For LSU student Hunter James, this presidential election has proven to be one of the most influential in history, going much deeper than politics for him as well as many Americans.
As an independent voter James, feels there is only one candidate who will “protect his constitutional rights,” as a homosexual man. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton supports the movement towards a more progressive nation.
In 2015 the United States hit a milestone in the country’s history when it legalized same-sex marriage. Hillary has openly stated her support for the gay community, where as Republican candidate Donald Trump has been less verbal in expressing sufficient support for homosexuality.
During a 2015 interview on CNN, Trump was asked what he says to gay men and women who question normalcy of being married three times, Trump says, “ I really don’t say anything, I’m just for traditional marriage.”
James believes that “Secretary Clinton would do a great job as president. I think she would only build off of what President Obama has done for this country.”
According to James, “Donald Trump would be a great president if you are a straight white male, however, this is not a reality for very many people.” Trump’s running mate Mike Pence has openly stated that he doesn’t support homosexuality. Pence has said that he supports “God’s plan,” which excludes the civil rights of same sex couples. Clinton falls on the opposite side of the debate and states, “there are still too many places where lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans are targeted for harassment and violence. There are still too many young people out there feeling hopeless and alone.” This statement exemplifies what so many young voters including James are looking for. Clinton’s presidency would provide reassurance that the gay community will not be neglected or subject to unfair treatment.
James wants voters to understand, “this election is important because it could not only affect the financial climate of the United States, but also because it would threaten the safety and civil rights of a large group of people in America.”
“Voting for a candidate such as Trump, who is backed by his running mate, Mike Pence, would go against who I am and what I stand for as a person. Pence supports conversion therapy and the cripminilaztion of same sex couples upon procuring marriage licenses, which is simply unfair” Says James.
As an ally to the gay community, Malarie Zaunbrecher states “Donald Trump has not necessarily stated a strong opposition against the homosexual community, Mike Pence is the real danger, as he has both stated and acted out politically against the community.”
For many gay men and women this election will determine whether or not they feel safe in their own country and if they will have a stable future. With this said James states that if Donald Trump and Mike Pence were to be in office, “They could possibly deprive me of the future that I want regarding marriage and family.”