American gays are concerned at the direction their new President is taking on gay rights.
Early on, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people seemed to be exempted from Donald Trump’s most inflammatory rhetoric. He was the first Republican presidential nominee to mention LGBT people in his acceptance speech. After his election, he declared same-sex marriage “settled law.” Once in office, he left in place an executive order protecting the federal government’s LGBT employees from discrimination.
But any early optimism among gay-rights supporters has disintegrated in recent months. The Trump administration has rescinded policies that supported transgender students and soldiers and signaled its opposition to gay rights in a pair of federal cases.
Most recently, the U.S. Justice Department filed a brief in support of Masterpiece Cakeshop, a Colorado bakery that refused on religious grounds to make a cake for a gay couple’s wedding. The bakery was sanctioned by the state, and the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the case this fall. The Department of Justice supported the argument that cake decoration is artistic expression and therefore deserves special protection.
Expect a major battle.