January 30, 2017 at 3:29 pm EST | by Chris Johnson
White House won’t deny Trump will sign anti-LGBT order
anti-LGBT executive order, Sean Spicer, gay news, Washington Blade

Sean Spicer declined to address an anti-LGBT order on Monday. (Screen capture via C-Span)

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Monday declined to discuss an anti-LGBT executive order from President Trump amid reports such a directive is in the works.

In response to a question from the Washington Blade, Spicer said he wouldn’t get ahead of Trump on any potential executive order he may sign.

“I’m not getting ahead of the executive orders that we may or may not issue,” Spicer said. “There’s a lot of executive orders, a lot of things the president has talked about and will continue to fulfill, but we have nothing on that front now.”

The potential executive order gained attention Monday after the Human Rights Campaign issued a statement acknowledging rumors it about and expressing concerns about executive actions that would rollback LGBT rights.

“The rumors of an anti-LGBTQ executive action by President Trump are deeply troubling,” JoDee Winterhof, HRC’s senior vice president for policy and political affairs, said in a statement. “We already know that he is willing to target and marginalize at-risk communities for his perceived political gain. As the president and his team plan their next steps, we want to make one thing clear: we won’t give one inch when it comes to defending equality, whether it is a full-on frontal assault or an attack under the guise of religion. Mike Pence should know that better than anyone given his track record in Indiana.”

The Washington Blade has sought confirmation of the rumors, but has been unable to corroborate them with any certainty or ascertain the exact the nature of the anti-LGBT order Trump would sign. Last week, Spicer was unable to say whether Trump would keep in place President Obama’s 2014 executive order barring anti-LGBT employment discrimination among federal contractors.

Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin issued a series of tweets after the briefing Monday saying a senior administration official affirmed a draft executive order undermining LGBT rights is prepared. The executive order could federal employee benefits and protections, adoption agencies that receive federal funding and allow federal employees to refuse to serve LGBT people based on belief marriage is between a man and a woman or gender is immutable from birth.

The Human Rights Campaign cites the rumor days before Trump is scheduled to speak Thursday in Milwaukee, Wis., at the National Prayer Breakfast. Anti-LGBT advocates often attend the event that may welcome a “religious freedom” order against LGBT rights.

In a subsequent article, the Washington Post reported a draft executive order was circulating in Washington over the weekend, but “the details of the policy remain in flux and that it is far from certain President Trump would ultimately issue such an order.”

During his presidential campaign, Trump courted anti-LGBT groups and said “religious freedom” would be a priority, but unlike other Republican candidates never specifically promised to sign an executive order that would undermine LGBT rights. Trump, however, declared support for the First Amendment Defense Act, a bill seen to enable anti-LGBT discrimination in the name of “religious freedom.”

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

  • If he does sign such anti-GLBT orders, which would be no shock to me as that is what his core religious base wants, you’ll likely get some spin and denial from the S”trump”ettes that post here! They touted him as the most pro-GLBT Republican in history which isn’t saying much!

    • Trump supporter here, I don’t care. I use to respect gay people until they started suing small personal businesses for refusing them. Yet when I get thrown out of a business for wearing a Trump hat that’s okay? Deal with it.

      • you weren’t born a Trump supporter.

      • I couldn’t care less whether your respect gay people or not. You obviously don’t sound like someone that has earned a right to respect, either, so don’t expect any! Someone threw you out for wearing a Trump hat, then YOU deal with that!

        Too bad that instead of being bitter and so petty you didn’t learn from the experience on how it is to be discriminated against for something and refuse to make someone else go through the same.

        Personally if I knew a small company wanted to refuse to serve me for being gay, I would have the self-respect and dignity not to want to support the business with my money!

        If someone can sue a small business for discriminating because of racial or religious discrimination, then I see no reason why people cant sue for anti-gay discrimination.

        There is no hierarchy of oppression! Put up a sign that states you don’t want to serve GLBT in your window. Let people know how ugly you really are!

        • “Personally if I knew a small company wanted to refuse to serve me for being gay, I would have the self-respect and dignity not to want to support the business with my money!”

          So how does that work when the anti-LGBT person refusing service represents the government like, for instance, the fight we have against Kim Davis for refusing to allow anyone in the clerk’s office to issue our marriage license? Is that OK? Should we just have gone to another county and accepted the discrimination from the office we are required to pay taxes to in order to fund it’s employees and the services they provide? Are you saying standing our ground means we have no self-respect?

        • tldr: Enjoy 8 years of Trump buttercup.

          • Prune Juice. You are extremely presumptuous and arrogant to think 8 years! He’s barely out of the gate with a first year and already his actions have resulted in massive social unrest around the country and around the world!

            The apathetic voters that didn’t bother to vote have awakened. That will only build up over time and be a force to reckon with. Trump and the whackos he surrounds himself with are his own worse enemy.

            Go ahead an under-estimate it. We know what happens when you under-estimate anyone! I never under-estimated Trump. I warned people to vote. Instead they either didn’t vote, threw their vote away or threw their vote away on a third-party candidate. Trump is a wake up call!

      • This is complete fake news already debunked

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