Less than two weeks after he was inaugurated, Donald Trump did something that, at the time, seemed decent: On Jan. 31, 2017, the White House put out a press release promising to safeguard LGBTQ rights. Specifically, the memo claimed the new president would not overturn a 2014 Obama administration executive order protecting LGBTQ employees of federal contractors from workplace discrimination.
“President Donald J. Trump is determined to protect the rights of all Americans, including the LGBTQ community,” the memo stated.
Trump’s been gaslighting America on the subject of LGBTQ rights ever since. Through executive orders, agency rule-making and tweets, the Trump administration has been blasting away at the LGBTQ community from the start.
Now, the administration is ratcheting up the stakes, filing a series of briefs ― one late last week and one expected this Friday ― in a critical LGBTQ rights case scheduled to come before the Supreme Court this fall.
On Oct. 4, the court will hear oral arguments in a trio of cases considering whether the protections of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, religion and sex, extends to sexual orientation and gender identity.
To put it simply, the question before the court is: Can you be fired for being gay or lesbian or bisexual or transgender?