Remember when then presidential candidate Donald Trump tweeted two days after the Pulse nightclub shooting, "Thank you to the LGBT community! I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs." Or how about when he held up a rainbow flag that said "LGBTs for Trump" at a campaign rally in Greeley, Colorado, just nine days before the election?
Many hoped that Trump — a native of New York, one of the gay capitals of the country, and a presence in the heavily LGBTQ entertainment industry — would have a less adversarial relationship with the LGBTQ community than the Republican presidents who came before him. Unfortunately, over the last two years, this has been proven wrong time and time again. The latest example is Trump's choice of Mick Mulvaney as acting chief of staff to replace John Kelly.
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Mulvaney, current director of the Office of Management & Budget, will take up his new post in January. Before taking the reins of OMB, he was a Republican U.S. House member from South Carolina and, prior to that, a South Carolina state representative and state senator. Mulvaney has been anti-LGBTQ for just about his whole career. In July in OMB, he said at the U.S. Department of State's Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom that the Obama administration's efforts to enact foreign policy that discourages homophobia were "religious persecution." Two months before that, he revealed the Trump administration budget, which included proposed cuts to programs and departments critical to the LGBTQ community, such as Planned Parenthood and the Centers for Disease Control's HIV and AIDS programs.
When he was a state representative, Mulvaney co-sponsored South Carolina's gay marriage ban (which stood until it was struck down in 2014). In 2010, during his first run for Congress, he called for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage, based on a survey from the Christian Coalition. Also in Congress in 2015, he co-sponsored the "First Amendment Defense Act," one of those bills disguising LGBTQ discrimination as "religious freedom." He also added his name to many anti-LGBTQ causes, such as a 2011 letter telling the Obama administration to enforce the now-repealed Defense of Marriage Act and another letter to the Obama administration in 2016 questioning its transgender guidance. He received a zero in every term in Congress on the Human Rights Campaign's Congressional Scorecard.
It's baffling how choosing a man like Mulvaney for chief of staff equates to fighting for the LGBTQ community when it seems that all of Mulvaney's beliefs and policies do just the opposite. In 2016, Mulvaney said in a congressional debate that he would be supporting Donald Trump "as enthusiastically as I can, given the fact that I think he's a terrible human being." At least that's one thing we can agree on.