In the stroke of a pen, several of these protections could instantly vanish
Over the past many years, LGBT people have experienced a number of victories that have made our collective lives happier, healthier and safer.
Many of these positive events happened under President Obama; a leader who used the power of the bully pulpit, coupled with executive powers, to enact historical, meaningful change.
Sadly, some of these could be undone by Donald Trump in the the blink of an eye – his eye to be exact. That’s because as president, Mr. Trump has a lot more power than you might think.
Worry about what might happen isn’t the stuff of hyperbole or “chicken little histrionics” as the leader of the Log Cabin Republicans recently suggested.
What follows are 7 LGBTQ protections all of us should be concerned about. When you read these, bear in mind that Donald Trump is already following through on previous campaign pledges, including building a wall on the border with Mexico.
1. Federal Worker Protections
Donald Trump has promised to rescind all of Obama’s executive orders, according to a report filed by National Public Radio.
Of immediate concern is an executive order (EO) Mr. Obama signed in 2014 that stopped federal contractors from discriminating against workers based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
When White House spokesman Shawn Spicer was asked about Mr. Trump’s intentions about this EO, he told a reporter with the Washington Blade that he did not know the answer. “I’ll have to get back to you on that”. See post.
2. LGBT Rights for Military Members
Difficult as it might be to imagine, military members who identify as LGBTQ could be badly harmed by a stroke of Mr. Trump’s pen.
As reported in the New York Times, the President has the ability to reinstate bans on LGBTQ persons from serving.
And yes – he could reinstate “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”. As Commander in Chief of the nation’s military, he has that power.
3. Affordable Care and Transgender Healthcare
If Mr. Trump follows through with his total repeal of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), it could spell disaster for LGBTQ persons. That’s because in its current form, ACA offers protections against discrimination for people who identify queer.
See this page from LAMBDA Legal for more insight.
4. Protections for Transgender Students
In May of 2016, Mr. Obama (then President) issued a directive on how schools should allow transgender students to use the bathroom facility with which they identify.
While Mr. Trump has gone on record saying that he believes transgender people should be protected by but he has also said that the final decision should be left up to each state.
At any moment, he could retract the previous guidance and state that transgender students are not protected at the federal level. See BuzzFeed post.
5. Healthcare for HIV+ persons
Should Mr. Trump make good on his promise to get rid of ACA entirely, it could have an immediate and deadly impact on people living with HIV/AIDS. That threat would impact not just LGBTQ persons but all people living with HIV.
That’s because one of the major benefits of ACA is a protection against discrimination based on a pre-existing illness. If the law is repealed, those protections against discrimination are gone.
6. Marriage Equality Laws
Mr. Trump has signaled in the past that he has no issues with same sex marriage. However, as reported in the Advocate, there is strong reason to suspect this may be untrue.
In the final analysis, it doesn’t matter what Mr. Trump “thinks” about this topic. Instead, what’s important is who he appoints to the Supreme Court.
The slate of judges he is currently considering do not appear to support marriage equality. In fact, one person he recently met with for the job is on record suggesting that gay people be placed in jail. See our post on Judge Pryor.
7. Housing Protections for Transgender Persons
During President Obama’s administration, the Department of Housing and Urban Development [HUD] issued a regulation that protected transgender people from discrimination.
The new head of HUD, Ben Carson, recently suggested that LGBTQ persons should not get “extra rights”. See post from New Now Next.
Bottom line? Trump could instantly ditch those regulations – in the blink of an eye.
To learn more about how you can protect your rights, we encourage you to:
By: John Hollywood