Just days after promising to protect the rights of the LGBTQ community, President Donald Trump has apparently gone back on his word. Over the weekend, new Attorney General Jeff Sessions pulled the federal government’s legal support of the Obama administration’s anti-discrimination protections for transgender students.
Ending The Fight For Equality
Sessions withdrew a government request that had asked for a court-ordered halt in the implementation of these protections, which would apply in states that sought an injunction rather than nationwide. The order protected trans students, specifically in their right to use bathrooms that corresponded with their gender identity.
The White House released an official statement just a few days before Sessions made this move, in which they said:
On Day 2 of the job, Attorney General Sessions began attacking protections for transgender students.https://t.co/KGP9cIdloF
— LGBT Progress (@LGBTProgress) February 11, 2017
“President Donald J. Trump is determined to protect the rights of all Americans, including the LGBTQ community. President Trump continues to be respectful and supportive of LGBTQ rights, just as he was throughout the election.
“[The order which] protects employees from anti-LGBTQ workplace discrimination while working for federal contractors will remain intact at the direction of President Donald J. Trump.”
Then just this weekend in a blatantly hypocritical move, the Trump administration ceased any effort to fight for the protection of LGBT students. Unfortunately, this news comes as no surprise given Sessions’ history of anti-LGBT activism. But it was reported that Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner had convinced the President to ignore his strategists on this issue.
Reverse Course And Regain Control
Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin lamented:
“It is heartbreaking and wrong that the agency tasked with enforcing civil rights laws would instead work to subvert them for political interests. President Trump must immediately reverse course and direct the DOJ to uphold guidance protecting transgender students.”
If Trump wants show the country that he is in control of his own Cabinet, he should listen closely to Griffin. Aside from the main issue of LGBT rights, this move by Sessions shows that our president can’t even control the people that work for him. Unless this was Trump’s idea, which is entirely plausible. But if not, Donald Trump needs to grab the wheel with his tiny hands and steer this ship back on course. Otherwise, he’s going to end up crashing and hurting more than just himself in the process.
Watch the video below for more info on Jeff Session’s anti-LGBT history:
Featured image credit: screengrab from Affinity Magazine Twitter