The Trump Administration just took its attacks on LGBTQ Americans to the next level. Attorney General Jeff Sessions just issued guidance granting an anti-LGBTQ “license to discriminate.” Federal government staff and contractors will now be able to claim a broad religious exemption from federal laws, rules and regulations meant to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination.
Today’s decision, plus yesterday’s rollback of federal protections for transgender employees, the backing of a Colorado business owner who refused to serve a gay couple, and this summer’s attack on transgender troops, show an Administration that is determined to revoke legal protections for LGBTQ Americans.
This discrimination is not an American value. We must respond loud and clear:
After the guidance issued today, LGBTQ people across the country are even more vulnerable to being targeted for discrimination, especially if they work for a federal government agency or federal contractor.
That’s because federal guidance is the last line of defense for thousands of LGBTQ Americans who live in states like Texas with no explicit laws protecting them from discrimination in housing, employment or public places like restaurants, retail shops and hospitals.
This license to discriminate is a stark reminder that states must do all they can to protect LGBTQ people by passing comprehensive nondiscrimination laws.