The confirmation hearings continue next week.
Of 690 top-level administration appointments, Boss Trump has sent just 28 names to the Senate for confirmation. Those he has sent, however, are remarkable for the unanimity of their views on one issue (it isn't dancing with Caitlyn Jenner, though):
January 20, 2017:
"I love this guy!" candidate Trump said of Texas Southern Baptist preacher Robert Jeffress last summer when the minister campaigned for the House of Orange.
Today Jeffress provided a private service for the Trump and Pence families at St John's Episcopal Church across the street from The White House. Jeffress called it the "'When God Chooses a Leader' for Trump/Pence private family service" on Twitter.
Jeffress regularly calls the LBGT community "filthy" and "perverted." He also explains the views of God the Republican as a paid Fox News Channel talking head.
January 20, 2017:
Within one hour of Mr Trump's taking office, the LGBT page on the White House website vanished, and every other appearance of "LGBT" anywhere on the site was scrubbed.
Janaury 20, 2017:
The White House Office on AIDS Policy has been shut down this afternoon, and its webpage scrubbed.
January 19, 2017:
John M. Gore, tapped to lead the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, is a name you may recall. He's an old hand at defending Republican gerrymandering plans, and spent 2016 helping Republicans defend HB2 in court.
January 19, 2017:
Richard Johnson, "Page Six", The New York Post:
President-elect Donald Trump is being urged by some advisers to save at least one dance, as he celebrates his inauguration on Friday night, for a very special Republican lady — Caitlyn Jenner.
“It’s a brilliant idea,” a member of the incoming administration told me.
Besides mollifying the LGBTQ community — wary of conservative Republicans in general, and of Trump in particular — dancing with Jenner could mend fences within the party.
“Time heals all wounds,” one GOPer pointed out.
Bruce Jenner was a stalwart Republican long before the parent of six (10 if you count stepkids) transitioned into Caitlyn.
“The image of Trump dancing with Caitlyn would send a strong message that he supports gay rights and trans rights,” the Republican said. “A picture is worth a thousand tweets."January 19, 2017:
Mr Trump's budget director, SC congressman Mick Mulvaney, doesn't believe in paying taxes on nannies unless he gets caught. But he despises The Gays.
January 18, 2017:
The Washington Examiner says The Big Gay Monolith is being mean to Mr Trump:
Since the election, groups like the Human Rights Campaign have fought Trump, prompting Angelo mock "Gay Inc." for being out of touch and unwilling to accept the president-elect's outreach.
Angelo said that the partisan attacks and liberal LGBT fundraising appeals are "preying on fears of the unknown regarding a Trump administration that they are largely conjuring and I hope and truly feel that within Trump's first 100 days in office the wheels of their fear train are going to completely fall off because we're going to see that he's governing as the 'real friend' of the LGBT community that he promised during the campaign."
And having an open line of communication, he added, gives Log Cabin Republicans a voice and allows it to push Trump's team for more. "Of course we're taking nothing for granted," he said.January 18, 2017:
President-elect Trump’s nominee to become the next U.S. ambassador to the U.N. on Wednesday said American values “do not allow for discrimination of any kind to anyone.”
“That is something I will always speak loudly about,” said South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley in response to a question U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) asked about the promotion of LGBT rights abroad...Governor Haley has never supported a gay rights measure in her life. She has never made a single LGBT appointment. She does not even claim to have gay friends.
January 17, 2017:
Republicans spent their time grilling one-term Montana congressman Ryan Zinke on why he isn't as ready as the party to sell off federal lands, so LGBT rights didn't come up in his confirmation hearing for Interior Secretary.
But Zinke, who has also called Hillary Clinton "the anti-Christ" is a 100%-er when it comes to the House of Orange's litmus test issue:
The anti-LGBT provision, offered as an amendment [to the National Defense Authorization Act in 2016] by Rep. Steve Russell (R-OK) in the House Armed Services Committee, would allow, under the guise of religious liberty, sweeping anti-LGBT discrimination in all federal agencies, not just the Department of Defense. The provision jeopardizes President Obama’s executive order prohibiting LGBT discrimination in federal contracting, and could have far-reaching consequences, potentially even undermining existing federal nondiscrimination provisions protecting workers against discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, and more.In his re-election campaign last fall, Zinke- when asked about protecting LGBT rights- drew a firm line between himself and his opponent:
Zinke invoked the Constitution in his response and suggested he supports freedom of expression and religion.
“And so I do support you – if you want to be lesbian, you want to be Muslim, you want to be whatever,” Zinke said. “It doesn’t matter to me. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter to me. And it doesn’t matter in Montana and it doesn’t really matter in this election because Montanans generally aren’t that way.”January 17, 2017:
The nominee for Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, said never mind that she has chaired a homophobic state party and her husband, mother, and siblings all fund anti-LGBT groups with sacks of cash, she remains unsullied by it all:
Betsy DeVos defended herself late Tuesday against assertions she has an anti-LGBT history by making a distinction between herself and family members who donated to anti-LGBT groups, but was bruised in response to other tough questions during her confirmation hearing.
DeVos, Trump’s pick to become the next education secretary, faced questions about her views on LGBT students and assertions she has an anti-LGBT past under questioning before the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee.
The nominee first came under questioning on LGBT issues from Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) who railed against her family donations to Focus on the Family, a group that advocates for social conservative approaches to family rearing and supports widely discredited “ex-gay” conversion therapy.
Pointing out the Focus on the Family website states “homosexual strugglers can and do change their sexual behavior and identity,” Franken said the DeVos family has given over $10 million to Focus on the Family and asked DeVos whether she still supports conversion therapy.
DeVos denied she ever supported the practice, saying, “Sen. Franken, I’ve never believed in that.”
“Let me say I fully embrace equality and I believe in the innate value of every single human being, and that all students — no matter their age — should be able to attend a school and feel safe and be free of discrimination,” DeVos said.
DeVos also warned against making inferences about her views on LGBT students based on donations her family made to anti-LGBT causes, saying the two shouldn’t be conflated.
“Your characterization of contributions, I don’t think, accurately reflects those of my family,” DeVos said. “I would hope that you wouldn’t include other family members beyond my core family.”
DeVos’ family has a history of opposing LGBT rights that may be an indication of how she would guide schools to treat LGBT students as head of the Education Department. It’s unclear what DeVos meant by her “core family,” but the record shows her spouse, Dick DeVos, was among those funding anti-LGBT causes.
According to a 2013 report in the Michigan LGBT publication PrideSource.com, Devos and her husband led the effort to put an anti-gay marriage amendment on the ballot in 2004 and contributed more than $200,000 to the campaign, which ultimately succeeded. Dick DeVos also contributed $100,000 in 2008 to pass Amendment 2 in Florida, an effort that banned same-sex marriage in the state.
A $20,000 campaign contribution from Dick Devos in 2004 to Citizens for the Protection of Marriage, the campaign that advocated for the anti-gay marriage amendment in Michigan, is in the public record, according to Buzzfeed.
In 2012, the revelation that the Douglas and Maria DeVos Foundation, financially supported by Betsy Devos’s brother-in-law and Amway president Doug DeVos, donated $500,000 to the National Organization for Marriage in 2009 prompted calls in the LGBT community for a boycott.
Betsy DeVos’s father, Edgar Prince, was a co-founder of the anti-LGBT Family Research Council, and her mother, Elsa Prince Broekhuizen, contributed $75,000 to pass the anti-gay marriage amendment in Michigan.
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), the only out lesbian in Congress, said she was “heartened” by the nominee’s response on conversion therapy, but the anti-LGBT groups to which her family donated not only back conversion therapy, but also oppose LGBT non-discrimination efforts, marriage equality and same-sex adoption.
“I assume that there are LGBT students and their parents watching tonight,” Baldwin said. “What would you say to them to assure them that you’re going to use your position as secretary to support LGBT students or students with LGBT parents?”
DeVos insisted the donations to these organizations from her family shouldn’t be confused with her and she would “embrace equality” for all students.
“I firmly believe in the intrinsic value of each individual and that every student should have the assurance of a safe and discrimination-free place to become educated, and I want to restate those principles, those values for me,” DeVos said.
On the anti-LGBT contributions, DeVos said, “You may be confusing some other family members in those contributions, and also looking at contributions from 18 or 20 years ago.”
“As a mom, I just can’t imagine having a child that would feel discriminated against for any reason, and I would want my child in a safe environment,” DeVos added.
Baldwin said if Devos feels her family donations to anti-LGBT groups have been conflated to include her, she should state that to the committee in writing.
Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) also questioned DeVos on the anti-LGBT donations, asking whether she was aware the Edgar & Elsa Prince Foundation — her mother’s foundation — donated more than $5 million to Focus on the Family.
DeVos never answered whether she was aware of the foundation, but denied she was a member of the board and said “my mother makes the decisions for the foundation.”Ms DeVos was gobsmacked to discover she's been vice president of that foundation for seventeen years.
January 13, 2017:
Christianists are way upset that Mr Trump has brought in a hedge fund manager, to do vague things that relate to the new administration's interactions with state and local governments. When Anthony Scaramucci has nothing else to do, he is supposed to schmooze the gays. This upsets the right, as he says he actually likes them and thinks they have some rights.
UPDATE: the offer was withdrawn. There is no one in The WhiteHuse who talsk with the LGBT community.
January 12, 2017:
‘I think Trump is very good on gay rights,’ [gay billionaire and Trump transition team member Peter]Thiel told the New York Times. ‘I don’t think he will reverse anything. I would obviously be concerned if I thought otherwise.’
He was asked whether he was comfortable with idea of Mike Pence, someone who has dedicated part of his political life campaiginign against LGBTI rights, as Vice President.
‘You know, maybe I should be worried but I’m not that worried about it,’ he replied.
‘I don’t know. People know too many gay people. There are just all these ways I think stuff has just shifted. For speaking at the Republican convention, I got attacked way more by liberal gay people than by conservative Christian people.
‘I don’t think these things will particularly change.January 11, 2017:
When you're married to the Senate Majority leader, a confirmation hearing to be Secretary of Transportation can be assumed a no-brainer, and so it was for Elaine Chao. In her previous role as President Bush 2's Labor Secretary for eight years, though, she passed her litmus test by opposing all federal legislation seeking to protect LGBT Americans from workplace discrimination.
January 11, 2017:
President-elect Trump’s nominee for secretary of state on Wednesday declined to specifically say whether “gay rights are human rights.”Sixty years ago, Senator Joe McCarthy kicked off his Red Scare campaign by claiming- with the aid of North Carolina Senator Clyde R. Hoey- that the State Department was full of homosexuals. GOP platform writer and Family Research Council head Tony Perkins is making the same claim, and calling on Secretary-designate Rex Tillerson to launch another purge in 2017.
January 11, 2017:
Trump Cabinet pick Ben Carson reiterated his belief Thursday that LGBT Americans don’t deserve “extra rights."
During Carson’s confirmation hearing, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) pressed the Housing and Urban Development nominee about whether he would enforce LGBT protections in the public housing sector.
“Of course, I would enforce all the laws of the land,” Carson responded. “Of course, I think all Americans should be protected by the law.”
“What I have said before is I don’t think anyone should get ‘extra rights,’” he added.
Carson’s remarks mirror those from his 2014 CPAC speech: “Of course gay people should have the same rights as everyone else, but they don’t get extra rights,” Carson said at the time.There are no federal laws giving LGBT Americans extra rights to housing. There are no federal laws giving them the same rights non-LGBT Americans enjoy, either.
January 10, 2017:
From the opening statement of Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions:
I understand the demands for justice and fairness made by the LGBT community. I will ensure that the statutes protecting their rights and their safety are fully enforced.There are no such federal laws. Senator Session has spent a quarter-century helping keep any from being passed.
Among Sessions' character witnesses was a black Republican who is also a birther who believes gay people are all pedophiles.