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In Utah, it’s against the law to discriminate against Trump supporters!


Every so often, I just have to laugh at the Party of Trump. Most of the time it drives me crazy, but now and then, it comes up with something really funny. Take, for instance, today’s report that “Utah approves hate crimes bill after GOP adds Trump supporters as a protected class.”

It seems that some Utah legislators introduced a bill that would protect racial minorities, LGBTQ people, and veterans” from various forms of discrimination. That’s good: for far too long, these minorities, and others, have suffered from discrimination, and they need the added protections that anti-hate crime legislation brings.

But “Trump supporters” as a protected class? The background is that there’s this far-right legislator, Karianne Lisonbee, who got “Trump supporters” added to the list. She’s one of the most viciously homophobic state legislators in America. In Utah, the issue of “conversion therapy” has been a hot one, as it has across the country. That’s the fake “science” in which conservative, usually Christian psychotherapists who are against homosexuality “work with” patients to try to get them to “go straight.” The practice has been universally denounced by reputable psychologists. Many states have rightfully banned it; California did so back in 2012.

Lisonbee tried her best to keep the Utah legislature from banning conversion therapy, but she lost when the Mormon Church (which historically has been homophobic, and in fact was one of the leading funders of California’s Proposition 8), pulled a switcheroo. The Church, which has been stung by criticisms of its homophobia, actually reached a deal with LGBTQ advocates in Utah by which the Church agreed not to oppose anti-conversion therapy efforts. That infuriated Lisonbee. Turns out that her homophobia was so blatant, so insulting, so biased that many people understandably sent her emails suggesting that they disagreed with her! Well, that’s politics; if you can’t tolerate angry emails, you shouldn’t hold public office. But Lisonbee felt that she was being “attacked” simply for being a Trump supporter!!! That’s why she got “Trump supporters” added to the protected-class list. Her argument: “Is not having somebody threaten you making you a victim?”

And that’s where today’s giggle is. Consider the ramifications of Lisonbee’s rationale. Black people, LGBTQ people, handicapped people—the usual protected classes—are all what they are because they were born that way (or became that way through no fault of their own). That’s why it should be against the law to discriminate against them: they can’t help being Black, or gay, or whatever. But was Lisonbee born a rightwing homophobe? Obviously not. That is something she has chosen to be. She made the choice to be hateful, to condemn millions of people to half-citizenship status, simply because her intolerant religious beliefs have convinced her that God hates fags.

Well, that’s her right, of course. She can believe anything she wants, no matter how dumb. But “Trump supporters” as a protected class? It is true that we’ve seen reporting, from across America, that many Trump supporters are ashamed to reveal their true feelings to their families, co-workers and friends, for fear of being vilified. But that doesn’t make them “victims” in the sense that gays who get beat up by homophobes are victims. If someone is ashamed of supporting Trump, they should look in the mirror and ask themselves why. If they’re so proud of Trump, then proclaim it from the rooftops! Convince anti-Trumpers of the correctness of your thinking! But don’t put yourself on the same level as a gay person or a Black person or (for that matter) a Muslim woman in a hijab who’s attacked on the street! That’s just plain crazy.

Which is why I’m chuckling. The upshot, in Utah, is that LGBTQ leaders, bowing to political reality, have agreed to accept Lisonbee’s “Trump supporters” addition, if it leads to protections for LGBTQ folks. Does that now mean that if I go to Utah and tell some dude wearing a MAGA hat he’s a moron, I can get arrested for a hate crime? I don’t know and I’m not about to find out; Utah is one place I doubt I’ll ever visit. But while we’re on the subject, how about adding “democratic socialists” to the protected class list? They’re as oppressed, as insulted and as demeaned (by Republicans) as “Trump supporters” are (by Democrats), so what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Right?

  1. Bob Rossi says:

    Are you sure the “Trump supporters as a protected class” didn’t come from a Borowitz satire? It’s just too bizarre.
    And this: “was Lisonbee born a rightwing homophobe? Obviously not. That is something she has chosen to be.” reminded me of the Rogers & Hammerstein song “You’ve Got to be Carefully Taught.”

  2. Hi Bob Rossi. The “Trump supporters” is real, not satire–although it should be! Isn’t it amazing that in the year 2019 there are still Americans who denigrate gay people and want to take away their rights? They’re like those Japanese soldiers hiding in caves on Pacific islands, still fighting the war decades after Japan surrendered.

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