LOS ANGELES — The two openly gay members of the City Council proposed March 31 that the Transgender Advisory Council submit a report on how the actions of President Donald Trump and his administration are impacting their community.
The motion — brought forward by Councilmen Mike Bonin and Mitch O’Farrell on Trans Day of Visibility — comes a little more than a year after the advisory council was formed to work under the Human Relations Commission and advise the mayor, the City Council and city departments.
O’Farrell and Bonin appeared at a City Hall news conference with some members of the advisory council and four members of the Los Angeles Police Department, who held up pictures of transgender women killed around the country this year in possible hate attacks.
“We have a new president who has surrounded himself with radical ideologues, and we must combat their ignorant, phobia-driven, hostile approach to our community at every step,” O’Farrell said.
Karina Samala, chair of the Transgender Advisory Council, said: “I am hoping to wake up from this nightmare that is called President Trump. Each day seems to bring more disturbing news to our community.”
Trump administration actions seen by some as hostile to the LGBTQ community include rescinding Obama-era executive orders requiring firms doing business with the federal government to certify that they are fair to LGBTQ employees, and giving guidance to public schools on letting transgender students use the bathrooms of their choice; and removing a proposed question on the 2020 national census that would have asked about gender and sexual identity.
“As President Trump has clearly stated, he believes policy regarding transgender bathrooms should be decided at the state level,” the White House press office said in February when the order was rescinded. Trump has not yet publicly commented on rescinding the order on employees and the census question.
Vice President Mike Pence is also seen by many in the LGBTQ community as a foe for signing a “religious freedom” law when he was governor of Indiana that gave legal protections to business owners who didn’t want to serve same-sex couples, and other actions he has taken as a lawmaker.
“Make no mistake about it. This is an evil, mean-spirited approach by the despot who is occupying the White House, and if we don’t come out swinging against this guy, then we are all complicit in diminishing the rights of others,” O’Farrell said while speaking of the census decision.
Bonin vowed that the city will be on the forefront of opposing Trump’s agenda.
“This is a city government that is going to stand up and insist on fair and equal treatment of our transgender sisters and bothers. We are not going to tolerate what is coming out of Washington, D.C.,” Bonin said.