Perhaps, shockingly, Donald Trump wasn't being entirely sincere when, at the Republican National Convention in July, he promised he would be better for queer Americans than Hillary Clinton. "As your president, I will do everything in my power to protect LGBTQ citizens," stumbling through the acronym. He went on to use the shooting at the gay Pulse nightclub in Orlando as an example of the kind of thing he would protect "LGBTQ citizens" from, playing on his audience's islamophobia.
On Thursday, Trump announced a new "Catholic Advisory Group" that "will serve as the Catholic Liaison for the members and the campaign." The group includes a real who's-who of dangerous anti-queer politicians, clergy members, and government officials: Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, who has equated queer sex with bestiality; hedge funder manager Sean Fieler, who has spent millions fighting marriage equality and funding anti-queer junk science; president of the Center for Family and Human Rights Austin Ruse, who sends hysterical emails warning religious parents that "radical homosexuals" are coming for their children; Kansas governor Sam Brownback, who has signed one of many state "religious liberty" bills effectively legalizing discrimination against queer people and has removed government protections for queer people; the list goes on. Nearly every member of the list is also virulently anti-choice.
Accompanying this list is an endorsement of "Issues of Importance to Catholics." First up: "Religious liberty," a phrase all too commonly used as code for laws that legalize discrimination against queer people. Religious organizations, the release reads, "will always have their religious liberty protected on my watch and will not have to face bullying from the government because of their religious beliefs."
Unsurprisingly but deeply unfortunately, the list also includes harsh anti-abortion language that poses a threat to women seeking abortions in many states. "Public funding of abortion providers is an insult to people of faith at the least, and is an affront to good government and governance," the release says, without enumerating any policies Trump would enact to back this up. Additionally, Trump's vice-presidential candidate, Indiana governor Mike Pence, has lead battles against both abortion and LGBTQ rights in his state.
Sam Stecklow is the Weekend Editor for Fusion.