Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon and former GOP Presidential candidate, has been tapped by President-Elect Donald Trump to be the new Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
As you may remember from his own run for the GOP nomination earlier this year, Carson was outspoken in his opposition to various minority-rights issues including his anti-LGBT rhetoric. At one point Carson even compared same sex marriage to bestiality.
Now, many who fight for LGBT equality are concerned that Carson will be given the power to implement his misguided views. For example, the HUD Secretary has broad authority on addressing homeless issues. This is especially of concern to our community as approximately 40 percent of homeless youth is LGBT, according to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).
Chad Griffin, HRC President, explained that: “The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development is charged with enforcing the US fair housing laws…. That could prove challenging given that Ben Carson doesn’t even believe LGBTQ people exist…. As a community already faced with housing insecurity, we need an ally, not an agitator, who will protect every American’s right to a safe place to lie down each night.”
But President-Elect Trump does not seem concerned. In choosing Carson to be his HUD Secretary, Trump explained: “We have talked at length about my urban renewal agenda and our message of economic revival, very much including our inner cities. Ben shares my optimism about the future of our country and is part of ensuring that this is a Presidency representing all Americans.”
So was Trump talking about the LGBT community when he said “representing all Americans”? I guess we will have to wait and see their policies to find out for sure.