While the Republican National Convention (RNC) may have forgone a traditional platform this year, anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric was still on the agenda.
Cissie Graham Lynch, the granddaughter of the late evangelical preacher Billy Graham, delivered an undeniably anti-LGBTQ+ speech at the RNC Tuesday night.
In her speech, Lynch praised President Donald Trump’s efforts to protect religious liberty, calling him a “fierce advocate” of faith and went on to lambast Democrats for opposing policies that actively discriminate against LGBTQ+ Americans.
She even claimed that religious freedom was “under attack” when former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden were still in office.
“Democrats tried to force adoption agencies to violate their deeply held beliefs, Democrats pressured schools to allow boys to compete in girls’ sports and use girls’ locker rooms,” she said, claiming that this all changed when Trump was elected in 2016.
Trump “ensured religious ministries would not be forced to violate their beliefs” and “withdrew the policies that placed our little girls at risk,” she added.
Of course, Lynch is referring to two Obama-era policies that the current administration has since overturned.
In 2017, Trump rescinded a guideline requiring public schools to allow trans students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity, and in 2019, he reversed another policy that prohibited adoption agencies that receive federal funds from discriminating against gay and lesbian couples.
In May, the Trump administration also ruled against a Connecticut state policy allowing trans girls to compete in girls’ high school sports.
These policy implementations have rightfully received major pushback.
Just this month, federal courts in Florida and Virginia have ruled that it is unconstitutional for public schools to prevent trans students from using bathrooms that match their gender identity, and a federal judge in Idaho temporarily blocked a law that prevented trans women from playing in women’s sports.
The Supreme Court is also scheduled to hear oral arguments on November 4 about whether or not federally funded adoption agencies can legally discriminate against LGBTQ+ couples.
While Lynch’s entire speech consisted of nothing but baseless fear-mongering about the state of religious freedom in the US, Lynch went out of her way to attack LGBTQ+ rights.
Not only did she misgender trans girls and attempt to invalidate LGBTQ+ families, she seemed to triumph in the fact that the Trump administration has implemented numerous policies aimed at stripping away legal protections for queer and trans people.
In response to Lynch’s speech, Human Rights Campaign (HRC) President Alphonso David issued a statement condemning her remarks.
“We knew this rhetoric would come from allies of a President dedicated to attacking LGBTQ people at every opportunity. What is particularly shameful is the targeting of some of the most vulnerable in our community: transgender kids,” David said.
“Cissie Graham Lynch’s comments were despicable and must be widely condemned by anyone who claims to be an ally of LGBTQ people. To Trump and his allies: we fight for our community and will see you at the ballot box.”