Discrimination against members of the LGBTQ community is an extremely prevalent issue within workplace environments across the country. Many instances in which people were denied jobs, fired, harassed, and more simply because of their sexuality or gender identity unfortunately continue to occur in America today.
In 2014, a few steps were taken towards finding a solution when former president Barack Obama signed an executive order that prohibited the federal government from contracting with any firms that discriminated against their workers, customers, or clients for reasons such as their sexual orientation or gender identity. Ten days after, he signed an additional order which stated that all firms doing business with the federal government were required to prove their adherence to federal laws and executive orders. This enforced his initial executive order by having all workplaces demonstrate that they are completely fair as well as respectful towards LBGTQ employees.
Years later, in 2017, our country has unfortunately regressed in terms of this matter under the presidency of Donald Trump. Despite his assurance at the beginning of his term that not only did he intend to protect the LGBTQ community but also that he would not rescind the executive order concerning their rights within the workplace, he later proved that he was not on the side of those who are gay, transgender, etc.
On Monday, March 27, President Trump annulled Obama’s second executive order on the issue. By doing so, he took away the requirements for firms having to confirm their compliance to the order regarding discrimination against LGBTQ workers. While that order may still be in place, there is now nothing that is there to back it up and ensure that employers are not violating the law. Not only does this give firms the opportunity to discriminate against those within the LGBTQ community essentially without facing any consequences, but it sends the message to the people that the government does not care whether or not you break the law, which makes doing so ok.
It is upsetting that this order has been rescinded, as well as it is upsetting that no additional action has been taken towards improving the lives and opportunities of those who identify as LGBTQ in work environments. Everybody should be treated equally and with respect despite their sexual orientation or gender identity. The fact that President Trump voided Obama’s order lets the public believe that it isn’t important to respect people who may be different from you and that they do not deserve the same equal rights as everyone else.
Everyone, no matter what sexuality, gender, or gender identity, should be granted the same freedoms as everybody else. It is unfortunate that this may no longer be demonstrated within workplaces following President Trump’s recent decision, but hopefully further action towards putting a stop to LGBTQ discrimination will be made in the near future.