LGBT Protections Safe, For Now. You Can Thank Ivanka and Jared for That
This weekend news organizations reported that Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner stopped an anti-LGBT executive order from being signed by President Trump.
Last week there were indications (stronger than rumors) that the White House was considering an executive order ending the Obama-era LGBT protections, as a concession to the social conservatives in his cabinet and among his supporters. (Vice-President Mike Pence is probably the most visible anti-gay presence in the Trump administration.)
Ivanka Trump, an independent, and Jared Kushner, a Democrat, are socially liberal and have always been outspoken in their support for gay rights. Their viewpoints are shared by Gary Cohn, the chairman of the president’s National Economic Council.
Ms. Trump, Mr. Kushner and Mr. Cohn all had expressed their negative opinions about such an executive order to President Trump’s advisers; Ms. Trump and Mr. Kushner took their displeasure directly to the president, who has said he opposes same-sex marriage (but considers the issue “settled”), yet has on occasion spoken out against discrimination.
Ivanka reportedly did not need to twist her father’s arm: President Trump had not seriously been considering signing the executive order.
Early last week, White House officials made a statement asserting that Mr. Trump “is determined to protect the rights of all Americans, including the L.G.B.T.Q. community,” adding that the president “continues to be respectful and supportive of L.G.B.T.Q. rights, just as he was throughout the election.”
While this is undoubtedly good news for LGBT people and their many friends and allies, we should not forget the following: This merely prevents a rollback of LGBT protections; it is not a step towards greater freedom and equality. There are still several anti-gay executive orders being considered, the most damaging being some version of a “religious freedom” measure, a federally sanctioned license to discriminate.
Feature image courtesy of Wikipedia.
Over 2 years ago, we spoke with experienced filmmaker Carlton Smith about his documentary featuring gay dad families created through foster-adopt. It was a heartfelt project that shone a light on the number of children in foster care (roughly 400,000 as referenced at the time) who desperately needed a home. And the large population of same-sex couples, many newly married, who were interested in starting families of their own.
"Let's skip," my daughter said on our way to school the other week. She took my hand and started skipping along, pulling me forward to urge me to do the same.
Wouldn't it look, well, gay, for me to skip down the street? In public? I wasn't willingly going to make myself look like a sissy.
As part of our ongoing #GWKThenAndNow series, we talk to dads who have gone the distance and been together a great many years. Terry and Michael have been together 15 years, have two children, and live in Orlando, Florida. We find out how it began, and what they look for in a partner in life, love and fatherhood.
Johnathon and Corey, both 29, met in 2011 working for the same employer. And since their first date, they've been inseparable. Johnathon is a full-time student pursuing a degree in Human Services, and once he completes his degree, he will return to his Native American tribe to help fellow Native American families in need. Corey is a stay-at-home dad. Together they adopted 6-year-old twins, Greyson and Porter, from foster care on June 1, 2017. We caught up with the first-time dads to see how fatherhood was treating them.
The Long Island Adoptive Families support group was created by parents going through the adoption process or who had already adopted. It was a great way to help members navigate the path of adoption whether it be private domestic, international agency, domestic agency or foster care. We spoke with Chemene, one of the founders, and found out how this group is supporting local gay men interested in becoming fathers.