Trump Establishes Committee To Reconsider Gay Rights and Restore ‘Natural Law’
Religious zealots and political extremists are overjoyed at the announcement of the new advisory committee organized by the state department to determine whether human rights apply to LGBTQ folks. Their argument, based solely on religious doctrine, presumes that LGBTQ people might be exempt from human rights on the basis of of their gender and sexual orientation falling outside the christian belief system.
The concept of Natural Law has been used for centuries by the church to persecute LGBTQ people and brand them as mentally ill, deviants or people whose behavior is threatening to greater society. On the basis of Natural Law, women intended to be subservient to men, not allowed to vote or work outside the household. Women could be abused and raped by their husbands as they were considered property of their husbands and had no individual rights. Similarly, Natural Law was used as a platform to justify the enslavement and torture of the men and women kidnapped from Africa and shuttled to the US before being sold like cattle. The pigment of their skin determined their qualifying as human versus animal. The genocide of an estimated 18 million Indigenous people by white colonizers was considered an act of Natural Law, as the Natives were labeled as savages and thus not human when compared to the Europeans arriving on their shores.
Ultimately, natural law has been an argument leveraged by white men to protect their self-appointed supremacy throughout history. Of course, it was one of the first words uttered in opposition of homosexuality given that the philosophy of Natural Law is rooted in interpretations of Biblical text and considered binding moral rules applying to all of God’s creation of reality and mankind. Given the fragility of white men, it seems almost natural itself that it would be weaponized to reduce or subjugate anyone they disapproved of or took issue with. How can we forget the thousands of innocent women accused of witchcraft by husbands who wanted out of their marriage in an era where divorce was forbidden or were violently jealous she might be coveted by another man, and so they were burned alive as a consequence.
This should not be surprising to anyone who has been paying attention. From rolling back protections and equalities for transgender Americans to the inevitable overturn of Roe v. Wade and voter suppression effectively excising people of color from using their voice in an democracy, to the establishment of the establishment of the new Health and Human Services New Conscience and Religious Freedom division that grants immunity to those who discriminate in the name of Christian based religions, as well as the more recent organization of the U.S Religious Freedom Panel led by notorious anti-gay pastor Tony Perkins who was appointed by equally anti-gay senator, Mitch McConnell, the writing is on the wall. We’re returning to a country whose laws are not bound by the constitution- unless it involves guns- but is beginning to enshrine religious beliefs into law instead.
Now, using the language of Natural Law i.e. God’s Law, it is likely that we will see marriage equality reversed. In fact, Supreme Court Judge Clarence Thomas, once accused of sexual assault by Anita Hill back in 1991 and was confirmed by Republican conservative senators anyway, has now suggested the court should revisit the marriage equality ruling and overturn it.
Perhaps most terrifying is the fact that every Trump appointee, from the Vice President Mike Pence who famously advocated for gay conversion therapy, to all of his cabinet appointees, heads of departments, supreme court nominees and the whole of the majority senate are in strict formation with Donald Trump’s religious agenda. The entire administration is a fleet of white supremacists, deniers of science and demonstrable facts who exhibit little interest or concern for anyone who exists outside their own narrow world views. He has postured himself, less as a president who represents America, and more of a King who represents only his red hat wearing loyalists. He thumbs his nose at the law, at congress, at investigations, at the constitution, at humanitarian crisis such as those in Flint, Michigan and the Southern border.
Trump and his allies in government have methodically whittled down his opposition. The judiciary branches that are not majority Republican have been rendered obsolete with Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell vowing to strike down any bill that is delivered by the Democrat majority House of Representatives to the Senate floor, including the Equality Act, proudly proclaiming himself The Grim Reaper.
This administration has mastered the mass manipulation tactic of shock and adjust. They do something inhumane, we are shocked, powerless, we adjust and then they push further. They shock us again. We adjust. They desensitize us to the horrors that have befallen Americans under the leadership of this President and administration. This is not normal.
… And this is not natural.