January 23, 2017 at 3:11 pm EDT | by Chris Johnson
Spicer unsure whether Trump will undo LGBT executive order
Sean Spicer, gay news, Washington Blade

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer (Screen capture via C-Span)

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Monday he doesn’t immediately know whether President Trump will keep the previous administration’s executive order in place that bans anti-LGBT workplace discrimination among federal contractors.

During his first news conference, Spicer made the remarks in response to a question from the Washington Blade about a white paper Log Cabin Republicans delivered to the Trump transition team last week urging President Trump to maintain the executive order former President Barack Obama signed in 2014.

“I don’t know on that one,” Spicer said. “I have to get back to you on that. I don’t know that we’ve gotten that far in the list of executive orders, but I’d be glad to get back to you.”

Asked more generally about Trump possibly rescinding executive actions on LGBT rights, Spicer said, “Again, it’s not — I just don’t know the answer. I’ll try to get back to you on that.”

The Blade has placed a request with the White House seeking verification about whether Trump would keep Executive Order 13672, which covers an estimated 34 million workers and many thousands who are LGBT.

Log Cabin Republicans submitted a white paper to the Trump transition team last week along with a petition signed by about 800 supporters of the executive order urging the new president to keep the directive in place.

Gregory Angelo, president of Log Cabin Republicans, said he wouldn’t read too much into Spicer’s response because the Trump administration is just getting off the ground.

“The Trump transition team has told me that they are in the process of conducting a full review of all of President Obama’s executive orders, which corresponds with Mr. Spicer’s statement that that the new administration has yet to consider the LGBT non-discrimination executive order,” Angelo said. “I wouldn’t read anything into Spicer’s response besides his pure candor.”

On the campaign trail, Trump said he’d rescind executive orders he thinks are “unconstitutional,” but hasn’t explicitly stated a position on the LGBT executive order.

JoDee Winterhof, senior vice president for policy and political affairs for the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement there was only one right answer for Spicer during the briefing.

“Let’s be clear: The Trump administration was unable to answer whether or not they would maintain basic protections for LGBTQ workers,” Winterhof said. “The only good answer to that question is ‘yes, of course we will.’ And while Mr. Spicer is asking the oresident for his answer, we’d also like to know if he’ll appoint a pro-equality Supreme Court Justice? Or will he maintain protections for transgender students? Will his nominee for attorney general, who voted against expanding federal hate crimes law to include sexual orientation and gender identity, actually enforce hate crimes protections? Will his State Department commit to advancing LGBTQ equality abroad? We still don’t know the answers to these questions. ”

Watch the video here (c/o Log Cabin Republicans)

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

  • Mark Cichewicz

    So tell me why a president who loves all Americans and puts all Americans first, would put the best interest LGBTQ Americans in the toilet? Tell me why Trump doesn’t have our back

    • customartist

      Trump protects Trump. We are an unimportant fraction of the citizenry as far as Donald Trump is concerned. Trump will only selectively follow through on his campaign promises. It is necessary for him to support the Religious-Right in order to get reelected, and thusly he will do exactly that.

      I have been however impressed and appreciative with the Women’s Marchers’ support of LGBT Equality. Equal means Equal. Republicans cannot legitimately claim Constitutional Adherence while maligning ANY section of the populous.

      • Mark Cichewicz

        We became a part of the 3 million marchers at the Women’s march. Why than, wouldn’t they become part of our cause. Equal is Equal

  • lnm3921

    Spicer doesn’t know because it’s not a priority of the Trump administration to promote GLBT rights. We do know however that Religious Freedom laws are. He can tell you with certainty how many people attended Trump’s inauguration with “alternate” (code for trumped up) facts though.

    If Trump really was for GLBT Americans, he would have mentioned them in his inaugural speech. Obama never hesitated to mention us. We wouldn’t have disappeared from the White House Website if he did. Other things that Trump wants to do and supports can be on the website in black and white just not promotion of our rights.

  • customartist

    Republicans in Congress, Senate and the new Administration have already made the strategy calculation that issues like Marriage Equality [and perhaps Federal LGBT Workers’ Protections] have already been settled and/or litigated, would be difficult to take away or back step on, and would therefore not be the best course politically,…

    AND that their focus will be on other issues going forward, like passing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and SCOTUS nomination(s), with the latter being the crown jewel. This is not a recent calculation.

  • Brian’s Ions

    Glad to see that the Blade’s Chis Johnson had his question ready– and was called upon.

    Going forward, it will be essential to compare and contrast the Trump Administration progress on LGBT issues against Obama-era policy initiatives. That’s a high bar, to be sure, but it’s the only way to measure relative progress.

    In addition to keeping the federal contractor EO on LGBT non-discriminantion, another bellwether is how much Trump appointees will keep and/or expand LGBT initiatives at the Small Business Administration (SBA). SBA partnerships with the NGLCC is an example…
    https://www.sba.gov/about-sba/sba-newsroom/press-releases-media-advisories/business-diversity-efforts-poised-benefit-new-partnership-between-us-small-business-administration

    The GOP touts itself as the party of free markets and small business entrepreneurship and capital formation. So that is another ‘natural’ area for LCR and the Trump Administration’s LGBT allies to pursue and expand upon.

    If Trump’s new SBA director abandons SBA’s existing robust LGBT outreach, we’ll know Trump’s professed affinity for LGBT issues is a sham.

    I hope LCR keeps its issues ‘white papers’ coming. SBA’s LGBT outreach ought to be the subject of another one.
    ===========
    \Gregory Angelo, president of Log Cabin Republicans, said he wouldn’t read too much into Spicer’s response because the Trump administration is just getting off the ground.

    “The Trump Transition Team has told me that they are in the process of conducting a full review of all of President Obama’s executive orders, which corresponds with Mr. Spicer’s statement that that the new administration has yet to consider the LGBT non-discrimination executive order,” Angelo said. “I wouldn’t read anything into Spicer’s response besides his pure candor.”//

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