President Trump took the opportunity Friday of speaking at an anti-LGBT summit to express pleasure in his administration’s actions reversing the legacy of the Obama years, citing among other things recent “religious freedom” guidance seen to enable anti-LGBT discrimination.
Entering the stage at the 2017 Values Voter Summit to chants of “USA! USA! USA!” Trump sought to connect with an audience of social conservatives, who were largely responsible for his win in the 2016 presidential election.
“The American Founders invoked our Creator four times in the Declaration of Independence — four times,” Trump said. “How times have changed. But you know what, now they’re changing back again. Just remember that.”
Those words weren’t in direct reference to LGBT issues, but could apply to any number of actions in the Trump administration reversing LGBT achievements under Obama. Among them are his ban on transgender people in the military, undoing action in Obama years allowing them to serve, or his Justice Department advocating against LGBT non-discrimination protections after the previous administration enforced civil rights laws to protect LGBT people.
Trump’s speech covered a range of actions made in his administration, including the appointment of U.S. Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, ending the birth control mandate under Obamacare and military advances against the so-called Islamic State.
But Trump also maintained his commitment to “religious freedom,” citing his executive order on the issue in May that resulted subsequent guidance from U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
“Just last week, based on this executive action, the Department of Justice issued a new guidance to all federal agencies to ensure that no religious group is ever targeted under my administration,” Trump said. “It won’t happen.”
The guidance is seen to green light discrimination against LGBT people in the name of religious freedom. For example, a Social Security administrator charged with processing benefits applications could see an application for same-sex spousal benefits and refuse to process that application for religious reasons. Read more via Washington Blade