Trump White House Announces Obama LGBT Nondiscrimination Orders ‘Will Remain Intact’


Trump Takes Credit for Not Gutting LGBT Protections

Less than 24 hours after news broke that the President Donald Trump was planning to sign an executive order rolling back all of President Barack Obama's 2014 executive orders protecting workers from anti-LGBT discrimination, the White House issued a statement announcing they will remain in place. 

"President Donald J. Trump Will Continue to Enforce Executive Order Protecting the Rights of the LGBTQ Community in the Workplace," the White House statement, sent to NCRM early Tuesday morning, reads.

"President Donald J. Trump is determined to protect the rights of all Americans, including the LGBTQ community," the announcement states. "President Trump continues to be respectful and supportive of LGBTQ rights, just as he was throughout the election. The President is proud to have been the first ever GOP nominee to mention the LGBTQ community in his nomination acceptance speech, pledging then to protect the community from violence and oppression. The executive order signed in 2014, which protects employees from anti-LGBTQ workplace discrimination while working for federal contractors, will remain intact at the direction of President Donald J. Trump."

There are actually two Obama executive orders.

The New York Times, which first broke the news of Trump's retreat Monday night, notes, "Gay rights advocates seemed unimpressed. Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said Mr. Trump was setting a low bar by claiming credit for not overturning the actions of his predecessor."

“L.G.B.T.Q. refugees, immigrants, Muslims and women are scared today, and with good reason,” Griffin told the Times. “Donald Trump has done nothing but undermine equality since he set foot in the White House.”

It's important to note that the Trump administration used the word "enforce" in the statement, which may come in handy for attorneys if it in fact is not actively enforced.

It is also imperative that the LGBT community takes this threat as real. The Trump White House has the power, at any moment, to rescind President Obama's orders. LGBT people are also included in all of the groups the Trump administration is targeting, including women, as well as immigrants, refugees, people of color, Muslims, and other minorities. 

There were rumors President Trump would announce his decision to rescind the Obama LGBT orders at Thursday's National Prayer Breakfast, a confab attended by thousands and organized annually by a shadowy far-right group of Christian extremists known as "The Family," whose members include high-profile members of Congress. For decades every American President has often attended and delivered a speech.

It is still possible Trump could sign an order that would allow anti-LGBT discrimination by allowing people of faith special rights to discriminate. Candidate Trump promised to sign a sweeping anti-LGBT "religious freedom" bill, the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) that allows a person of faith the "right" to discriminate against anyone who violates their belief that marriage is reserved for only man-woman unions, and that sex can only take place in a man-woman marriage. That bill is expected to be re-introduced shortly.

Trump has also promised to nominate conservatives to the Supreme Court who oppose the right of a woman to choose, and who oppose same-sex marriage.

Via The Washington Post:

A draft of a potential executive order that began circulating in Washington over the weekend that would overturn then President Obama’s directive barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in the federal workforce and by federal contractors.

The draft order included multiple provisions, including possible exemptions that would adoption agencies and groups receiving federal funds to deny services to LGBT Americans based on their beliefs.


Image by Scott Lum via Flickr and a CC license