Trump Appoints Anti-LGBT Activist To Agency Committed To LGBT Rights (VIDEO)

It should come as no surprise to any of us by now that President Donald Trump’s administration cares about LGBTQ Americans about as much as he cares about…well…insert whatever minority social group he’s belittled over the past couple years.

In February, he reversed President Obama’s directive requiring schools to allow transgender students to use restrooms that conform to their gender identities. This put in place conditions that fly in the face of federal Title IX provisions protecting students and faculty from sexual discrimination and harassment.

Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama issued presidential proclamations acknowledging Pride Month.

Not Trump.

Instead, his administration recruited Bethany Kozma to the office of Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

Why is that a problem?

Kozma is an anti-LGBT activist who fought against bathroom access for trans children.

According to her LinkedIn profile, Kozma held positions in the White House and Department of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush.

In 2016, she began the “United We Stand” campaign opposing the Obama administration’s guidance regarding transgender students, holding the position that policies permitting transgender people access to bathrooms conforming to their gender identities instigates sexual assault.

In a piece she wrote for the The Daily Signal, Kozma states:

“To put it simply, a boy claiming gender confusion must now be allowed in the same shower, bathroom, or locker room with my daughter under the president’s transgender policies. When I learned that predators could abuse these new policies to hurt children in school lockers, shelters, pool showers, or other vulnerable public places like remote bathrooms in national parks, I realized I had to do something.”

Celebrating Trump’s killing of President Obama’s directive, Kozma wrote:

“The silent majority must no longer be silent. With Trump, we now have a president who is focused on remedying the lawlessness of the prior administration.”

Similar to Trump’s approach to picks for heads of other government agencies positioned to dismantle the departments to which they are appointed, the US Agency for International Development supports pro-LGBT policies against which Kozma has railed.

USAID has supported programs in several countries promoting LGBT economic empowerment, access to housing and health care, and political participation. Late last year, it instituted guidelines prohibiting overseas contractors from discriminating against workers based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

A USAID spokesperson responded when asked if Kozma’s appointment signals a change in agency policy:

“USAID has not taken any measures regarding the discrimination policy for contractors, as is the case with many other policies. USAID is committed to promoting a work environment that is free from sexual-orientation and gender-identity discrimination, in accordance with existing federal law.”

Austin Ruse belongs to the Center for Family and Human Rights, an organization opposed to LGBT and abortion rights in foreign policy. He believes the Obama administration’s policy was discriminatory–against those against it. He stated Obama’s position “persecuted” people with views like Kozma’s.

Citing efforts to discredit his organization as a “hate group” after it was included in a delegation to the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women, Ruse said:

“The LGBTs are ruthless street fighters. This administration is no slam dunk for people like me or Bethany Kozma. The Trump administration is filled with squishes on this issue. Bethany Kozma is a lovely, sweet woman who just happens to believe that girls with penises just ought not to be showering next to girls without penises.”

This is coming from the administration bearing the slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

Really, though, is anyone fooled?

Sadly, yes, some still are.

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Ted Millar is writer and teacher. His work has been in featured in myriad literary journals, including Better Than Starbucks, The Broke Bohemian, Straight Forward Poetry, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices Project. He is also a contributor to Op-Ed News, Liberal Nation Rising, and Zoedune.