While the evangelical-identifying wing of Trump supporters were celebrating the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court by Trump, the administration quietly slipped a blade into their backs by signing on to keep President Obama’s executive order, regarding LGBT workplace protections in place.
Actually, calling them workplace “protections” for the LGBT community is a bit of a misnomer.
LGBT citizens already have the same protections on the job as anyone else. They haven’t been denied a thing, as it pertains to workman’s comp, equal pay, or equal hiring. An executive order wasn’t needed, in that regard.
What the executive order does is prevent Christian-owned businesses from operating a business based on their faith.
If Christian-owned businesses want to compete for government contract jobs, they can’t. They’re shut out of the bidding, unless they agree to back the LGBT lifestyle. Calling the EO a “LGBT protection” order just assures that anyone speaking out against it can be labeled a bigot.
So why would Trump, who owes so much of his win to the evangelical community, sign an order that basically amounts to a marginalization of Christian businesses? They were willing to compromise their faith and principles to get him elected, and he did this?
Well, you can chalk it up to the influence of his liberal, Democrat daughter, Ivanka, and her husband, Jared Kushner, who also now serves as a senior adviser in Trump’s administration.
A report from POLITICO explains how Ivanka and Kushner stopped Trump from rolling back that particular executive order.
A draft executive order on LGBT rights that outlines how to roll back former President Barack Obama’s protections and expand legal exemptions based on religious beliefs has been circulating among journalists and worried progressive groups this week.
But two sources close to Kushner and Ivanka Trump, who have a record of supporting gay rights, said the couple favored putting out a clear statement from the president, promising to uphold the 2014 Obama executive order and stopping the momentum for the turnaround in its tracks.
On Tuesday night, the White House released a statement saying that “President Donald J. Trump is determined to protect the rights of all Americans, including the LGBTQ community. President Trump continues to be respectful and supportive of LGBTQ rights, just as he was throughout the election.”
“The executive order signed in 2014, which protects employees from anti-LGBTQ workplace discrimination while working for federal contractors, will remain intact at the direction of President Donald J. Trump,” the statement continued.
The Trump administration is now saying, as if this makes it better, that the draft executive order that would have rolled back Obama’s LGBT order was just one of around 200 drafts, some coming from outside groups, and that it was never seriously considered, nor would it have ever made it to Trump’s desk to be signed.
Are we getting that, Christians?
Obama’s executive order, which basically amounts to legalized discrimination against people of faith in the workplace, was never in danger of being halted by Trump.
You can almost taste the sense of creeping desperation from some of those leaders in the faith community who rolled over on whatever Christian principles they may have previously claimed, in order to sell this graven image of Trump – the New Christian Icon.
But the statement did not quash the chatter completely. Members of the religious right with ties to the Trump administration said they have been led to believe that some changes will still be forthcoming. “I think they’re going to address the conflict that exists currently, which would preclude religious organizations from contracting with the federal government,” Tony Perkins, CEO of the Family Research Council, said in an interview. “I feel confident that they have an appreciation of religious freedom, and I’m pretty certain they’re going to address it. I’m talking to people in the Trump administration, and I know they understand the importance of this.”
Perkins and others like him are now looking to VP Mike Pence, an actual Christian, to weave some influence into the decision-making of the Trump administration. How that plays out, considering Trump has only had a relationship with Pence for about a year, but he’s had a relationship with his daughter for all her life remains to be seen.
“There are some in Trump’s family that have some views on these things,” said a source close to the discussions. “That’s where the decision is ultimately being made.”
Still, concerns within the LGBT community exist, but let’s be honest. Those concerns are due to their prerequisite bias against anyone who has that magical “R” behind their name, as it pertains to political affiliation. Trump’s team has made every effort to assure them that Trump was sincere when he billed himself as an LGBT-friendly candidate.
In fact, Trump was the first Republican nominee for the presidency to feature an openly gay speaker at the RNC Convention.
James Carafano, a vice president with the Heritage Foundation, has his own thoughts on where Trump is going with the current spate of executive orders.
“This president’s No. 1 priority is demonstrating to the people that got him elected that he is doing the people’s business,” said Carafano, who’s organization backs a religious freedom executive order.
Carafano goes on to point out that Trump never actually made religion freedom a big issue during his campaign.
“For them to put out an executive order that didn’t try and match up with the priorities that he campaigned on would be an unforced error,” said Carafano.
There has been some speculation that Trump intends to repeal the Johnson Amendment, a law that prevents campaigning from the pulpit, lest a church’s tax exempt status be threatened.
Will that make up for the workplace double-cross?
I’ve got some thoughts on that that I’ll share with you later.