You asked, I answered
This week's column is (mostly) not about Donald Trump. Instead, as I do from time to time, I asked my Facebook friends to suggest topics. So here goes:
Anne Marguriet and Cathie Gansert suggested: "How can rights be decided by states? The Republicans think each state should decide if they'll allow LGBT use the correct bathroom." Very good point. It's the same discussion that we've had since the start of this nation. Who has the power: the states or the federal government? That question has, in some ways, been answered by the U.S. Supreme Court. When states abuse their power, the federal government must step in to protect citizens' rights. So, any candidate who pushes state's rights (as Trump does), ask them what they'll do about LGBT rights in North Carolina.
Jayson A. Messner wants to know: "Why are some LGBTQ people supporting Adolf Trump, even after he commented on trying to take away some LGBTQ rights if he becomes president?"
We at PGN have been unable to find a local LGBT person who is supporting Trump. To my national audience, if you're out there, we'd love you to write an op-ed about why you support him. It's always good to allow free space for those who disagree with you! I'm sure they're out there, but very few and far between. I personally think any LGBT person who supports candidates who would take away our rights must be self-loathing.
Jeff Sotland suggested: "A perspective on how some within the Republican party may be changing on LGBT rights." This is a great observation. The presumptive Republican nominee for president, not surprisingly, has tried to have it both ways, but his "allow the state to decide" stance makes it clear that LGBT rights would be rolled back if he was elected. Most Republicans are keeping pretty quiet on the subject, since they've seen a tectonic shift in public-opinion polls in recent years, with the majority of the country strongly supporting equality. Just note the long list of prominent Republicans who come out in support of the LGBT community, starting with the nation's first Secretary of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge. Among the more-than 300 Republicans who signed on to a brief calling on the Supreme Court to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide were 23 current and former Congressmembers and senators, as well as seven current and former governors. But here's the rub: The Republican platform still has a provision that marriage equality must be overturned.
Evan Sorg said: "The importance of the presidential election on the Supreme Court (notably, recent LGBT victories) and how Bernie affects Clinton's chances by staying in (and potentially contributing to electing Trump, and thus, conservative justices)." Excellent point. The likelihood is high that any justices Trump would appoint would not only be opposed to marriage equality but could also roll back other successes our community and our allies have had.
Beckie Schatschneider brought up: "The need for more school districts to implement policies in support of their trans and gender-nonconforming students." There's an easy answer: Make our trans children/teens feel welcomed and create an atmosphere where they can learn and not feel disenfranchised.
This column was not supposed to be a Donald Trump column - but we go where your questions lead us.
Mark Segal, is the nation's most-award-winning commentator in LGBT media. His best selling memoir "And Then I Danced," is available on amazon.com, Barnes & Noble or your favorite book seller.