A call to Republicans to support LGBT rights

President Trump is much worse than George W. Bush when it comes to equality

The author, publisher of the Philadelphia Gay News, is the author of the memoir And Then I Danced.

Back in 2003, ahead of his re-election, President George W. Bush said these famous words: “I believe marriage is between a man and a woman, and I think we ought to codify that one way or another.”

The Bush administration even attempted to put marriage equality measures on as many state ballots as possible.

Thing is, Donald Trump is a thousand times worse than Bush, and if you support him, you should hang your head in shame. You should be ashamed not because you’re a Republican, but because you support those who roll back our rights.

It would be fine to be a Republican and stand with pride as a conservative and try to get Republicans to appreciate LGBT rights. But LGBT people who support Trump are like what the black community once called black individuals who supported the status quo: Uncle Toms.

Also of note: One of the architects of Bush’s anti-LGBT campaign was a gay man named Ken Mehlman, who, at the time, I wrote, “had blood on his hands.” I wrote that knowing that LGBT youth would see all of the homophobia proffered by their president and many would face bullying, or worse.

Mehlman eventually owned up to his “errors.” But the damage to those coming out had already been done. Supporting anti-LGBT campaigns hurts those who are attempting to appreciate who they are. It also denies people in many states employment, housing and public accommodations protections. What would provide those protections? The Equality Act, and one man is standing in the way of its passage: Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell. But even if he allowed a vote, Trump wouldn’t sign it.

My mantra this year: I don’t care which Democratic candidate you currently support, but once someone is nominated at the National Convention, you need to not only support that person, but also get out and vote for them.