OPINION: Trump — The Most Pro-Gay President In American History?

Phillip Stucky

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The Trump administration is launching an effort aimed at ending the criminalization of homosexuality across the globe. The effort is being headed by U.S. Ambassador to Germany Ric Grenell, the highest-ranking openly gay official in the Trump administration.

According to an NBC News report:

Although the decriminalization strategy is still being hashed out, officials say it’s likely to include working with global organizations like the United Nations, the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, as well as other countries whose laws already allow for gay rights. Other U.S. embassies and diplomatic posts throughout Europe, including the U.S. Mission to the E.U., are involved, as is the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.

At a time when gay people in the United States, and in much of the western world, enjoy historically unprecedented rights such as marriage equality and open military service, millions of gay men and women globally face imprisonment and death just for who they are.

In more than 70 countries, simply being gay is a criminal offense. In some countries, such as Iran, the penalty for being gay is death.

For far too long, American presidents have turned a blind eye to the brutality of treatment of gay people — particularly in the developing and Muslim world. This new effort is the fulfillment of yet another promise by candidate Trump — the promise to protect LGBT people against the horrific brutality of these regimes and of extremist organizations like ISIS.

The Trump administration’s effort comes in response to a recent hanging of a gay man by the government of Iran, which is not the first time the Iranian regime has used the death penalty against its gay citizens. While the effort is a response to the brutality of regimes like Iran, it also comes as the American people have been fixated on the ever-developing scandal that is the Jussie Smollett hate crime hoax.

Jussie Smollett, the celebrity star of the hit show Empire, claimed that he was the victim of an anti-gay attack in Chicago. The press and left-wing politicians eagerly lapped up the story, and pushed a narrative that President Trump and his supporters are anti-gay bigots. The Smollett hate crime turned out to be a hoax and the claim that President Trump is anti-gay was and is and insidious lie pushed by partisans seeking to use LGBT people and our families as political pawns in an electoral game of chess.

During the campaign, in the wake of an awful terrorist attack carried out by an Islamic extremist at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Trump promised to do something Barack Obama and other leaders had failed to do — protect LGBT Americans from the barbarism of radical Islam.

During the debates, Trump frequently criticized his opponent Hillary Clinton for taking tens of millions in donations to the Clinton Foundation from regimes that brutalize LGBT people.

Trump took office as the first president who didn’t oppose marriage equality from the beginning of his term. He ran a campaign that broke many firsts on the LGBT front, including being the first Republican presidential nominee to mention LGBT people in his acceptance speech and being the first nominee to have an openly gay speaker in prime time at the RNC.

All of these historic firsts, were nothing more than a simple continuation of the policies and practices of Trump the businessman. Indeed, President Trump has a long and outstanding record on LGBT issues in the private sector.

You might not like Trump’s Twitter habits or his penchant for hitting back, and you may even have serious disagreements with him on policy. But as the effort to end the global brutalization of gay people shows, Donald Trump is not anti-gay. Indeed, Donald Trump is arguably the most pro-gay president of all time.

Christopher R. Barron (@ChrisRBarron) is the president of Right Turn Strategies, a conservative public relations firm. He was previously the chairman of GOProud.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.