Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-04-26
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Activists prepare for rumored anti-LGBT executive order, Trump advised to deemphasize it
From a press release
by Matt Simonette
2017-02-06

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


The leak of a proposed executive order from President Donald Trump giving legal protections to individuals, businesses and organizations—including federal employees—accused of anti-LGBT discrimination sparked outrage among advocates the week of Jan. 30.

The White House disavowed the order, insisting that it was a prospective document that was not intended to be issued. According to a Feb. 3 Politico report, Trump's daughter Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, who are among the President's closest advisors, urged him to emphasize that the administration did not intend to set back LGBT rights.

On Feb. 5, Vice President Mike Pence—a fierce opponent of LGBT rights—told ABC News that he supported the White House's stance.

"I think throughout the campaign, President Trump made it clear that discrimination would have no place in our administration," said Pence. "He was the very first Republican nominee to mention the LGBTQ community at our Republican National Convention and was applauded for it. And I was there applauding with him."

But whether or not the White House ever intended to back the order, what was released was substantial enough to give long-term concerns to LGBT-rights supporters. The document was a federal version of so-called religious freedom legislation proposed in numerous states, most notably in Indiana, where Pence, then the governor of that state, helped shepherd the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to fruition in 2015, with disastrous results.

The order would also have had grave implications for women seeking birth control and family planning services, unmarried couples and numerous others. Not only did it offer federal employees and others legal cover behind religious convictions, it also also directed the U.S. Attorney General to set up a Department of Justice division or task force to investigate violations of religious liberties.

"The dangerous and overly broad language of the draft executive order leaked to the public would leave basic rights at the personal discretion of others, and undermine the crucial safeguards against discrimination that have created opportunities for at-risk youth," said Eliza Byard, executive director of GLSEN, who added that the order would "allow health and counseling professionals to deny LGBTQ youth life-saving services, and it would allow school leaders to force some students to use separate and unequal facilities and deny them equal educational opportunities. LGBTQ educators could lose their jobs because of who they are, who they love or who they married."

Many organizations were preparing for Trump to present the order at the National Prayer Breakfast Feb. 2 but his comments there were largely limited to foreign policy issues, though he made vague references to religious freedom.

Earlier rumors had suggested Trump would be undoing former President Barack Obama's 2014 order protecting LGBT employees of federal contractors; the White House denied those.

On Feb. 2, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said, "There are a lot of ideas that are being floated out … . [The President] asks for input, he asks for ideas, and on a variety of subjects there are staffing procedures that go on, where people have a thought or an idea and it goes through the process. But until the President makes up his mind and gives feedback and decides that that's final, there's nothing to announce."

During his campaign, Trump said that he would appoint a Supreme Court justice who would help overturn marriage-equality; his proposed nominee, Neil Gorsuch, has a limited record on LGBT issues, but has voiced his admiration for the work and views of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, whom he'd be replacing and who was virulently opposed to LGBT rights. Trump has also said that he would sign the First Amendment Defense Act, a national religious-freedom bill proposed in 2015 that failed to get any traction.

Chicago activist Andy Thayer of Gay Liberation Network ( GLN ) said the LGBT community should get used to what he called "head-fakes"—leaks of proposed legislation or orders—from the White House, and noted that they are a staple of any presidential administration, Republican or Democratic. But he added that they are a signal for the community to stay prepared to mobilize.

"The administration's language was, 'We're not implementing it at this time,'" Thayer said. "That's a very important distinction. The game ain't over yet."

Ed Yohnka, director of communications and public policy at ACLU Illinois, said that area residents would nevertheless still be protected by Chicago, Cook County and Illinois human-rights ordinances should the order ever come to fruition.

"Those rights were legislated and fought for," Yohnka said. "Those can't be wiped out with the stroke of a pen."

But Yohnka emphasized that more persons and businesses would feel emboldened by the order. "Our concern is that we would have to fight, over and over again," he said.

Christopher Clark, midwest regional director for Lambda Legal, added that the order was "a statement with the full force of the federal government behind it, telling people that it's practically an invitation for people to discriminate against members of our community."

He further emphasized that, even with Chicago and Illinois laws being what they are, numerous complex questions would open up about where discrimination laws intersect at local and federal levels. While local employment issues would be covered, Illinois laws would not cover interactions with federal employees, for example, and issues of Title IX-related school funding would be at stake as well, among myriad issues.

"Fortunately, an executive order does not erase the Constitution," Clark said. "The U.S. Constitution remains in place and we believe there are many parts of this order that would violate it. That means litigation and people stepping up to file lawsuits and fight this in court. We're prepared to do that, but at this point we shouldn't have to."

GLN and other advocacy groups have put into place a contingency protest-plan for when and if the order is issued, and will have a march that evening. For information, visit bit.ly/2kmvtMN .

View Feb. 2 coverage, Activists, legal experts prepare after Trump anti-LGBT leak, at the link: www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/Activists-legal-experts-prepare-after-Trump-anti-LGBT-leak/57996.html .


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Plaintiff Seeks to Unseal Video of California 'Prop 8' Marriage Equality Trial 2017-04-28 - WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer ( LGBTQ ) civil ...


Gay News

Current, former military faculty members alarmed by nominee for Army Secretary 2017-04-28 - In response to President Donald Trump's recent nomination of Tennessee State Senator Mark Green as Secretary of the Army, 21 current and former ...


Gay News

Lawmakers reintroduce Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act 2017-04-28 - WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin ( D-WI ) and Patty Murray ( D-WA ), along with Congressman Mark Pocan ( D-WI ...


Gay News

Board takes away Hastert's pension 2017-04-27 - On April 26, Illinois' General Assembly Retirement System's board of trustees voted to discontinue pension payments to former U.S. House Speaker Hastert. ...


Gay News

Chay Reed, a Black transgender woman, killed in Miami, NCAVP responds 2017-04-27 - NCAVP mourns the homicide of Chay Reed, a Black transgender woman killed in Miami, Florida; the 9th reported killing of a transgender person ...


Gay News

Considering Trump's first 100 days 2017-04-26 - The idea of reflecting upon a president's "first 100 days in office" started with President Franklin Roosevelt. According to The Washington Post, Roosevelt ...


Gay News

Undocumented and unafraid: Chicagoan speaks out against ICE raids 2017-04-26 - On April 19, the Chicago City Council overwhelmingly passed a measure that would allow the city's undocumented community the opportunity to obtain municipal ...


Gay News

LGBT religious freedom panel to be held at Notre Dame 2017-04-26 - A LGBT religious freedom panel, "Reconciling Religious Freedom and Civil Rights," will precede a visit by Vice President Mike Pence. WHAT: The Gay ...


Gay News

National groups respond to WCT's DCFS investigation 2017-04-26 - Several national advocacy organizations responded to Windy City Times' three-part investigation into Illinois DCFS and children welfare agencies nationwide removing transgender or gender ...


Gay News

May 1 Workers' Day actions in Chicago 2017-04-26 - May 1—International Workers' Day—will be a national day of action with large marches expected around the country. In Chicago, a coalition of organizations ...


 



Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 


Sponsor

Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.