White House: Federal LGBT Protections Will Remain In Place

"President Trump continues to be respectful and supportive of LGBTQ rights."

The White House has issued a statement claiming protections for LGBT federal employees will remain in place, in the wake of reports President Trump was preparing to issue an executive order rescinding rights put in place by President Obama.

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 29:  President Donald Trump is seen through a window speaking on the phone with King of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud, in the Oval Office of the White House, January 29, 2017 in Washington, DC. On Sunday, President Trump is making several phone calls with world leaders from the Oval Office.  (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

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

On Monday afternoon, rumors began circulating that Trump’s next order would allow for discrimination in employment, housing, business, adoption and other areas.

A draft of the order was purportedly circulating in Washington last weekend, and had been seen by a number of journalists. Whether such claims were unfounded, or the Trump administration abandoned its plan is unclear.

On Monday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer declined to comment about the issue.

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

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 25:  (AFP OUT) U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks during a visit to the Department of Homeland Security with Vice President Mike Pence (R) January 25, 2017 in Washington, DC. While at the department, Trump signed two executive orders related to internal security and to begin the process of building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

In his convention speech, Trump vowed to protect LGBT Americans “from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology.” Though he made no mention of protecting their rights at home.

And Vice President Mike Pence and a majority of Trump’s cabinet have long records of attacking LGBT rights.

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20:  Protesters against and supporters of Donald Trump gather prior to the presidential inauguration in front of the Trump Hotel on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. Donald Trump is being sworn in as the 45th President of the United States.  (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

“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,” said HRC’s JoDee Winterhof in response to rumors about the order.

She added that HRC “will stand with those who have already been targeted by this administration and are prepared to fight tooth and nail against every effort to discriminate.”

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.