After it had been confirmed that the Trump administration had drafted an executive order attacking LGBTQ rights, the White House dropped plans to move forward with the executive order after public backlash was immediate.
The White House said in a statement, “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. The President is proud to have been the first ever GOP nominee to mention the LGBTQ community in his nomination acceptance speech, pledging then to protect the community from violence and oppression. The executive order signed in 2014, which protects employees from anti-LGBTQ workplace discrimination while working for federal contractors, will remain intact at the direction of President Donald J. Trump.”
Nothing in Trump’s statement addresses the fact that Trump could issue a different executive order with the workplace discrimination provision removed.
The original draft executive order focused on three areas. The area that the White House statement addressed was making sexual orientation a fireable offense. The other two areas that the White House didn’t mention are allowing adoption agencies and social service agencies that receive federal funding to discriminate against the LGBT community, and permitting federal employees to refuse to serve LGBT individuals on religious grounds.
The lesson is that this White House is more sensitive than others to public pressure. Protests and backlash bother President Trump and get under his skin. By reporting on this Executive Order before it could be signed, the media was able to inform the public and take away Trump’s beloved element of surprise.
The President deserves zero credit for keeping Obama’s order in place, but Obama’s order doesn’t stop Trump from issuing a new Executive Order. The people won one, but this White House seems determined to take action against the LGBT community.
Trump’s first executive order was the first move, not the final battle to protect civil rights.