Donald Trump’s Attacks on LGBTQ Workers

President Trump might be launching a new campaign, but in reality, we know that it’s the same anti-equality Trump-Pence administration we’ve come to know.

Throughout Trump’s Presidency, this White House has led a coordinated assault on LGBTQ workers and our rights.  

Here are some of the lowlights of the Trump-Pence Administration’s attacks on LGBTQ workers:

  1. Opposition to the Equality Act: Despite support from almost every segment of the US population and a majority of Republicans, President Trump opposed the Equality Act. Last month, the House passed the Equality Act, voting to guarnatee critical non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ workers and allowing them to be who they are openly on the job without risk of being fired.
  1. Rollback of Obama-Era Non-discrimination protections: Trump’s Department of Justice upended previous DOJ interpretations of the Civil Rights Act that protects transgender and non-binary workers from employment discrimination and ceased enforcing nondiscrimination protections as well as taking a hostile stance to LGBTQ workers in court.

Planned New Rules to License Discrimination: Trump’s Department of Labor issued a directive that designed to allow federal contractors claim a religious exemption to fire LGBTQ workers because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

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SCOTUS Decision on Census Upholds Importance of Full Participation

Today, HRC responded to a decision by the Supreme Court in Department of Commerce v. New York rejecting the Trump-Pence administration’s proposal to add a citizenship question to the 2020 U.S. Census based on an inadequate administrative explanation.

“The Trump-Pence administration’s citizenship question is dangerous, unnecessary, and motivated by politics,” said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. “The Supreme Court’s decision recognizes widespread concern over the administration’s political motivation and stated reasoning behind the addition. Our work is not over–every person in the United States needs to ensure they are counted next year. We will continue fighting with coalition partners to ensure that data remains protected and that the Census has a count that reflects the true character of America.”

Today’s ruling demands that the U.S. Census provide more extensive reasoning and explanation behind such a divisive addition.  Last month, the New York Times reported on newly discovered documents that showed how Republican operatives pushed to add a citizenship question to the Census in order to deny communities of color health care and other resources, so as to ensure the electorate is whiter and supports the GOP. 

HRC has pushed back against the Trump-Pence Administration’s demonization of immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers at every turn. We have endorsed and lobbied for passage of the Dream Act, which would give a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented people who were brought here as children – including tens of thousands of LGBTQ Dreamers. We have called out the horrific policies that tear families apart at the border and demanded humane treatment of LGBTQ people – and all people – in immigration detention. We have denounced the State Department’s severe cuts in refugee admissions and worked with our partners to tell the stories of LGBTQ refugees and asylum seekers fleeing violence at home. And we have joined the Muslim community in condemning Trump’s discriminatory Muslim Ban. 

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Horrific Anti-LGBTQ Killings in Detroit Demand Action

The horrific shooting deaths of three Black LGBTQ people in Detroit demands our country’s urgent attention and action.

Alunte Davis, 21, and Timothy Blancher, 20, two gay men, were found dead at the scene on May 25. Paris Cameron, a transgender woman, was taken to the hospital, where she died from her injuries not long after. Two other victims were also shot but survived.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy’s office identified the three victims as members of the LGBTQ community and alleged that they were targeted based on their identities. According to the Detroit Free Press, a suspect has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder and is expected to be arraigned this morning in District Court in Detroit.

“It is horrifying and heartbreaking that the three victims killed in Detroit last month were allegedly targeted because they were LGBTQ,” said HRC National Press Secretary Sarah McBride. “The epidemic of hate violence that targets people of color and LGBTQ people, particularly Black trans people, is an urgent crisis. Our policymakers and leaders must do more to ensure the safety and dignity of every person in our country.”

Tragically, Cameron’s death is among nine known cases of deadly violence against the transgender community in 2019, all of whom were Black transgender women. Last year, advocates tracked the deaths of at least 26 transgender people.

“This case illustrates the mortal danger faced by members of Detroit’s LGBTQ community, including transgender women of color,” Fair Michigan President Alanna Maguire said.

These victims in Detroit and far too many others were attacked by acquaintances, partners and strangers, some of whom have been arrested and charged, while others have yet to be identified. Some of these cases involve clear anti-LGBTQ and racial bias. In others, the details are still tragically unclear.

FBI hate crimes statistics released last year revealed a disturbing increase of 17% in overall reported hate crimes from the previous year. These numbers reflect a 5% increase in reporting of hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation bias and a startling 16% increase in anti-Black hate crimes. And of the more than 130 known victims of anti-transgender violence from 2013 to present, approximately two-thirds of those killed were victims of gun violence.

To confront this alarming epidemic of hate violence, we must explicitly name racism’s impact on this country and the ways that intersecting oppressions deprive LGBTQ people of color of their fundamental rights to safely and authentically live, love and thrive.  We must confront these barriers and work to lift up the voices of advocates challenging systems of power and oppression every day.

To learn more about HRC’s transgender justice work, visit hrc.org/Transgender.

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