Donald Trump has flip-flopped on his stance on House Bill 2, the controversial law that forces transgender people in North Carolina to use public restrooms that do not correspond with their gender identity.
Trump appeared at a rally in Raleigh on Tuesday, where he spoke with The News and Observer about HB 2, which was forced through the state legislature in an emergency session on March 23. “I’m going with the state,” Trump said. “The state, they know what’s going on, they see what’s happening and generally speaking I’m with the state on things like this. I’ve spoken with your governor, I’ve spoken with a lot of people and I’m going with the state.”
These statements are a complete reversal from his earlier views on the bill.
Trump was applauded for his moderate stance on LGBT issues, with former GOProud president Chris Barron calling the presumptive Republican candidate “the most pro-gay Republican nominee ever.” The CEO has also claimed that he would be a champion for LGBT equality if elected to office, reiterating that point at Tuesday’s rally.
“I am better for the gay community,” he said. “I am better for women than Hillary will be on her best day.”
But in reality, he’s been backtracking on his purported LGBT allyship since his initial statements on HB 2 in April. Shortly after speaking out against the bill, Trump amended his condemnation in an interview with ABC, in which he claimed that he would “leave it up to the states” to decide what’s best for transgender people.
“Well, I believe it should be states’ rights, and I think the state should make the decision,” Trump said.
According to Chris Sgro, the executive director of Equality North Carolina, Trump’s flip-flop on LGBT rights shows that he would be dangerous for the LGBT community. “Over and over, he has shown himself to be unqualified as a presidential candidate, and no friend to gay and transgender people,” he said in a statement. “We must resoundingly reject his ill-informed discrimination in November.”
Trump’s about face on LGBT rights, though, may just be the start.
According to reports, he’s considering Indiana Gov. Mike Pence for the Vice Presidential spot on his campaign ticket. Last year, Pence signed into law the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which made it legal for businesses to discriminate against customers on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. That law was “fixed” after Indiana faced widespread boycotts in response to the bill’s passage, which reportedly cost the state $60 million in potential revenue.
“The Republican Party has a deep bench of qualified vice presidential candidates,” former Trump adviser Michael Caputo told the Indianapolis Star. “Some of them ring certain bells, and others ring other bells. I think Mike Pence rings the most bells of all.”
Once again, I’ll point to Trump’s volatility. He’s a con, and as a con, he will say anything, do anything, offer anything, promise anything, then turn around and do something else. There are a lot of people so anti-Clinton that they will vote for this monumental asshole out of spite. Please, I beg of you, think. Think hard. A vote for this man is to condemn this country into utter chaos, a place where the lives of people like myself will be forfeit, along with a whole lot of others. The States is hardly a shining beacon of humanism right now, but we all need to remember that it can get worse. Much worse.