As predicted, LGBT foreign policy experts have weighed in on Donald Trump’s recent U.N. speech – The result is not favorable. During this speech, Trump taunted terrorists, calling them losers. He also denounced “rogue nations” and vowed to “totally destroy North Korea.”
Trump stressed the importance of sovereignty from all of the independent nations to lead to ultimate success. He claimed that this would be the basis for cooperation. He also stated that he does not expect other countries to uphold our same cultures, norms, and values.
Finding this statement troublesome, LGBT groups fear that this emphasis on sovereignty would lead to an excuse to stop “interfering” with other cultures, thus halting the progress of worldwide LGBT rights.
Executive director of OutRight Action International, Jessica Stern, expressed her concern for Trump seeking isolationism with his frequent mention of sovereignty. She viewed his stance as an excuse for Trump to ignore the duty to protect human rights, especially those that come from minorities.
It was further mentioned that Trump would like to “reform” the United Nations if they were to remain of value to his goal of seeking sovereignty. Stern decoded this as a way for Trump to say he would like to strip the resources from human rights causes that need them most.
Stern takes a very different stance, claiming that the only reform necessary is one that puts the LGBT community and other vulnerable groups at the forefront of the U.N. governance. She believes that this would lead to more resources in the fight for equality.
Regarding his travel ban, Trump revealed that he had outlined a plan for the United States which would repatriate any refugees that attempted to enter the country. He stood by his opinion that this solution would work in favor for both parties involved.
Eleanor Acer, director of refugee protections for the pro-LGBT Human Rights First, disagreed with this outline. She deemed it as a shortsighted choice, one that would hinder the status of the United States amongst its allies.
Trump has argued that the cost of resettling one refugee in America is equivalent to resettling 10+ refugees in their home country. As reported by The New York Times, the day before Trump’s speech, a study from the Department of Human Health & Services was trying to be stifled by his aide, Stephen Miller. In this study, evidence showed that taking in refugees actually helped government revenue by $63 billion over the last decade.
The speech continued, and Trump went forward to denounce Iran before the U.N. The country has a history of treating the LGBT community in an intolerant manner, even making homosexuality punishable by death. Trump did not name these behaviors, but he did express his concern at the way Iranian people were treated by their own country.
Mark Bromley, chair of the Pro-LGBT international Council for Global Equality, reviewed that even with his given stance, Trump did not successfully ensure American commitment to ending human rights injustice.
North Korea was, of course, amongst the denounced during Trump’s speech as well. He tore into them on the basis of their continued development of nuclear weapon technology. Disdain was also expressed for Syria’s use of chemical weapons on their own citizens. Venezuela was also mentioned for opting out of democratic practices.
Overall, Trump’s speech left more to be desired from the viewpoints of those on the forefront of LGBT activism and human rights.