-in-chief.
However, when questioned as to the reports on his administration’s new global campaign, Trump responded: “I don’t know which report you’re talking about. We have many reports.”
One thing that this administration has taught us, is that we really can’t be surprised by anything anymore. Still, one has to wonder what the outcome of this policy will be considering that there are still dozens of countries around the world, including some very close US allies such as Saudi Arabia, that punish homosexuality with death.
This no doubt will be a controversial topic for many of the more conservative cultures around the world, and if the President is unaware of the policy, it is curious as to how earnestly this initiative is going to be pursued. Like many resolutions, sometimes they are nothing more than words. Trump definitely didn’t help dispel any fears that this campaign was a serious issue for the White House.
One thing that this administration has taught us, is that we really can’t be surprised by anything anymore.
Many pundits have suggested that this is simply a push against Iran. While homosexuality is still illegal in about 71 countries in the world, perhaps Trump is simply trying to highlight the humanitarian concerns in Iran to put additional pressure on them.
Trump hasn’t kept his grievance with Iran a secret, and maybe playing dumb about the policy is politically useful in that it allows him to shift out of criticism from the sects of his base with more traditional values while simultaneously allowing him to shun Iran, at least indirectly.
LGBTQ groups have been quick to sound their skepticism at the administration’s true intentions as well. The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation issue a statement that read, “We’d believe that the Trump administration will work to protect LGBTQ people around the world if they had not attacked LGBTQ people in the US over 90 times since taking office”.
At this point, what will happen regarding this policy is anybody’s guess. While Trump has been severely criticized for his relationship with minority communities throughout his presidency, he has shown at times that he breaks away from traditional Republican stances.
For now, however, Trump apparently is not even aware of this policy. In due time, the world will see if this policy is just another aspect of the chaos that defines the Trump era or if there is an ace in the administration’s sleeve.