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Schumer: I’ll Fight to Preserve LGBT Progress

New York Democrat is expected to become next Senate minority leader

New York Sen. Charles E. Schumer is the likely next Senate Democratic leader. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
New York Sen. Charles E. Schumer is the likely next Senate Democratic leader. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Charles E. Schumer acknowledged the fears that many LGBT Americans have about an uncertain future under President-elect Donald Trump, and said Tuesday he would fight to protect progress made so far in marriage equality and anti-discrimination.

“I am not sure what will come next after so many fought so hard for so long to gain the right to say, ‘Love is love,’ no matter what,” the New York Democrat wrote in an op-ed in The Advocate, a gay news publication. “I am worried about what tomorrow holds and what this new administration may attempt to roll back.”

“But I write to you today to say I will do all in my power to prevent any backsliding on hard-won rights and to push back against a national discourse that allows for anything less than a full measure of respect for all Americans and would-be Americans,” Schumer wrote.

Schumer is expected to become the next Senate Democratic leader. His remarks in the magazine suggest he could try and rally Democrats to ardently oppose any of Trump’s Supreme Court nominees who say they would overturn the June 2015 decision that effectively legalized same-sex marriage across the country.

Trump said during a Sunday interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes” that it was “irrelevant ” whether or not he supported same-sex marriage. 

“It’s irrelevant because it was already settled. It’s law,” Trump said. “It was settled in the Supreme Court. I mean, it’s done.”

Trump did not answer how the issue would affect his Supreme Court picks, saying that he’s “fine” that the issue has already been settled. But the president-elect has vowed to nominate conservative judges for the high court, who would likely oppose the same-sex marriage decision.

Amid the uncertainty, Schumer also called on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to keep advocating for their rights.

“The truth is, I am also depending on you. It’s a terrible fact that there have always been bullies, and there have always been people with hate in their hearts,” Schumer wrote. “We will always be stronger.“ 

Contact Bowman at bridgetbowman@rollcall.com and follow her on Twitter @bridgetbhc. 

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