Trump Will Keep Some of Obama’s LGBT Protections. But Don’t Celebrate Yet.

The president could pick an anti-LGBT Supreme Court justice tonight.

Drew Angerer/ZUMA

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The White House announced Tuesday that President Donald Trump will preserve an Obama-era executive order that bans federal contractors from discriminating against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees.

“President Trump continues to be respectful and supportive of LGBTQ rights, just as he was throughout the election,” the statement released on Tuesday reads. “The president is proud to have been the first ever GOP nominee to mention the LGBTQ community in his nomination acceptance speech, pledging to protect the community from violence and oppression.”

The statement appeared to respond to previous reports indicating Trump was drafting an executive order to reverse the protections, as civil rights groups feared he would do.

While Trump has voiced support for some LGBT rights, his record on the issue remains checkered: The president remains opposed to same-sex marriage and has said he would “strongly consider” appointing a Supreme Court justice who would overturn the high court’s 2015 ruling that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. (Trump is scheduled to reveal his choice to fill the vacant Supreme Court seat Tuesday evening.)

Shortly after he became the Republican party’s presidential nominee, Trump also abandoned his initial criticism of North Carolina’s controversial law barring transgender people from using the bathroom of their choice. “I’ve spoken with your governor, I’ve spoken with a lot of people, and I’m going with the state,” he said when asked about the reversal.

Trump has also surrounded himself with vocal opponents of LGBT rights. As governor of Indiana, Vice President Mike Pence backed a series of laws that allowed businesses to discriminate against gay people. Many of Trump’s Cabinet picks, including attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and health and human services nominee Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), have also been criticized for their anti-LGBT views.

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You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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