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COLUMN: LGBTQ community in us has cause to be concerned


The United States’ top lawyer, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a powerful appointee by President Donald Trump, has made it quite clear that he is against any sexual orientation other than heterosexuality.

His hateful rhetoric over the years has been well publicized and the scary part is that he has the support of the majority of Republicans.

The Trump era promises to be huge setback for the LGBTQ community south of our border as government support is waning with a president who seems more interested in cozying up to the likes of the king of Saudi Arabia and Russia’s Vladimir Putin, both guilty of human rights violations and ignoring equal rights at home.

They’re a far cry from Barack Obama who, during his presidency, became a vocal supporter for equal LGBTQ rights, even on the international stage.

A few weeks ago Sessions had a closed door, secret meeting with an organization staunchly against any LGBTQ rights in the U.S. Where does this end and how may the LGBTQ members of the United States defend themselves against the ongoing blatant discrimination that seems endless?

Politicians are difficult to reach, especially closed-minded, homophobic, biphobic and transphobic individuals. Recent events have shown that changes are entirely possible from one administration to another and any positive progress that has been accomplished can quite easily be overturned.

Donald Trump certainly has ignored the obvious need for positive change and so has positioned himself as a non-supporter. He has the power to be more vocal and appoint those who are allies to the LGBTQ community. However, he has surrounded himself with like-minded people who see little or no value in establishing equal rights for all Americans. It is indeed a sad situation and the fight becomes more arduous and seemingly impossible, actually reversing any progress that has been made.

The United States government is quiet on any human rights issue, domestically and internationally. Trump neglected to mention human rights abuses during his visit to the Far East, likely afraid to upset his hosts. He seems to be in awe of dictators and those who feel money outweighs human rights. Four years of a Trump administration will realize not only a drop in equal rights and treatment at home, but will surely close the door to be internationally influential to rogue nations where continuous imprisonments and killings of LGBTQ folks and others are common.

Sadly, at present, America’s social conservative government does not even admit that their archaic and discriminatory attitudes and ignorance for equality are hurtful and demeaning, to say the least.

We cannot ignore the idea that this type of inaction will never happen in Canada. Depending on a certain party’s ideology, a sharp turn could have negative consequences here as well. Luckily, Canadians tend to vote for more equality, live-and-let-live attitudes, whereas, the U.S. seems to lean more towards evangelical religious beliefs.

Oh, if we could only get together and unite in a common goal, and that is to embrace our differences, love instead of intolerance and treating each other with respect and dignity. Imagine such a world!

Comments and information: lgbtconnectionsgv@gmail.com

 

Gerard Veldhoven is a longtime activist for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. His column appears Wednesdays in The News.

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