LGBT Protections Safe, For Now. You Can Thank Ivanka and Jared for That
This weekend news organizations reported that Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner stopped an anti-LGBT executive order from being signed by President Trump.
Last week there were indications (stronger than rumors) that the White House was considering an executive order ending the Obama-era LGBT protections, as a concession to the social conservatives in his cabinet and among his supporters. (Vice-President Mike Pence is probably the most visible anti-gay presence in the Trump administration.)
Ivanka Trump, an independent, and Jared Kushner, a Democrat, are socially liberal and have always been outspoken in their support for gay rights. Their viewpoints are shared by Gary Cohn, the chairman of the president’s National Economic Council.
Ms. Trump, Mr. Kushner and Mr. Cohn all had expressed their negative opinions about such an executive order to President Trump’s advisers; Ms. Trump and Mr. Kushner took their displeasure directly to the president, who has said he opposes same-sex marriage (but considers the issue “settled”), yet has on occasion spoken out against discrimination.
Ivanka reportedly did not need to twist her father’s arm: President Trump had not seriously been considering signing the executive order.
Early last week, White House officials made a statement asserting that Mr. Trump “is determined to protect the rights of all Americans, including the L.G.B.T.Q. community,” adding that the president “continues to be respectful and supportive of L.G.B.T.Q. rights, just as he was throughout the election.”
While this is undoubtedly good news for LGBT people and their many friends and allies, we should not forget the following: This merely prevents a rollback of LGBT protections; it is not a step towards greater freedom and equality. There are still several anti-gay executive orders being considered, the most damaging being some version of a “religious freedom” measure, a federally sanctioned license to discriminate.
Feature image courtesy of Wikipedia.