The Trump administration on Monday stated its opposition to the Equality Act, which would protect LGBTQ citizens under existing civil rights laws. The House is preparing to vote on the measure later this week.
A senior White House official told the Washington Blade: “The Trump administration absolutely opposes discrimination of any kind and supports the equal treatment of all; however, this bill in its current form is filled with poison pills that threaten to undermine parental and conscience rights.”
LGBTQ rights groups denounced the statement.
Said HRC President Chad Griffin: “We’re disgusted, but certainly not surprised, by Donald Trump’s announcement that he opposes the Equality Act, which is supported by seven in ten Americans and more than two hundred major businesses. By opposing this common sense civil rights legislation, Donald Trump is ensuring that LGBTQ people remain at risk of being fired or denied housing in a majority of states. The LGBTQ community, and all Americans for that matter, deserve a president with the courage and decency to sign this bill into law, and we will continue the urgent work to pass the Equality Act and replace Donald Trump with a pro-equality president who will sign it into law.”
GLAAD’s President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said: “President Trump’s opposition to the Equality Act, a bill that would protect hard-working Americans against discrimination, shows the unyielding power that anti-LGBTQ activists like the Heritage Foundation have on this Administration. LGBTQ Americans will not forget the President’s politically craven flip-flop on this fair and just legislation, which further cements his Administration’s legacy of being the most anti-LGBTQ government in recent memory.”
Nearly 20 years, ago, Trump was on a different page in an interview with The Advocate: “I like the idea of amending the 1964 Civil Rights Act to include a ban of discrimination based on sexual orientation. It would be simple. It would be straightforward. We don’t need to rewrite the laws currently on the books, although I do think we need to address hate-crimes legislation. But amending the Civil Rights Act would grant the same protection to gay people that we give to other Americans — it’s only fair. I actually suggested this first, and now I see [Democratic presidential candidate] Bill Bradley has jumped on the bandwagon and is claiming the idea as his own.”