Donald Trump is reportedly planning an executive order that would allow LGBT discrimination, rolling back laws protecting gay and transgender people from businesses or social services and putting a ban on gay couples adopting — but gay rights groups are ready to fight back.
Though Trump has yet to officially unveil the LGBT executive order, several sources have reported that it is ready to be signed this week. Citing sources close to the White House, LGBTQ Nation reported that the order would “allow for discrimination in a number of areas,” including workplace discrimination.
[UPDATE: The Trump administration said that protections against LGBT employees put in place by the Obama administration will remain, the Washington Post reported.
“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 said in a statement. “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 report went on to cite some specific parts of the LGBT executive order, including portions that would effectively ban gay couples from adopting.
“From what we’ve heard, the executive order could be far-reaching, and could include: making taxpayer funds available for discrimination against LGBTQ people in social services; allow federally funded adoption agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ parents; eliminate non-discrimination protections in order to make it possible to fire federal employers and contractors based on their sexual orientation or gender identity; and allow federal employees to refuse to serve people based on the belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman, and that gender is an immutable characteristic set at birth, which would impact a broad range of federal benefits.”
The report went on to claim that Donald Trump’s LGBT executive order would be packaged as a “religious freedom” bill, modeled off Indiana’s controversial Religious Restoration Act, signed into law by Mike Pence. That law gave leeway to businesses in choosing who they serve and they deny service.
Though Trump’s LGBT executive order has yet to be introduced, some human rights groups are already speaking out against it. The Human Rights Campaign issued a statement to LGBTQ Nation, calling the rumors “deeply troubling.”
“We already know that he is willing to target and marginalize at-risk communities for his perceived political gain,” JoDee Winterhof, the Human Rights Campaign’s Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs, told the outlet. “As the President and his team plan their next steps, we want to make one thing clear: we won’t give one inch when it comes to defending equality, whether it is a full-on frontal assault or an attack under the guise of religion. Mike Pence should know that better than anyone given his track record in Indiana.”
There is still the potential that Trump’s LGBT executive order could be held beyond its expected signing date. Trump’s order last week banning immigration from a group of Muslim-majority nations was met with widespread protests and court challenges from human and civil rights groups. Even former President Barack Obama spoke out against it on Monday, encouraging protesters to stand up against these actions.
“The president [Obama] fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion,” a spokesman for Obama said (via the Guardian).
It’s likely that any executive order rolling back protection against LGBT discrimination would be met with an equally loud protest, and some groups are already preparing to take action if it is signed.
If Donald Trump’s LGBT executive order is signed this week, there is still no sign from the White House on when it could happen or what it could contain. White House press secretary Sean Spicer was asked on Monday about the potential action, but refused to comment.
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