Trump spares Obama LGBT exec. order, could undo it with “religious freedom” EO

Thanks to your pressure, Donald Trump last night issued a statement saying he would retain President Obama’s executive order protecting LGBT employees of federal contractors from discrimination.

This is a big deal. But we’re not out of the woods yet — Trump may still sign a “religious freedom” executive order that undoes a lot of what the Obama executive order accomplished.

Sign the petition, tell Donald Trump that homophobia is un-American.

A lot of us fought a long time for that executive order, as it basically implements ENDA (the Employment Non-Discrimination Act) for federal contractors. Or, put another way, it forces federal contractors to adopt non-discrimination policies for their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.

Most people don’t realize that employment discrimination against LGBT people is legal under federal law, though it is banned in many cities and states under local law.

So this is great news, actually, and it came about because of public pressure. But it’s not enough. We were concerned about this executive order, but we were also concerned about a series of other moves Trump was potentially planning, in the name of so-called “religious freedom.”

We’ve had no indication that Trump is backing off of those, and in fact, by keeping the Obama executive order on federal contractors, Team Trump may think it gives them cover to bash gay and trans people in a separate “religious freedom” executive order meant to curry favor with the religious right.

That’s why we need to keep adding our names to the petition telling Trump that homophobia is un-American.

Here’s the rest of what has been rumored, and what the White House has yet to deny:

– Letting organizations use federal dollars to discriminate in the provision of social services;

– Letting federally-funded adoption agencies discrimination against LGBT people; and

– Permit federal employees to discriminate against LGBT people based on their opposition to marriage quality and gender identity.

In a nutshell, the religious right has been claiming for years that it’s religious discrimination for the law to require them to provide goods and services to gay or trans people. And they’ve been trying to get laws passed in the states, to codify anti-LGBT discrimination. For example, if a woman walks into a pharmacy and asks a pharmacist for birth control pills, or a gay man asks a pharmacist for a condom, the religious right — and Vice President Mike Pence — want to make it so that the pharmacist can refuse to help you, lest it offend his religious sensibilities.

But it gets worse than that. As we’ve already seen, these “religious freedom” protections would also permit state officials to refuse to marry gay couples, even though marriage equality is now the law of the land. It could even permit EMTs to refuse to help LGBT people in need. (In Washington, DC years ago, a young trans woman was left to die on Dupont Circle when the EMTs refused to help her.)

There’s also the issue of permitting social service agencies, like adoption agencies, to use federal funds to discriminate against gay and trans people (e.g., a “religious” adoption group doesn’t want to let gay or trans couples adopt).

So it remains to be seen whether Trump will sign the religious right executive order, and I think he will. Unless we speak out, unless we make clear that there will be holy hell to pay if the Trump White House slams the door shut on LGBT rights. Such an executive order could undo a lot of the EO Trump is saving. It would permit people nationwide to discriminate against LGBT people, or anyone — blacks, Jews, Muslims, women — so long as “God told them so.”

So sign the petition, share it with your friends, and let’s send a clear message to Donald Trump that we will not go back into the closet, we will not become second-class citizens, and for all you non-LGBT people out there, you will not see your LGBT friends left behind.

Thanks so much everyone, and great work to date on this.

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Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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  • This is a privately owned blog, the owner is not the government and we have nothing to do with your freedom of speech. You are free to start your own blog, start your own newspaper, start your own radio station or television channel, start your own publishing company, etc, and say or write what you want.
    If you cannot keep from calling people names, which you obviously cannot, then you are banned.

  • AnthonyLook

    ! This is a warning! I won’t when provoked Do what you must, I forgive you. Do it now if you’d must. You won’t really impact my freedom of speech. Do as fascist do

  • Stop the insults and ad hominem attacks. This is a warning.

  • AnthonyLook

    Yes you are orange Koch sucker.
    Bye

  • Bill_Perdue

    Bizarre. Bye.

  • AnthonyLook

    I don’t care that you like sucking trumpard’s small handed appendage. You are a racist, bigot, sexist fascist fake christians that swallows orange lock step like the good nazi traitor that you are.

  • Bill_Perdue

    I don’t do magic and I don’t vote for parties run by bigots, warmongers and racists like the Clintons and Obama, even if they rebrand.

  • AnthonyLook

    Then why does my crystal ball say that Trump ends up in jail after his impeachment, oh wait it’s the Hague and we get to turn him over and there’s celebration world wide.

  • Niblet58

    His supreme court nominee is big on religious exceptions and all that it entails. If this guy gets into the court, at age 49, he could do untold damage for decades. I can easily see a court case going all the way to the SCOTUS and a conservative court trashing LGBT rights that way. Win win for trump and co. They don’t get the outright blame for it.

  • Bill_Perdue

    The worst thing you can say about Trump and the Republicans it that they’re as bad as the Clintons, Obama and the Democrats.

  • AnthonyLook

    Nothing like a clusterfuk to wake up the apolitical and apathetical. We’re still 63 million plus strong and growing. We have the Constitution, we have FREE Speech, Free Press, and our Democracy. Organizing is a side effect response to times like this.

  • AnthonyLook

    Like projection of the republican ills and their well deserved labels of fascist bigoted racist fake Christians has ever worked.

  • As there is no law against anti-discrimination where I live (as there is not in most states) and no federal law, then I wouldn’t even be able to sue. Of course it’s also an at-will state so they don’t even have to give me a reason to fire me so they probably wouldn’t even be stupid enough to tell me something like “it’s because you’re gay”. That would be incredibly stupid of them but not actually illegal. I wish that wasn’t how it was but we haven’t gotten a nondiscrimination law through Congress and that isn’t going to happen any time soon. And my state? Even less likely. I don’t know much about Trump’s pick. I’ll wait until I know more to comment but I can’t imagine it’s going to be anything good. This is such a clusterfuck.

  • Bill_Perdue
  • AnthonyLook

    Albeit unconstitutionally not fully tested “in most states” insofar as your definition of legal. Of course hobby lobby Grosuch puts a new and exciting spin on it; legalized discrimination; just the legacy a SCOTUS wants huh.

  • There was an announcement that Trump was going to sign some EOs rescinding Obama’s EOs on gay rights. Anyone know what happened? This isn’t a win. It is just a postponement.

  • You do realize that in most states (other than a few cities in them) everything you describe is already legal.

  • AnthonyLook

    Yea, Blue Dogs ring a bell?. We know facts, propaganda is moot.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Why didn’t the Democrats pass ENDA when they controlled the WH and Congress? That would make all this a moot question.

  • AnthonyLook

    Wait for it. Second class citizenship, where it’s legal for businesses to discriminate, from rent to groceries, from work to movie theaters. NO GAYS ALLOWED signs are coming back up.
    The gay community needs to organize and flex.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Democrats and Republicans never do favors for people like you because share the same politics.

    They’re just Dixiecrats and that explains this. You and your Breitbart brothers and sisters are the new Whigs. Sayonara Whig.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a9eeb9b43677a676141bd4ab75a19558a6cafc6476612db68664ca3d41da0cb8.jpg

  • basenjilover

    Good Lord!! Lay off “hilbots” and your continuing hateful bile against her. Her Royal Highness Clinton lost!! Get it?? Please do us all a favor, hop over to Breitbart site and stay there.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Aside from the hysteria promoted by hilbots disappointed when their right wing politics led to their defeat, no one should doubt that Trump is going to pursue his right wing agenda as far as he can. It’ll be made easier by the Democrats who scuttled ENDA in 2009-2010, pretend that they were too busy betraying their promised ‘public option’.

    The Trump regime will be doing a lot lying and flying a lot of trial balloons on their real agenda but eventually they’ll have to, and will ignore public opinion and push ahead with their right wing agenda, just as Obama did.

    The LGBTQ communities will have to independently build mass movements to fight for our rights and cultivate allies among unions, women, people of color, immigrants and the antiwar movements. Relying on Democrats or Republicans to be our allies is insanity.

    For a look at how workers, the LGBTQ communities and others responded in a similar situation check out Thatcher: Thirty Years On by Terry McPartlan in The British Labour Movement of 09 June 2009 ” Thatcher: Thirty Years On. ” ‘Where there is discord may we bring harmony…’ said Margaret Thatcher 30 years ago this May when she was elected as British Prime Minister in 1979. … very few will have been hated by working people with such intensity as Margaret Thatcher.http://www.marxist.com/thatcher-thirty-years-on.htm

    And check out a movie called Pride. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsFY0wHpR5o

  • Badgerite

    He’s done enough crappy stuff for one week. Probably too busy obsessing about some stairs or something.

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