After it had been confirmed that the Trump administration had drafted an executive order attacking LGBTQ rights, the White House dropped plans to move forward with the executive order after public backlash was immediate. The White House announced Tuesday that President Donald Trump will preserve an Obama-era executive order that bans federal contractors from discriminating against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (“LGBT”) employees. “President Trump continues to be respectful and supportive of LGBTQ rights, just as he was throughout the election,” the statement released on Tuesday reads. “The president is proud to have been the first ever GOP nominee to mention the LGBTQ community in his nomination acceptance speech, pledging to protect the community from violence and oppression.”
The order extended protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and was predicated on previous executive orders under Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton that created additional protected classes but had not included the LGBTQ community. The Log Cabin Republicans praised the decision Tuesday, calling Trump “a real friend.”
“Donald Trump campaigned promising to be a ‘real friend’ to the LGBT community, and now President Trump is delivering on that commitment,” said Gregory Angelo, president of the Republican LGBT advocacy group. “Log Cabin Republicans is proud to have directly lobbied for this important preservation of LGBT equality in the federal workforce.”
Future LGBT Issues
Nothing in Trump’s statement addresses the fact that Trump could issue a different executive order with the workplace discrimination provision removed. The original draft executive order focused on three areas. The area that the White House statement addressed was making sexual orientation a fireable offense. The other two areas that the White House didn’t mention are allowing adoption agencies and social service agencies that receive federal funding to discriminate against the LGBT community, and permitting federal employees to refuse to serve LGBT individuals on religious grounds.