Saturday, June 17, 2017

Trump Erasing LGBT Civil Rights

Protection for our LGBT community has taken another turn for the worse with the Commerce Department’s decision to remove sexual orientation & gender identity from its equal opportunity employment policy. As the Trump administration began we feared that an executive order would be signed to legalize LGBT discrimination under a “religious liberty” order. That didn’t happen but we did witness Trump revoke President Obama’s guidelines that protected our most vulnerable transgender students from discrimination in public schools & LGBT seniors removed from federal census. Without federal protections LGBT workplace discrimination has unfortunately been one of those state by state issues until the Obama administration changed the policy to read: “The Department of Commerce does not tolerate discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex (including sexual harassment & pregnancy discrimination), sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age (40 years of age & over), genetic information or disability (physical or mental), including the provision of reasonable accommodations for qualified applicants & employees with disabilities.” Kelsey Louie CEO of GMHC stated, “The Commerce Department’s decision to remove sexual orientation & gender identity from its equal opportunity employment policy is a direct assault on LGBTQ Americans. We look to the federal government to protect all citizens; this revised statement further marginalizes the LGBTQ community in an attempt to strip us of our rights. We will continue to make our voices heard, ensuring that all Americans are protected at work & fight the draconian changes by the current Administration that devalue and disrespect LGBTQ lives.” (Equality graphic by Richard Emmanuel.)
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