For Immediate Release
HRC Responds to Rumored License to Discriminate EO
WASHINGTON - Today, HRC responded to a new media report about a rumored #LicenseToDiscriminate order that puts millions of LGBTQ Americans and women at risk of discrimination.
Earlier this year, a leaked draft of this discriminatory order led to a national outcry from civil rights organizations and millions of LGBTQ supporters. Trump’s license-to-discriminate order, would allow hospitals, child welfare providers, and other taxpayer-funded entities to cite religion in denying services or discriminating against LGBTQ people and women.
“Donald Trump’s rumored unconstitutional action is nothing more than a license-to-discriminate order that puts millions of LGBTQ people at risk,” said Chad Griffin, President of the Human Rights Campaign. “There is no religious freedom crisis in America today, but there is a crisis of hate and discrimination. At a time when two-thirds of all LGBTQ people report having experienced discrimination, Donald Trump is making the problem worse by giving legal cover to perpetrators. By even considering this discriminatory order he has broken his promise to be a president for all Americans.”
“The Constitution already protects the ability to exercise one’s religion,” said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. “What our Constitution does not permit is wielding religion as a weapon of discrimination against someone else, particularly with taxpayer funds.”
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Already, more than 50 percent of Americans live in an area of the U.S. where LGBTQ people are at risk of being fired, evicted or denied services because of who they are -- and two-thirds of LGBTQ people report having faced such discrimination in their lives. Trump’s executive order could exacerbate these hostile climates and lead to broad, devastating impacts for LGBTQ people.
Donald Trump’s license-to-discriminate order has reportedly been circulating within the White House and transition team since January and has been a longtime political priority of anti-LGBTQ organizations including the SPLC-designated hate group Family Research Council.
A preliminary analysis of Trump’s order leaked in January indicates that LGBTQ people and women will be at risk in the following:
- An LBT woman suffering from intimate partner violence could be refused screening and
counseling for domestic violence if a provider holds religious objections to same-sex
- Transgender women could be turned away when seeking preventative care — including cancer screenings and mammograms
- A Social Security Administration employee could refuse to accept or process spousal or survivor benefits paperwork for a surviving same-sex spouse
- A federal contractor could launch a cyber-bullying campaign against an LGBTQ organization for advocating on behalf of transgender people without losing the contract
- Agencies receiving federal funding, and even their individual staff members, could refuse to provide services to LGBTQ children in crisis, or to place adoptive or foster children with a same-sex couple simply because of their sexual orientation
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The Human Rights Campaign represents a grassroots force of over 750,000 members and supporters nationwide. As the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, HRC envisions an America where LGBT people are ensured of their basic equal rights, and can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.