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. ”
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