GLAAD will air an ad highlighting Donald Trump's opposition to the Equality Act, a comprehensive federal LGBTQ+ rights bill, during the Republican National Convention.
The ad, titled "The Conversation," shows a mother and son on a video call. The mother is a Trump supporter, and the son is laying out all the ways he could be discriminated against for being gay in the absence of the law, such as being evicted, turned away from an emergency room, or denied the right to adopt children. The spot directs viewers to GLAAD's information page on the legislation.
The Equality Act, which would ban anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, and many other aspects of life, has been passed by the Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives but is stalled in the Republican-majority Senate. Trump opposes the bill; a spokesperson for the president said last year that it "is filled with poison pills that threaten to undermine parental and conscience rights."
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, on the other hand, has said he would lobby for Congress to pass the Equality Act within the first 100 days of his presidency.
The GLAAD ad will air on Fox News Channel's morning news program, Fox & Friends, in the New York City and Washington, D.C., markets during the convention, which opens today, and on digital media thereafter. GLAAD officials said Fox News has a history of spreading misinformation, as when Fox News @ Nightlast week hosted Richard Grenell, formerly the top out gay official in the Trump administration and now a senior adviser to the Republican National Committee, focused on LGBTQ+ outreach.
On the show, anchor Shannon Bream asked Grenell to respond to this passage from an Advocate story: "Trump and his administration have used executive orders and the rulemaking process, which determines how laws will be interpreted and enforced, to undermine LGBTQ+ Americans at every turn, allowing for discrimination in health care, foster and adoption services, admission to homeless shelters, and more."
"About five, six, seven years ago, the Republican Party really came to the point where it started to be fine and even get good on gay and lesbian issues," Grenell replied. "We're now at the point where the president of the United States, he's totally great." Grenell, formerly U.S. ambassador to Germany and acting national security adviser, said Trump and the party are against discrimination of any kind but are "trying not to have identity politics."
Bream did not confront Grenell about any specifics of Trump's record, such as his opposition to the Equality Act or his use of executive orders and rulemaking to strip or undermine antidiscrimination protections in those areas enumerated in The Advocate's article.
"So much is at stake for LGBTQ Americans right now, yet LGBTQ issues have been nearly invisible from the national media narrative since Donald Trump's election in 2016 and are not being talked about enough in this year's election coverage," GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in a press release. "At a time when Americans are entrenched in their own media bubbles, this ad shows why the Equality Act is critical to LGBTQ people and those who love them, and how the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress are blocking its passage.
"Because of media outlets like Fox News, many LGBTQ people and allies are not aware that antidiscrimination protections are still unavailable to LGBTQ people and that the Trump administration is actively fighting against the Equality Act. Given its track record on spreading misinformation and LGBTQ erasure, it's critical that we reach Fox News viewers with what they need to know about what's at stake for LGBTQ people at this critical moment in our history."