Statement from National Center for Lesbian Rights Executive Director Kate Kendell, Esq. on the Trump Administration's Quiet Take-Down of Federal Protections Against LGBT Employment Discrimination
Federal government no longer required to weigh a history of LGBT employment discrimination against a company when deciding with which companies to do business
(March 28, 2017 San Francisco)Yesterday, the Trump Administration quietly issued an executive order rescinding Obama administration progress toward eliminating LGBT discrimination in the workplace. Previously, former president Barack Obama's Executive Order 13673 took aim at LGBT discrimination by requiring federal contractors to disclose whether they have previously been held liable for discrimination against vulnerable groups, including LGBT individuals. By eliminating this requirement, federal government decisions about which companies to do business with no longer weigh a company's history of LGBT discrimination as part of this decision-making. National Center for Lesbian Rights Executive Director Kate Kendell, Esq. issued the following statement in response:
"This administration is like a fast-moving car stuck in reverse. President Trump has repeatedly shown us that he is intent on chipping away at critical protections for LGBT and other vulnerable communitiestaking our rights and our country backward. From the Department of Education's elimination of transgender student protections to the selection of openly anti-LGBT individuals to lead the Department of Justice, the Office for Civil Rights for the Department of Health and Human Services, and the United States Air Force, this administration has drawn a line in the sand, making clear that it does not value our LGBT community or rights.
President Trump's quiet take-down yesterday of federal safeguards against employment discrimination for millions of LGBT Americans is yet another example of why our elected officials, advocates, and our community must remain vigilant and continue working together to stop this administration's regressive and harmful policies."
The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the human and civil rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education. www.NCLRights.org .
From a Lambda Legal press release
( Washington D.C. March 27, 2017 ) The White House today issued an Executive Order rescinding an Obama era Executive Order 13673 which required companies that want to do business with the federal government to disclose whether they have been liable for discriminating against people, including against LGBT people. The now-rescinded Executive Order also instructed federal officials to take into account a company's history of violating labor laws when awarding contracts.
Lambda Legal CEO Rachel B. Tiven issued the following statement in response:
"This sends a message that the government condones discrimination. Scrapping an order like this one is different than not adopting one. It's not surprising given Donald Trump's sordid history with women that this administration is allowing companies to hide sex discrimination including sexual harassment."
"Furthermore, this administration is inviting businesses to the table that violate equal pay and fair wage laws, ignore laws requiring family medical leave, or target employees for discrimination based on race, sex, gender identity, gender non-conformity ( including being gay or lesbian ), disability ( including HIV ), and numerous other grounds.
"All of these things violate the law. Companies that flout the law should be sued not invited to win our tax dollars. The Trump/Pence administration is depriving the people of a valuable enforcement tool. Employees of federal contractors should know their rights, and contact us if they are discriminated against. Lambda Legal will sue to enforce the federal laws that protect to LGBT employees and employees living with HIV."