Donald Trump is attempting, once again, to rebrand his proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the United States. And the new proposal, to be unveiled Monday afternoon, reportedly has some weird provisions including mandatory support for LGBTQ rights.
The Associated Press reports that Trump is set to roll out a new set of foreign policy proposals in a campaign stop in Ohio on Monday. According to the AP one of those new proposals will be an "ideological test" for new immigrants to gauge their stances on a number of issues including "religious freedom, gender equality and gay rights." That test is part of a larger proposed revamping of U.S. immigration policies that the candidate is set to premiere on Monday, which as the AP notes, appears to be the latest version of Trump's widely-criticized Muslim ban.
Back in December of 2015 Trump made a clear and unambiguous call to temporarily ban all Muslims from entering the United States. That policy quickly became one of the most toxic ideas associated with the Trump campaign. Even Mike Pence, before becoming Trump's running mate called the ban "offensive and unconstitutional."
Since winning the Republican nomination the Trump campaign has tried to rebrand the religious ban. In June, Trump released a policy memo that reinterpreted his initial call to ban all Muslim immigrants as a moratorium on immigration from countries with significant terrorist activity.
However, shortly after that, the campaign began struggling to define which countries were considered to have "significant terror threats." Last week Mike Pence found himself fielding questions about whether or not the new ban would also prohibit "Christians and Jews" from those same countries from entering the United States.
The proposal Trump is set to announce today appears to be a third attempt at redefining the policy as something that is less overtly bigoted and unconstitutional than a ban on people of one particular faith. But the problems with this newest version are already apparent.
The most glaring contradiction in Trump's new policy is that it appears to require new immigrants to the United States to hold views that directly contradict the Republican Party's own official platform, which defines marriage as being between one man and one woman, and supports anti-transgender bathroom laws. Trump himself claims to be an opponent of marriage equality as well as federal protections for LGBTQ Americans in the workplace.
In addition, the idea that there should be ideological prerequisites for citizenship may violate the rights of free expression established by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It may very well be just as unconstitutional as a ban on all Muslims.
Since the Orlando massacre that took the lives of 49 people at a gay night club back in June, Trump has attempted to capitalize on fundamentalist Islam's anti-LGBTQ stance. However, many LGBTQ rights advocacy groups have pushed back against what they see as an attempt by Trump to turn the queer community against Muslims.
His latest proposal is sure to illicit a new round of responses from both LGBTQ advocates as well as anti-LGBTQ religious groups.