Trump vows to keep LGBTQ worker protections – but concerns remain

The President has pledged to protect a 2014 executive order signed by former President Barack Obama.
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President Donald Trump has pledged to protect LGBTQ people working for federal contractors from discrimination, re-affirming a 2014 executive order signed by former President Barack Obama.

In a statement reported by The Hill, Trump said he was "respectful and supportive" of the LGBTQ community during his campaign, and added he was "proud to have been the first ever GOP nominee to mention the LGBTQ community in his nomination acceptance speech." He then went on to pledge that the 2014 order will remain intact.

The order protects federal workers from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace and during the hiring process. CNN reports it built on previous executive orders under presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton that created additional protected classes.

Trump in the statement also noted he "is determined to protect the rights of all Americans, including the LGBTQ community."

LGBTQ community still has concerns

The New York Times reports Trump's pledge on Monday doesn't mean other executive orders – such as one that expands religious liberties – won't be made. And there were reports on sites such as LGBTQ Nation Monday that the Trump administration was planning to sign some sort of anti-LGBTQ executive action.

So the pledge hasn't stopped concern among groups including the Human Rights Campaign, which on Monday said the president had set a "rather low bar" for protecting LGBTQ rights.

"Claiming ally status for not overturning the progress of your predecessor is a rather low bar. LGBTQ refugees, immigrants, Muslims and women are scared today, and with good reason," said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin.

Griffin said the rumors about an anti-LGBTQ action did not relate to protecting discrimination among federal contractors, but instead referred to other possible actions that could be taken to roll back their rights.

The Washington Post reports a religious liberty order could be similar to the controversial measure enacted by Vice President Mike Pence when he was governor of Indiana, which gay rights groups said could pave the way for businesses to refuse service to LGBTQ people based on their religious beliefs.

But despite some of his cabinet, including Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions, having previously been in favor of laws that roll back LGBTQ rights, Fox News reports Trump did make a point of indicating his support of these same communities during his campaign.

In April, during a controversy over transgender bathroom use, Trump said people should "use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate." He's also previously declared the issue of same-sex marriage equality to be "settled."

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