Despite President Trump’s repeated campaign promises to protect LGBTQ employees he is doing the exact opposite.  

I’ve tried to keep on open mind about this presidency.  I really have.  When President Trump promised during his campaign that he was going to protect LGBTQ people, I thought there was a *small* chance he might actually keep that promise.  Yet he has been in office for half a year and is in the process of undoing years of LGBTQ progress.

First, there was this announcement which happened yesterday (announced in a Tweet), which has me FURIOUS.  Earlier this year, the President announced that he would continue President Obama’s Executive Order barring federal employer discrimination against LGBTQ employees.  Despite that assurance, yesterday the President announced that transgender people are now barred from serving in the military because they are too much of a “burden.”  This makes me wonder what he thinks the “T” in LGBT stands for? In one tweet President Trump epitomized the discriminatory assumptions to which transgender people are subjected every day.  This is discrimination, plain and simple.

For a little comedic interlude here is my favorite Tweet in response to President Trump’s announcement.

As if this transgender military ban wasn’t enough, later in the day yesterday we learned that the Justice Department (led by the “beleaguered” Jeff Sessions) filed an amicus brief arguing that Title VII does not prohibit sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace.  This is the exact opposite position that President Obama’s Justice Department reached and is in direct contrast to what our 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled earlier this year and which the 2nd Circuit is scheduled to consider en banc.  

Things are not looking good for LGBTQ employees.  Now more than ever it is important to be aware of what rights continue to exist.  For instance, for those of us in the 7th Circuit, for now at least, sexual orientation discrimination remains illegal under Title VII.  That may change if the Supreme Court decides to consider this issue but for now it remains.  Also, some states (although not nearly enough) prohibit sexual orientation discrimination at work.  For a list of those states go here.  Finally, while at times it can seem like an exercise in futility, it is now more important than ever to contact your representatives and ask them to support laws that protect everyone but especially those who are the most vulnerable to workplace discrimination and harassment.