As Donald Trump is inaugurated as 45th president of the United States — yes, we found it hard to write that — it's worth taking another look at some of the deplorable types among his Cabinet, staff, advisers, and friends in the media. At the same time, we must remember there are plenty of elected officials, activists, and commentators who'll stand up to Trump and his minions. Read on to see some of those we'll be fighting and who'll be in our corner against them.
Trump Minion: Jeff Sessions
Sessions, one of the most anti-LGBT members of the U.S. Senate, is Trump's nominee for attorney general — the official who leads the Department of Justice and enforces the nation's laws. During his confirmation hearing, the Alabama Republican senator dismissed allegations of racism and tried to allay fears about his record, saying he'd follow the laws on LGBT protections, abortion rights, voting rights and other matters. But his record offers plenty of grounds for those fears; he's had a string of zeroes from the Human Rights Campaign during his tenure in the Senate. He voted to amend the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage; spoke out against the Supreme Court marriage equality ruling; voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act; is a cosponsor of the so-called First Amendment Defense Act, which would allow discrimination against LGBT people and others in the name of “religious freedom”; voted against the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which expanded the federal definition of hate crimes to include those based on sexual orientation, gender, and disability; and voted against repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell.” And as a U.S. attorney and Alabama attorney general, he took actions that were seen as racist and homophobic; allegations of racism kept him from being confirmed as a federal judge in 1986. He is nonetheless well-liked by most of his Senate colleagues and appears likely to be confirmed as the U.S. attorney general, with support even from moderate, pro-LGBT Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine.
Our Ally: Cory Booker
Booker, the junior U.S. senator from New Jersey, took the bold step of testifying against Sessions during the confirmation hearing. It was the first time one sitting senator testified against another who's up for a Cabinet position. “If confirmed, Sen. Sessions will be required to pursue justice for women, but his record indicates that he won’t,” Booker said at the hearing. “He will be expected to defend the equal rights of gay and lesbian and transgender Americans, but his record indicates that he won’t. He will be expected to defend voting rights, but his record indicates that he won’t. He will be expected to defend the rights of immigrants and affirm their human dignity, but the record indicates that he won’t.” Even if Booker can't stop Sessions's confirmation, the young Democrat will be a reliable opponent of any nefarious deeds by Sessions, other Trump appointees, and the president himself. “There’s a lot of us, I’m not the only one, that have this posture where we’re preparing to be the resistance in the United States Senate,” Booker said shortly after the election.