Echoing the cries of many LGBT liberals who have never once given President Trump a fair shake, CNN's Anderson Cooper hit the airwaves to tell the nation that Trump's policy preventing transgender individuals from serving in the military is a "broken campaign promise." To Cooper, Trump's decision to reverse an Obama policy that is only 13 months old was an act of betrayal.
On the same day, many LGBT groups blasted an amicus brief filed by the Department of Justice arguing that the 1964 Civil Rights Act, as written, does not apply to the LGBT community. The brief was filed in a case pending before the Second Circuit.
Thus these two instances, coupled with the White House not celebrating June as Pride Month and not including LGBTs in the 2020 Census (something Obama did not do in 2010), constitute a renewed culture war between conservatives and progressives. But is Trump, the first president to enter 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. accepting marriage equality, gearing up to wage a culture war against the LGBT community?
When it comes to transgender policy, there is no denying that accommodating transgender individuals is not a simple fix. While there is a case for accommodation in the public sector where service is open to all, the military is not a place in which notions of egalitarianism rule the day.
The military is a highly-selective group that routinely limits who can and who cannot join the ranks. Whether the restriction is age, height, or, yes, gender identity, the military, through its commander in chief, has the ability to decide who gets into the club.
In this case, Trump decided that the military is not a petri dish. Trump contends that Beltway social engineers should not continue to experiment with the issues of open-stall showers, restrooms, and gender re-assignment surgery.
And while Cooper would like us to believe the LGBT community was betrayed, this is not a broken campaign promise. Trump promised to protect LGBT Americans, not pander to them. Just because he made one decision that impacts only the "T" in LGBT does not mean he is an enemy. It means he is the president and that he must make tough decisions.
Turning to the DOJ amicus brief, the argument is not one that opposes gay rights as much as it opposes legislating from the bench. "The sole question here is whether, as a matter of law, Title VII reaches sexual orientation discrimination," the Justice Department's brief argued. "It does not, as has been settled for decades. Any efforts to amend Title VII's scope should be directed to Congress rather than the courts."
How is the Justice Department wrong? Do we really think that when President Lyndon Johnson put pen to paper he thought the Civil Rights Act applied to the LGBT community? Instead of blasting the Trump administration, maybe the LGBT Left should be asking themselves why President Barack Obama did not lobby a Congress controlled by Democrats to amend the Civil Rights Act to include sexual orientation and identity when he had the chance.
For Cooper and the LGBT Left, it is easy to point a finger at Trump and claim betrayal. But the facts just don't fit.
What does fit, however, is the reality that folks like Cooper have no trouble blasting the president when he makes a tough call, but show no interest in engaging the president. Maybe instead of breaking the culture war armistice, the LGBT Left should look in the mirror, realize that Democrats have played them just as much as Republicans, and decide from this point forward to think for themselves instead of accepting DNC talking points as Gospel.
Joseph Murray (@realJoeMurray) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner's Beltway Confidential blog. Previously, he was a campaign official for Pat Buchanan. He is the author of "Odd Man Out" and is administrator of the LGBTrump Facebook page.
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