WASHINGTON — The Trump administration announced on Tuesday that it plans to retain Barack Obama’s 2014 order banning federal contractors from engaging in “discrimination” in employment matters against homosexual and transgendered persons.
“President Trump continues to be respectful and supportive of LGBTQ rights, just as he was throughout the election,” the White House said in a statement. “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,” it outlined.
Obama’s order, #13672, amended a 1969 order by then-President Richard Nixon which prohibited federal contractors from discriminating based on “race, color, religion, sex, national origin, handicap and age,” as well as a 1998 order from then-President Bill Clinton adding “sexual orientation” to the list.
“By the authority vested in me as president by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, … and in order to provide for a uniform policy for the federal government to prohibit discrimination and take further steps to promote economy and efficiency in federal government procurement by prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, it is hereby ordered as follows: The first sentence of section 1 of Executive Order 11478 of August 8, 1969, as amended, is revised by substituting ‘sexual orientation, gender identity’ for ‘sexual orientation,'” the Obama order reads in part.
A number of faith-based groups expressed strong opposition to the move at that time.
“President Obama has ordered employers to put aside their principles and practices in the name of political correctness. This level of coercion is nothing less than viewpoint blackmail that bullies into silence every contractor and subcontractor who has moral objections to homosexual behavior,” said Peter Sprigg of Family Research Council.
“[Obama] issued his executive order making gays, transgenders, and she-males protected classes among federal workers and contractors—refusing to include any religious exemption. In short, he told Christians that their religious liberty could take a long walk off a short pier,” also remarked Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition.
Homosexual and transgender advocacy groups had expressed concern that Trump might overturn the order, but according to USA Today, White House aides said that such a move had not even been considered.
As previously reported, during his RNC acceptance speech in July, Trump told those gathered that he would work to protect homosexuals if elected.
“As president, I will do everything in my power to protect LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology,” he declared, being met with applause.
“And, I have to say, as a Republican, it is so nice to hear you cheering for what I just said,” he said in response.
Trump had also declared at a fundraiser in June that he is the best candidate for the “gay community.”
“So you tell me, who’s better for the gay community, and who’s better for women than Donald Trump? Believe me!” he said.
In February, he replied in the affirmative when asked by a lesbian reporter if the nation can expect “more forward motion” on homosexual issues if elected president.