On Feb. 1, an executive order drafted by the Trump administration that could possibly weaken the protections for the LBGT community was leaked to the public. Although the White House has confirmed they will not sign such an order, its very existence has caused worry among progressive groups.
Trump announced that he would continue Obama’s protections for LBGT rights, but his press secretary Sean Spicer announced that this executive order would condone discrimination on the basis of religious freedom. If President Trump were to sign a document that enforced a specific set of beliefs, then it would violate the First Amendment’s establishment clause. Trump has already teetered on this line when he stated that Christian refugees would be given priority when entering the United States.
Mike Pence, Trump’s Vice President, has also voiced his opinion about the LGBT community in the past, going so far as to say that gay couples signaled a societal collapse. Pence’s new stance on the LGBT community has apparently shifted, as he has noted that “discrimination will have no place in our administration.”
After the executive order was leaked, activist groups took to the streets to protest the passing of this order. GLAAD, a gay-rights group, hosted rallies at the Stonewall Inn in New York City. Thousands of people from the LGBT community gathered to rally against the order, and to show support for “immigrants, asylum seeks, refugees, women and other communities that Trump has already taken aim at.”
— GLAAD (@glaad) February 6, 2017
This order is one of many, confirmed and rumored, that are floating around the Trump White House. Despite assurances that “President Donald J. Trump is determined to protect the rights of all Americans,” many disapprove of the 45th president.