Donald Trump guts Obama order protecting LGBT+ workers from discrimination

The order revokes all or part of three previous executive orders concerning federal contracting. And in 2014, President Obama added gender identity, plus prohibited federal contractors, too, from discriminating against their employees based on these categories.

But a less-noticed effect of this law is that it also undercuts Obama's executive order protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer contractors from discrimination ― an order that, so far, Trump has promised to keep intact.

The President of the United States on Monday 27 March revoked three orders issued by Obama, including Executive Order 13673, known as the Fair Pay and Safe Workplace Order.

The Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces order is technically distinct from the Executive Order on LGBTQ workplace protections, but the two orders were meant to supplement eachother on issues of discrimination.

Laws implicated include Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prevents discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation, and the ADA and Rehabilitation Act, which prevents discrimination based on HIV infection.

After taking office, Trump said he wouldn't roll back Obama's executive orders in reference to LGBTs. As controversies like the battle over North Carolina's HB 2 demonstrate the costs of discrimination, more companies have realized the benefits of protections for LGBT workers.

"For people who don't give a hoot about doing the right thing but care about the bottom line, this is a way of making compliance with federal law directly tied to the ability of these companies to maintain corporate profits", she said. However, it did apply to the huge number of firms that do business with the federal government.

President Trump's quiet take-down yesterday of federal safeguards against employment discrimination for millions of LGBT Americans is yet another example of why our elected officials, advocates, and our community must remain vigilant and continue working together to stop this administration's regressive and harmful policies. Although Trump vowed to "protect our LGBT citizens" from harm following the 2016 Pulse shooting, his administration rolled back guidance on Title IX protections for trans students last month, which were enacted just previous year. The group's CEO, Rachel Tiven, called the now-rescinded regulations in the order a valuable enforcement tool meant to hold employers responsible for violations of nondiscrimination laws.

The GOP-controlled House and Senate voted to overturn those rules, and Trump promised to "remove every job-killing regulation we can find" when he signed the bill.

However, even though most people believe that LGBT people also should be protected from discrimination at work, Congress has failed to change the law to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

  • Zachary Reyes