The LGBT community called upon the President-elect Donald Trump to rise above the often divisive rhetoric of his campaign, while urging its members to stay vigilant and fight for equal rights.
He pledged to “bind the wounds of division” in his victory speech, though he’s been criticized for promising to elect conservative justices to the Supreme Court — justices that could overturn marriage equality and other LGBT civil rights.
In his home state of Indiana, Vice President-elect Mike Pence signed numerous anti-gay legislation, including the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in 2015, which allowed individuals and businesses to deny service to LGBT people. In the 2000 election, Pence said money raised by the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program should go to organizations “which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.” So-called “conversion therapy” has been called emotionally and physically harmful by many members of the LGBT community.
The Human Rights Campaign — one of the most prominent LGBT advocacy groups — responded quickly after the results were announced. President Chad Griffin called the election a “crucial moment for our nation and for the LGBTQ movement.”
“Over the last 18 months, Donald Trump and Mike Pence have intentionally sowed fear and division for cynical political purposes. They now face a decision about whether they will also govern that way,” Griffin wrote, before naming groups specifically targeted during the President-elect’s campaign. “We hope, for the sake of our nation and our diverse community — which includes women, people of color, those with disabilities, immigrants, and people of all faiths and traditions — they will choose a different path.”
Griffin also some victories from the election. “Today, we draw strength from the vast majority of Americans who believe that our lives and rights are worth fighting for,” referencing Clinton being ahead in the popular vote. “In North Carolina, it appears we have defeated the hateful Governor Pat McCrory and helped elect Roy Cooper to repeal HB2. We were proud to support Hillary Clinton, and she made history as the most pro-equality candidate to ever run for president of the United States.”
“Donald Trump sits atop the most hateful Republican platform in history, one that sorely endangers the most fundamental American values of fairness and equality for all,” GLAAD said in a statement. “America stands tallest when it stands firmly in its founding principle that all people are created equal. With the election behind him, President-elect Trump must now rise above divisive politics and side with the vast majority of Americans who demand equality for their LGBTQ friends, family, and neighbors. While disappointed, we are certainly not defeated; the pursuit of full acceptance will continue until everyone, no matter who they are or who they love, can simply live the life they love.”
Rebecca Rolfe, Executive Director of the SF LGBT Center, said her staff need to “take a breath” but will “rededicate ourselves to the fight for full equality. For fairness.”
A number of prominent LGBT celebrities shared their reactions to Trump’s win on social media.
George Takei tweeted,”The unthinkable happened before, to my family in WWII. We got thru it. We held each other close. We kept our dignity and held to our ideals.” Takei’s family was relocated to an internment camp during World War II.
Rosie O’Donnell also referenced WWII, linking to a page about Kristallnacht, the 1938 attack on Jewish homes, schools and synagogues by German Nazis.
Jesse Tyler Ferguson wrote, “I’ve dealt with bullies my whole life. I’ve been called terrible things. I’ve only come out stronger. I got this. We’ve got this.”
Dustin Lance Black echoed Ferguson’s sentiments, writing, “Gather your strength. Now we must turn our tears to sweat, do battle with hate, and turn this chaos into progress. The great work begins.”
Ellen DeGeneres thanked “friend” Hillary Clinton for her “endless bravery.” She added, “There is so much good in this world. My job is to find it and to show it to you. I’m not giving up on that.”
Zachary Quinto posted, “As the narrowest hope dwindles – a vigil to our strength. we will need it now more than ever. may those of us in mourning find space for compassion. in these depths we must not harden our hearts. with courage and openness we must endure.”
Andy Cohen simply stated, “The whole world is different today.”