Post submitted by Rob Flaherty, former HRC Rapid Response Press Secretary
Today, HRC responded to a White House statement distancing the Trump Administration from leaks about yet another discriminatory executive action, this time targeting the LGBTQ community. After media outlets reported Donald Trump was actively considering an anti-LGBTQ executive order, the White House sought to claim credit for opting not to overturn President Obama’s executive order protecting LGBTQ employees from discrimination by federal contractors. Reports swirling Monday did not primarily focus on President Obama’s Executive Order protecting employees of federal contractors. Instead, many outlets reported the White House was considering allowing an unprecedented expansion of taxpayer-funded discrimination that could have broad implications on LGBTQ people.
“Claiming ally status for not overturning the progress of your predecessor is a rather low bar. LGBTQ refugees, immigrants, Muslims and women are scared today, and with good reason. Donald Trump has done nothing but undermine equality since he set foot in the White House,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Donald Trump has left the key question unanswered -- will he commit to opposing any executive actions that allow government employees, taxpayer-funded organizations or even companies to discriminate?”
Griffin continued, “If he’s truly an ally, then why did he choose as his Vice President a person who passed one of the most anti-LGBTQ laws in the nation, or an Attorney General nominee who says the Supreme Court's marriage equality ruling was an ‘effort to secularize, by force and intimidation?’ Donald Trump talks a big game on his support for LGBTQ people, yet he has filled his cabinet with people who have literally spent their careers working to demonize us and limit our rights. You can't claim to be an ally when you send LGBTQ refugees back to countries where their lives are at risk. You can't claim support and then rip away life-saving services made possible through the Affordable Care Act for transgender people and those living with HIV or AIDS. You can't be a friend to this community and appoint people to run the government who compare being gay to bestiality.”
Bloomberg reported late Friday that a range of options are under consideration for an executive order that could target LGBTQ people with discrimination, including allowing taxpayer-funded workers to refuse to serve LGBTQ people or allowing Indiana-style discrimination intended to permit contractors and grantees to refuse service to LGBTQ people. Such a move by the Trump administration would also fly in the face of public opinion. The overwhelming majority of Americans support protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination. Unfortunately, since Congress has not passed the Equality Act, LGBTQ workers in a majority of states today live in fear of being fired or denied a job because of who they are or whom they love.
During the campaign, Donald Trump vowed to reverse nationwide marriage equality, supported North Carolina’s dangerous and vile HB2, and said he would sign the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), which would enable Kim Davis-style discrimination.