February 19, 2018
Donald Trump isn't your average politician -- and no one seems more surprised than LGBT activists. Like us, the other side is used to candidates promising things they'll never deliver. But, as most Americans know by now, this president is committed to keeping his promises -- and a year into his first term, there's nothing more upsetting to his opponents.
At Health and Human Services (HHS), which became a virtual wish-granting factory for the LGBT lobby under Obama, Trump is doing everything he can to undo the years of radical overreach. To extremists, who aren't used to facing resistance -- or reversals -- this has been frustrating experience, to say the least. As Kellan Baker, a research at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health complained, "It's only a matter of time before all the gains made under the Obama administration are reversed under the Trump administration, for purposes that have nothing to do with public health and everything to do with politics."
Of course, the irony is, the president's main targets are Obama-instituted policies that had nothing to do with public health. Barack Obama used HHS as a mule for his social engineering -- from redefining sex discrimination to opening the department up to gender-free bathrooms. For eight years, his agency's focus wasn't caring for the health of people who identify as LGBT but promoting the dangerous lifestyle at the expense of taxpayers. Under Obamacare, HHS became the driving force of that agenda, leaning on insurance companies to cover risky treatments, hormone therapies, and sexual reassignment surgeries which, FRC's research shows, do more harm to patients than good.
Like a lot of Americans, President Trump thinks it's time for HHS to do its job -- not the bidding of LGBT activists. So, as he's done in other agencies, the White House has started rolling back the orders and regulations that have nothing to do with promoting the nation's health. And Donald Trump means business. From the beginning, he made sure solid conservatives were leading the clean-up -- men and women who care about the well-being of everyone, not just a select few. Instead of elevating LGBT activists, Trump's HHS is designed to improve the lives of "all Americans," the White House's Raj Shah told Politico, including people who identify as LGBT.
That's not good enough for extremists, who are lashing out at HHS's conservative leaders for placing a high priority on serving everyone. HHS's Roger Severino has been one of their biggest targets, a man LGBT activists are accusing of bias. Based on what? His view that marriage is union of a man and a woman. But just because Severino criticized Obergefell doesn't mean he won't abide it. As HHS's Matt Lloyd pointed out, "All the HHS staff... have sworn to uphold the law and believe that everyone deserves to be treated with respect because of their inherent dignity." Besides, he goes on, "The belief that marriage is between one man and one woman is a mainstream view held by millions of Americans..."
HHS's conservatives don't play by liberal rules, which suggest it's okay to mistreat or malign the opposition. "What I'm guided by, and what I'm required to follow, is the law..." Severino explained. "I'm dedicated to treating everybody fairly and in in accordance with the law." That's a foreign concept for most extremists, who see disagreement as a license to disrespect -- or, as we saw under Obama, an excuse for lawlessness.
Yet even after HHS officials invited LGBT activists to the agency to discuss their concerns, liberals are complaining about their lack of influence in the Trump administration. What about the lack of influence pro-lifers had with Obama's officials? At least Trump's HHS sat down with them, which is more than I can say about Obama's! And just because liberals talked with the administration doesn't mean Trump is obliged to trade his policies for those of his predecessor. It's the president's prerogative -- and responsibility -- to lead with the values that elected him. If voters wanted a continuation of radical activism disguised as health care, they'd have voted for Hillary Clinton.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.