Donald Trump has been a consistent opponent of marriage equality. He has embraced the nation’s most odious anti-LGBTQ law, North Carolina’s HB2, and put on the ticket Mike Pence, who has become the face of anti-LGBTQ discrimination after signing a bill to allow businesses to discriminate and deny service to LGBTQ people because of who they are or whom they love. Trump has also said he would sign the so-called First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) which would enable Kim Davis-style discrimination across the country.
Marriage: Trump has been a consistent opponent of marriage equality. He said that he opposed it because he was a “traditional” guy, choosing to support domestic partnership benefits instead. Trump later reversed himself and said he also opposed civil unions. Despite a brief flirtation with “evolving” in 2013, Trump has consistently maintained his opposition to marriage equality, sometimes by citing polling and making an analogy to his dislike of long golf putters. After the Supreme Court ruling, Trump said the court had made its decision and, although he disagreed with the ruling, he did not support a constitutional amendment that would allow states to re-ban marriage equality. He later said he would appoint Supreme Court judges who would be committed to overturning the ruling.
Discrimination: While Trump at one time said that federal law should protect people from discrimination based on sexual orientation, he has taken aggressively anti-equality positions as a formal candidate. Trump has expressed support for the so-called First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) which would lead to more Kim Davis-style discrimination. He has declined to support the Equality Act.
Transgender Equality: Trump has expressed support for North Carolina’s HB2, he’s said he would rescind the Obama Administration’s guidance that transgender students be treated wtih dignity and allowed to use restrooms that match their gender identity, and when it comes to governors like Pat McCrory that write discrimination into state law, Trump has made it clear he would not enforce federal civil rights laws ensure transgender Americans are treated equally under the law.
Executive Order: Trump has said that he disagrees with President Obama’s use of executive orders, but has shown willingness to use them himself.
Conversion Therapy: Unclear
Harmful Rhetoric: Trump has hired two operatives with a history of anti-equality rhetoric to leads his campaign. Prior to becoming a candidate, Trump said that Pat Buchanan’s anti-LGBTQ rhetoric was disgusting, and he said that LGBTQ groups were glad he was hosting the Miss Universe pageant in Russia to challenge the status quo. But he launched ad hominem attacks on Ariana Huffington and Bette Midler, and he defended a CEO who resigned after opposing Proposition 8 and an NFL player who criticized Michael Sam.
Trump’s Notable Quotes on LGBTQ Equality
Trump Said He Would “Strongly Consider” Appointing Judges To Overturn Same-Sex Marriage Decision.Asked on Fox News Sunday “WALLACE: But — but just to button this up very quickly, sir, are you saying that if you become president, you might try to appoint justices to overrule the decision on same-sex marriage?” TRUMP: “I would strongly consider that, yes.” [Fox News Sunday, 1/31/2016; VIDEO]
Trump Said “I Would Be Rescinding A Lot Of The Executive Orders [Obama’s] Done…The One Good About Executive Order, The New President, If He Comes In, Boom, First Day, First Hour, First Minute, You Can Rescind Them.” On Face The Nation, Trump was asked: “DICKERSON: “Let me ask you about executive orders in general. Like them, don’t like them, that the president uses them to go around Congress?” TRUMP: Well, I don’t like them. And our country wasn’t based on executive orders. Nobody really knew that we even had an executive order, such a thing. It’s supposed to be you get along with Congress, and you cajole, and you go back and forth, and everybody gets in a room and we end up with deals. And there’s compromise on lots of other things, but you end up with deals. Here’s a guy just goes — he’s given up on the process and he just goes and signs executive orders on everything. DICKERSON: “So, if you were president — you seem like kind of guy if you were president you might use an executive order or two, though.” TRUMP: “Well, I will say this. There’s lot of precedent, based on what he’s doing. Now, some have been — his executive order on the border, amazingly, the courts actually took that back a step and did something that was very surprising, which is, they did the right thing, so that maybe that one — but I would be rescinding a lot of executive orders that he’s done. He just — the one good about executive order, the new president, if he comes in, boom, first day, first hour, first minute, you can rescind them.” [CBS, Face The Nation, 1/3/2016; VIDEO]
Trump Said His First Priority If Elected Would Be To “Preserve And Protect Our Religious Liberty….We’re Going To Protect The First Amendment.” At the Iowa Faith and Family Coalition, Breitbart reported: “‘I will protect… because we’re not being protected,’ Trump said, referencing Christians and religious liberty. He said his first priority if elected President of the United States would be to ‘preserve and protect our religious liberty.’ ‘We’ll be fighting as part [of a] common core, and we’re going to protect totally the First Amendment,’ he vowed.” [Breitbart.com, 9/19/2015; Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition, 9/19/2015]
Trump Compared Opposition To Same-Sex Marriage To Disliking Extra Long Putters In Golf. At one point, he compared his opposition to the legalization of same-sex marriage to his reluctance to use a new kind of putter. ‘It’s like in golf,’ he said. ‘A lot of people — I don’t want this to sound trivial — but a lot of people are switching to these really long putters, very unattractive,’ said Mr. Trump, a Republican. ‘It’s weird. You see these great players with these really long putters, because they can’t sink three-footers anymore. And, I hate it. I am a traditionalist. I have so many fabulous friends who happen to be gay, but I am a traditionalist.’” [New York Times, 5/2/2011 ]
Trump Supported Amending The Civil Rights Act To Include A Ban On Discrimination Based On Sexual Orientation. Asked by The Advocate about what Trump would do to combat anti-LGBTQ prejudice, Trump said “I like the idea of amending the Civil Rights Act to include a ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation. It would be simple. It would be straightforward. We don’t need to rewrite the laws currently on the books, although I do think we need to address hate-crimes legislation. But amending the Civil Rights Act would grant the same protection to gay people that we give to other Americans—it’s only fair. I actually suggested this first, and now I see [Democratic presidential candidate] Bill Bradley has jumped on the bandwagon and is claiming the idea as his own.” [The Advocate, 2/15/2000 ]
Trump on the Issues
Marriage Equality: Opposed
Ban Harmful “Conversion Therapy”: Unclear
LGBTQ Adoption: Unclear
|Significant Findings on Marriage Equality
Said he hasn’t given a lot of thought to marriage equality, then said he supported domestic partnerships instead of full marriage equality.
Defended Carrie Prejean, who said that she believed marriage was between a “man and a woman,” adding that 70 percent of Americans agreed with her.
Later said he did not support marriage equality or domestic partnership benefits.
Said a president should not be elected based on marriage equality because we have “other problems.”
Compared same-sex marriage to using extra-long putters in golf; cited polling as his reason for opposing marriage equality.
Said he thought he could be evolving, but has been for “traditional marriage” once, but never evolved.
Said hiring a gay person didn’t change his opinion on marriage equality.
Blamed Jeb Bush for Supreme Court decision that led to nationwide marriage equality.
Said Supreme Court had ruled on marriage equality, and he did not support a constitutional amendment that would allow states to re-ban marriage equality.
1999: Trump Said He Hadn’t “Given Lots Of Thought To” Same-Sex Marriage And It Was Premature To Comment. Asked if he supported same-sex marriage by Tim Russert on Meet the Press, Trump said, “It’s something I haven’t given lots of thought to. I live in New York City. There’s a tremendous movement on to have and allow gay marriage. It’s just something that is too premature for me to comment on.” [Meet the Press, 10/24/1999; VIDEO]
Trump Said He Did Not Favor Same-Sex Marriage, But Did Support A “Very Strong Domestic Partnership Law That Guarantees Gay People The Same Legal Protection And Rights As Married People.” Asked by The Advocate for his position on same-sex marriage, Trump said, “I think the institution of marriage should be between a man and a woman. I do favor a very strong domestic-partnership law that guarantees gay people the same legal protection and rights as married people. I think it’s important for gay couples who are committed to each other to not be hassled when it comes to inheritance, insurance benefits, and other simple everyday rights.” [The Advocate, 2/15/2000 ]
Trump Praised Elton John’s Wedding, Calling It “A Marriage That’s Going To Work” And “If Two People Dig Each Other, They Dig Each Other.” In a blog post for Trump University, Trump said: “There’s a lot to celebrate this holiday season. Elton Johb married his long-time partner David Furnish on December 21. That’s the first day that civil partnerships between gay couples became legal in England under the new Civil Partnerships Act…I know both of them and they get along wonderfully. It’s a marriage that’s going to work……In any even