Trump Keeps Obama Policy on LGBTQ Federal Employees
The Trump administration announced it will leave in place an order signed by President Obama, which requires federal contractors to approve of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.
Some conservatives are concerned for what that order could mean for the religious liberties of certain contractors.
A White House statement upholding the order said, "President Donald J. Trump is determined to protect the rights of all Americans, including the LGBTQ community. President Trump continues to be respectful and supportive of LGBTQ rights, just as he was throughout the election."
As The Washington Post reported, the Obama executive order had two parts:
"It expanded protections in federal hiring, which already barred discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, to also include gender identity. And it required all companies doing business with the federal government to have explicit policies barring discrimination against gay and transgender workers."
That move reportedly applied to 24,000 companies which employ about 28 million workers.
Conservatives had hoped Trump would undo the Obama administration rule. Not doing so puts him at odds with fellow Republicans who disagree with special protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH), issued the following statement on the president's announcement leaving the LGBT order in place:
"This is the first sign we have that President Trump will be triangulating on homosexuality versus abortion. As exhilarated as we were to watch the Trump administration confidently and boldly stand for the protection of the unborn at the March for Life, we are now deeply disappointed that Mr. Trump has chosen to defend false LGBTQ 'rights' based on changeable homosexual and gender-confused behaviors," he said.
"Genuine rights--which come from God--can never be based on sinful, changeable, unnatural conduct proscribed in the Bible," he said.
"We further understand that President Trump comes out of a New York City background in which he advocated for homosexual 'rights.' But to now use his bully pulpit to proclaim 'rights' and favored treatment based on a sexual sin and gender rebellion is wrong," LaBarbera said.
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research council is hopeful that Trump will still take executive action to uphold religious liberties of employers, despite his administration's decision to uphold Obama's order.
According to CNBC, Perkins said, "I think this is going to be addressed."
Perkins said "I have every confidence" that President Trump will act along the lines of a proposal offered previously by Republican Rep. Steve Russell of Oklahoma to exempt "any religious corporation, religious association, religious education institution or religious society" with a federal contract from Obama's directive.