On Thursday morning, as CNN geared up for its evening town hall special on gay rights with the Democratic presidential candidates, the network's New Day show ran a couple of segments on the issue of LGBT rights.
One segment highlighted a reported increase in hate crimes against transgenders in which the story managed to invoke the unrelated upcoming Supreme Court case on LGBT discrimination by employers.
And, speaking with the new president of the pro-gay Human Rights Campaign, co-host John Berman cued up his guest to complain that President Donald Trump has not been far enough to the left on gay rights.
Later, correspondent Sara Sidner also fretted that Texas does not have appropriate laws against workplace discrimination:
The Human Rights Campaign says the number of transgender attacks in recent years is alarming. Booker was the 18th transgender to be killed in the U.S. this year. The majority of victims are black. Texas leads the nation in trans murders. ... (Stacey) Monroe says the dangers for trans people have a lot to do with laws. She says she lost a job because she was trans. In Texas, that's legal. The Supreme Court is currently taking up a case to decide whether gender identity is protected under the Civil Rights Act.
At 8:27 a.m. came a segment that featured CNN analyst John Avlon doing a "Reality Check" segment in which he celebrated the liberal agenda accomplished by gay rights activists in recent years while lamenting that it had not gone far enough. Co-host Alisyn Camerota set up the segment: "It is still legal in the United States to fire someone for being gay -- this is 28 states in America still allow this. Are we sure this is 2019? John Avlon takes a look in our 'Reality Check.'"
After the Avlon segment ended, co-host John Berman interviewed Alphonso David of the Human Rights Campaign, and brought up a clip of President Trump promising to protect LGBTQ Americans from terrorism from 2016. Here's Berman: "President Trump, when he was candidate Trump at the Republican National Convention, made a statement during his acceptance speech which was historic -- the first Republican nominee to say something like this."
Then came a clip of then-candidate Trump: "As your President, I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of the hateful foreign ideology. Believe me."
Berman then asked: "To what extent has he lived up to that promise?"
Without either Berman or his guest acknowledging any of the President's efforts to prevent terrorist attacks in the U.S., which is what Trump was clearly promising in his speech, David complained about the President not being supportive of a liberal gay rights agenda, leading to no pushback from host Berman. Here's David: "Donald Trump has done the exact opposite. Donald Trump has attacked the LGBTQ community for the last two and a half to three years. He has systematically sought to roll back protections that this community has been relying on for years."
He went on to complain about the Trump administration directive blocking transgenders from joining the military, and the decison to oppose protections against workplace discrimination.
Below is a transcript of portions of the "Reality Check" segment with John Avlon from the Thursday, October 10, New Day on CNN:
America can seem hopelessly divided these days, but we are still capable of bridging deep cultural divides and making progress however fitfully and imperfectly because we got to recognize that America has seen a sea change in attitudes around gay rights over the past 25 years. ... In1996, only a quarter of Americans supported gay marriage. Now, that number has grown to nearly two-thirds.
That's a civil rights revolution in our own time, changing people's hearts and minds by appealing to core American ideals of freedom and equality, all leading up to the 2015 Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage, an opinion written by Republican appointee Anthony Kennedy.
But to be clear, the work is not done, and the gains are not equally distributed. For example, only 44 percent of Republicans support same-sex marraige, as opposed to 68 percent of independents and 79 percent of Democrats.
Of course there are still some folks who have a problem with Mayor Pete, and there are still efforts in states to restrict gay rights. There's a rise in hate crimes against the transgender community, and, this year, against the recommentaton of top military leaders, the Trump administration rolled back the right of transgender Americans to serve in the military.
And, just this week, the Supreme Court heard a case that could determine whether LGBT citizens will be protected by federal civil rights laws when faced with workplace discrimination because there are still 28 states where people can be fired because they are gay. And the Trump administration is in court arguing that it should stay that way.