Yesterday the White House promised to continue to protect the LGBT community by not interfering with President Obama’s order to ban anti-LGBT discrimination in government workplaces.
“President Trump continues to be respectful and supportive of L.G.B.T.Q. rights, just as he was throughout the election,” the White House statement reads. “The president is proud to have been the first ever G.O.P. nominee to mention the L.G.B.T.Q. 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.”
This statement was released after growing concern that the new administration may issue an executive order allowing for LGBT discrimination using religious freedom as an excuse. A White House spokesperson has said that no such order is in the works at this time.
While this has relieved some people’s fears, it has done little for others. HRC President Chad Griffin said that “L.G.B.T.Q. refugees, immigrants, Muslims and women are scared today, and with good reason.” He adds that President Trump “has done nothing but undermine equality since he set foot in The White House.”
Kate Kendall from the National Center for Lesbian Rights agrees, stating “Today’s statement says only that President Trump does not intend to take the extreme step of abolishing existing anti-discrimination protections for federal employees and contractors, some of which have been in place for nearly twenty years. That is not a step forward. We remain concerned by reports that the President intends to issue an order creating new religious exemptions that will permit discrimination against LGBT people and others. This is also a distraction from the imminent announcement of a Supreme Court nominee, which is the most important issue for our community. The Senate must reject any nominee who will turn back the clock on our nation’s commitment to the equality and freedom of LGBT people, including the fundamental right to marry and to be treated equally to other married couples.”