GLAAD today premiered an advertisement which spotlights the lack of protections still facing the LGBTQ community in the United States, the Trump Administration’s opposition to those protections, and the Equality Act as the solution. The ad, entitled “The Conversation,” depicts a gay man speaking with his mother, a Trump supporter, about how the Administration’s firm rebuke of the Equality Act has harmed LGBTQ Americans.
The advertisement ends with a call for viewers to support of the Equality Act, which extends comprehensive protections against LGBTQ discrimination including in housing, education and public accommodations. Viewers are directed to GLAAD’s Equality Act site to take action and learn more about the information in the ad. In May 2019, the House of Representatives passed The Equality Act, 236-173. It has not moved in the U.S. Senate, nor even come up for a vote.
The 30-second spot premiered on Fox News’ ‘Fox & Friends’ this morning and will air during the show each morning this week in the New York and Washington, D.C. markets. The ad will continue to run throughout 2020 across digital media. As noted on the ad’s page: “given Fox News’ track record on spreading misinformation or completely rendering LGBTQ issues invisible, it’s critical in this instance that we reach Fox News viewers with what they need to know about what’s at stake for LGBTQ people at this critical moment in our history. GLAAD continues to join other organizations in speaking out against Fox News’ long history of misinformation, anti-LGBTQ rhetoric, racism, misogyny, and Islamophobia on the air and behind-the-scenes.”
The ad is the latest example of GLAAD’s ongoing work to ensure that Americans are educated on the Trump Administration’s record on LGBTQ issues and that media covers them accurately. GLAAD’s Trump Accountability Project, which has documented nearly 170 anti-LGBTQ attacks in policy and rhetoric from the Trump administration since President Trump took office, was launched in November 2016 following the election. Days ago, President Trump tweeted a LGBTQ campaign video asserting that Trump is “the strongest ally that gay Americans have ever had in the White House.”
In the new ad, the actor states: “Ma, do you know that I could be evicted for being gay? Or turned away at the ER? Donald Trump opposes the bill that would change that.” President Trump first voiced opposition to the Equality Act in May 2019. Recently, The Trump Administration’s Department of Housing and Urban Development moved to bar trans people from homeless shelters, the Justice Department filed a brief in favor of allowing adoption agencies to turn away qualified gay couples, and the Department of Health and Human Services moved to block trans people from the Affordable Care Act, a move which a federal judge blocked this month. Last year, the Trump Administration filed an amicus brief to the Supreme Court arguing to allow employers to legally fire someone for being LGBTQ and to legalize anti-gay discrimination in the workplace.
“So much is at stake for LGBTQ Americans right now, yet LGBTQ issues have been nearly invisible from the national media narrative since Donald Trump’s election in 2016 and are not being talked about enough in this year’s election coverage. At a time when Americans are entrenched in their own media bubbles, this ad shows why the Equality Act is critical to LGBTQ people and those who love them, and how the Trump Administration and Republicans in Congress are blocking its passage,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “Because of media outlets like Fox News, many LGBTQ people and allies are not aware that anti-discrimination protections are still unavailable to LGBTQ people and that the Trump Administration is actively fighting against the Equality Act. Given Fox News’ track record on spreading misinformation or keeping LGBTQ issues invisible, it’s critical that we reach those viewers with what they need to know about what’s at stake for LGBTQ people at this pivotal moment in our history.”
The RNC executive committee previously voted to uphold the Republican Party’s 2016 platform. The Washington Blade reported that the 2016 platform calls for ending marriage for LGBTQ couples, supports medically debunked conversion therapy and objects to enforcing civil rights laws to ensure transgender people can use public accommodations consistent with their gender identity.
“Donald Trump claimed he would support the LGBTQ community in his 2016 Republican National Convention speech, but what his administration has given us is exactly the opposite. GLAAD is launching this ad to counter the lies and misinformation we expect to be peddled about his Administration’s LGBTQ record. Media should center these mistruths and educate Americans who love their LGBTQ friends and family and may not know just how devastating President Trump and his administration have been for us,” said Ellis.