WASHINGTON August 14, 2019 – Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, responded to a proposed federal regulation announced today by the Trump-Pence administration that would gut nondiscrimination protections including for LGBTQ people by adding religious exemptions to President Obama’s 2014 executive order that prohibits discrimination in hiring by federal contractors on the basis of both sexual orientation and gender identity.
“With this proposed regulation, the Trump administration is seeking to gut existing protections for LGBTQ people, women, and religious minorities, and we cannot stand idly by,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “This regulation, which directly contradicts Trump’s earlier promise, is a broad and sweeping effort to implement a license to discriminate against people on the basis of their gender identity and sexual orientation. Everyone deserves a workplace free from discrimination. The Trump administration needs to withdraw this proposed regulation and stop these attacks on LGBTQ people.”
In his first month in office, President Trump promised to maintain the Obama EO:
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.
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In July 2014, President Obama signed an executive order amending EO 11246 to provide non-discrimination protections to LGBTQ employees of federal contractors by prohibiting companies that contract with the federal government from discriminating in employment based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Today, the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) announced a notice of proposed federal rulemaking that lays out OFCCP’s intention not to enforce nondiscrimination requirements if a contactor claims that it is acting in accord with religious tenets which will negatively impact LGBTQ people, women and religious minorities. The proposal cherry picks federal court decisions, relies upon language not contained in the majority opinions, and blatantly changes the context and meaning of case law to justify the changes to existing regulations.