You will no doubt be shocked, shocked, to hear that Donald Trump has said something terrible. Trump is a never-ending parade of awful pronouncements, whether about women (“bimbos”) or immigrants (“rapists”) or Fox News (okay, we’ll give him that one).
But this time, he’s talking about LGBTQs.
In a conversation with Fox News Sunday hosts, Trump said that if he was elected, he’d think about appointing Supreme Court Justices who would overturn marriage equality. It’s hard to imagine just how disastrous that would be — not only would same-sex marriage halt, but the legality of existing marriages would thrown into doubt. Like many of the things he spouts, it’s also highly unlikely–even a conservative justice would be likely to respect the precedent, to some degree, and it would take years to get the right case on appeal anyway.
This is only the latest in a long line of terrible Trump quotes about queers. We’ve heard some LGBTQ folks starting to say he’s not that bad on our issues, at least not as bad as Ted Cruz. Even if that’s the only issue we cared about, they would still be wrong.
Don’t be fooled.
On the eve of the Iowa caucus, let’s take a look at the worst of the worst.
10. On Caitlyn Jenner: “I knew him a little bit when Bruce was a great athlete. He was one of the best-looking people you’ll ever see.”
Ugh, Trump manages to be gross on so many levels with just one quote. First, he mis-names and mis-genders Caitlyn Jenner. No matter how you feel about her, using the old male name and pronouns is just rude.
But then he pulls a familiar old Trump trick: judging women by appearance before anything else. Nice job, Trump, you have once again wrongly assumed that any woman on Earth gives a fuck whether you find her attractive.
9. America is “going to hell” because the NFL defended openly gay player Michael Sam
Trump’s thoughts on any topic are convoluted and difficult to follow, but he seems to be miffed that the NFL fined a player who had homophobic criticism for Michael Sam. Complaining about how hard it is to be homophobic these days, Trump said, “People are afraid to talk, afraid to express their own thoughts.” And about Michael Sam’s brief kiss of his boyfriend, Trump said, “He was really going at it — I haven’t seen anything like that in a while. He was really going at it.”
8. Arianna Huffington is “unattractive both inside and out. I fully understand why her former husband left her for a man – he made a good decision.”
Misogynist and homophobic in a single tweet? Nice job, Trump! Donald seems to be saying that Arianna is so ugly that even a man is more desirable than she is; and the joke, of course, is that a man would have to be crazy to be attracted to another man.
7. “If Congress considers the First Amendment Defense Act a priority, then I will do all I can to make sure it comes to my desk for signatures and enactment.”
Trump is talking here about the First Amendment Defense Act, a bill that would give special protections to homophobes. It’s being pushed by a rogue’s gallery of antigay pressure groups, and it would let any person, business, or government employee discriminate against same-sex couples and claim religion as justification.
Six of the candidates have pledged to sign the bill. Trump didn’t sign the statement promising to support the bill — but he did sign a letter supporting it.
6. “There can be no discrimination against gays. I’m against gay marriage.”
This may be one of his most confusing statements. Which is it, Donald? No discrimination–or against equality? This is a statement from back in 2011, and there was a lot of legal turmoil around marriage equality at the time. Maybe Donald was just confused about how laws work, and what marriage is, and how to form coherent thoughts into sentences.
5. “We have some very terrible Supreme Court justices, and frankly, they should have at least had that [same-sex marriage case] as a state’s right issue.”
This followed the Supreme Court ruling that legalized marriage equality last year, so Donald is saying the Constitution should be interpreted by the states rather than by the Supreme Court. If that’s the case, it’s kind of hard to understand what he thinks the purpose of the Supreme Court is. The reason we have a federal court system is to have uniformity of law, and constitutional protections are one of those areas. That’s what the founders wanted, and that’s what we have, like it or not.
4. What he’d say to a gay grandchild: “‘I have been against [same-sex marriage] from the standpoint of the Bible, from the standpoint of my teachings as growing up and going to Sunday school and going to church, and I’ve been opposed to it.”
If you had a gay grandchild, you’d tell them that they’re sinners and you don’t think they should get married? Don’t expect too many invitations to Thanksgiving if that’s the case. Trump comes of as Charles Foster Kane these days: a rich egomaniac who surrounds himself with luxury but alienates everyone close.
3. “It’s like in golf. 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. 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.”
This is a looooooong way of saying that he doesn’t think gay people should marry because they are, um, like mismatched golf clubs? Nice to know that that’s how he thinks of us. The ability to visit your partner in the hospital, to receive emergency shelter during disasters, to inherit property, to be protected from legal proceedings, to be treated as a fully recognized American citizen — all that stuff, to Trump, is no more important than your choice of golf club. We may be fabulous, but we are not equal. hmm.
2. About homophobic Miss USA contestant Carrie Prejean: “That’s the belief of 70 percent of the people, so it wasn’t a horrible answer.”
Trump was defending the beauty queen who told Perez Hilton that she opposed gay marriage because “I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that’s how I was raised.”
It was a dumb response, but Trump somehow managed to make it dumber by saying that a majority of Americans supported it. There are a couple of problems with that statement: at the time, polling was clearly shifting towards a majority of Americans supporting equality. And even in the polls that showed lingering opposition, it was nowhere near 70%.
Carrie, for her part, quickly vanished from the public consciousness. Good riddance. If only Trump would do the same.
1. Regarding equal treatment for LGBT people: “It’s something I haven’t given lots of thought to.”
It was back in 1999 that he said this; and to be fair, a lot of Americans hadn’t given much thought to equality for queers back then. It was 17 years ago, and the culture regarded us with some curiosity (at best) and hostility (at worst).
We’re ranking this as his #1 worst statement because Trump has had nearly two decades to give the matter more thought. He’s been asked time and time again for his opinion. And throughout all that time, he hasn’t improved or gotten more thoughtful. He’s never come out for marriage, never acknowledged that we might be due the equal protection of the law–just that we are somehow “fabulous” if we happen to run in his circle. If anything, we’ve seen his homophobia calcify as the he courts the right-wing of the electorate.
If only we could go back to those days when he hadn’t given it much thought.