Trump’s call for international LGBT equality is just another stunt

I was beyond surprised this week when I saw an article about the Trump administration moving to decriminalize homosexuality world-wide. Has Trump suddenly become a champion of LGBTQ rights?

Don’t buy it for a minute.

Trump’s record on LGBT rights in the United States is abysmal. His ban on transgender individuals serving in the military is just the most recent example. He is no friend of LGBTQ people no matter how hard he hugs that rainbow flag.

What Trump really wants is leverage against Iran, not freedom for LGBTQ people. He is just looking for another bargaining chip to help drive a deal to bolster sanctions, and he thinks Europe will be hoodwinked by his “human rights” stand.

Trump’s announcement was most likely triggered by news that Iran had put yet another gay man to death. It is not the first time that has happened, and it most likely won’t be the last. But it was convenient to use as an example of how “barbaric” Iran is.

This, of course, ignores the numerous U.S. allies that have similar laws, including Saudi Arabia to whom Trump is trying to funnel nuclear technology.

No, Trump is not suddenly a champion of LGBTQ rights. Far from it.

As the Human Rights Campaign has documented, one of the first things Trump did was to remove all mention of LGBTQ people from the White House website. His minions removed the State Department’s apology for the “Lavender Scare” of the 1950s. His secretary of Education revoked the protections for transgender students in U.S. schools that the Obama administration had recently enacted. He appointed Ben Carson, a man who openly claims that being gay is a “choice,” as HUD secretary.

There is ample evidence of the Trump administration’s methodical rollback of protections in our country for LGBTQ rights, including his praise for various “religious freedom” bills which are designed to allow discrimination against LGBT citizens under the veil of “religious beliefs.”

If you want to see the full litany of Trumps attacks on LGBT people in our country, GLAAD has more than 92 of them detailed on its website (

All of this brings me to the question I ask myself every morning as I read the news: How much more will it take?

How much more dishonesty, corruption, how many investigations and indictments will it take?

How many more lies will it take?

How much more?

My question is rhetorical, because our Congress has shown a fathomless tolerance for Trump. His lies and corruption slide easily down their gullets, and Congress seems still to have an appetite for more before they will make the move almost every sane American is waiting for — impeachment.

The time for investigations is upon us, and as a nation we cannot afford to wait any longer. The time has come to ferret out every corrupt politician and cabinet member that made Trump’s rise to power possible. The time has come for a serious accounting of how a foreign power influenced our elections and our government.

The time has come to send Trump, Pence and his entire cabinet packing.

If it doesn’t happen before 2020, then it must happen during the election, and we as a country must throw out the compromised government of Trump in order to save our country and our democracy. Only then will the world believe us when we champion LGBTQ rights. Only then will the world look on the Unites States as the beacon of freedom and democracy we once were.

Hardy Haberman is a longtime local LGBT activist and a board member of the Woodhull Freedom Alliance. His blog is at