Trump moves agenda forward even as Russia controversy swirls

Obama signed an executive order banning LGBT discrimination among federal contractors; he concurrently signed an order requiring contracted businesses prove they're complying with federal laws and executive orders.

The regulations in the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces order have yet to take effect due to an ongoing lawsuit filed previous year by a Texas association of builders and contractors. The latter prohibits sex discrimination in the workplace, which the Obama administration extended in 2015 to include gender identity and sexual orientation.

The order was notable because it served as the one and only legal order or law protecting LGBT Americans from job discrimination. It required that all companies doing business with the federal government disclose if they had ever been liable for discrimination, including LGBT people. A month after the draft leaked and the White House assured LGBT people it wasn't signing it at that time, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told The Heritage Foundation's Daily Signal that it was still coming. This week, the President rescinded an executive order issued by President Obama that required federal contractors to demonstrate their compliance a host of federal antidiscrimination laws-including the executive order that President Trump vowed to leave in place.

By nullifying EO 13673, "this administration has made it extremely hard to enforce these federal laws as applied to federal contractors", Lambda Legal attorney Camilla Taylor told Keen News Service. "We hope this is an early indication that religious freedom protection will be a defining feature of President Trump's legacy".

After taking office, Trump said he wouldn't roll back Obama's executive orders in reference to LGBTs. Not only was he lying then, he just verified what many pundits and columnists have been warning was on the horizon with an administration steeped in evangelical extremism; government sanctioned discrimination founded on religion that will not stop at targeting the LGBT community.

However, in an apparent turnaround, Trump signed an executive order on Monday officially revoking the 2014 order, known as Executive Order 13673, Executive Order 13738, which was signed on August 23, 2016, and section 3 of Executive Order 13683, which was signed on December 11, 2014.

"It's sending a message to these companies", said Taylor, "...that the federal government simply doesn't care whether or not they violate the law". Protections were geared at the LGBTQ community, in particular, safeguarding employees from harassment and discrimination based on their gender identity or sexual orientation. The order revokes all or part of three previous executive orders concerning federal contracting.

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. 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.

  • Leroy Wright