rainbow flag protest Mike Pence origwx JM_00003227.jpg
Pence's neighbors fly rainbow flags (2016)
01:37 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

The order was first signed by Obama

It will continue under Trump, the WH said

Washington CNN  — 

An executive order protecting federal employees from anti-LGBTQ discrimination that was first signed in 2014 by President Barack Obama will continue under President Donald Trump, the White House said Tuesday.

“President Donald J. Trump is determined to protect the rights of all Americans, including the LGBTQ community,” the White House said in a statement. “The executive order signed in 2014, which protects employees from anti-LGBTQ workplace discrimination while working for federal contractors, will remain intact.”

The order extended protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and was predicated on previous executive orders under Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton that created additional protected classes but had not included the LGBTQ community.

The Log Cabin Republicans praised the decision Tuesday, calling Trump “a real friend.”

“Donald Trump campaigned promising to be a ‘real friend’ to the LGBT community, and now President Trump is delivering on that commitment,” said Gregory Angelo, president of the Republican LGBT advocacy group. “Log Cabin Republicans is proud to have directly lobbied for this important preservation of LGBT equality in the federal workforce.”

Hillary Clinton received the endorsement of several large LGBT organizations during the 2016 campaign, but Trump did attract attention for being the first the Republican presidential nominee to mention the gay community in his nomination acceptance speech.

Later Tuesday, leaders of the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBT advocacy group that endorsed Clinton, remained critical of the President.

“Donald Trump has done nothing but undermine equality since he set foot in the White House,” HRC President Chad Griffin said at a news conference hours after Trump signed the order.

Griffin asserted – without providing evidence – that the administration “is still considering an (executive order) that would discriminate against LGBTQ people.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a CNN request for comment on such an order.

Griffin also criticized Trump’s recently announced travel ban, which temporarily bars citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for the next 90 days, suspends the admission of all refugees for 120 days and indefinitely suspends the Syrian refugee program.

“We call on Donald Trump to reject any and all attempts to give license to discriminate,” he said. “So when Donald Trump attacks one of us, he is going to hear from all of us.”