Trump protects LGBTQ rights for federal workers; skeptics remain

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COLUMBIA - Some members of the LGBTQ community took a slight sigh of relief Tuesday when the White House announced President Trump will continue the executive order protecting federal employees from anti-LGBTQ discrimination.

Obama signed the order back in 2014, and it will continue to take effect during Trump's administration. The order bans workplace discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees of federal contractors and the federal government. This means companies that have contracts with the federal government are prohibited from firing or discriminating against employees based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

In a White House news release, the press secretary wrote, "President Trump continues to be respectful and supportive of LGBTQ rights, just as he was throughout the election." 


However, some LGBTQ members are skeptical about the future. Tara Marcink, a board member at the Center Project and a PhD student, said there's still a lot at stake. 

“There’s still a lot of issues on the table. This is just the one that he’s not attacking or touching is just the federal discrimination. So while it is a small victory for LGBT rights, it’s still one in the sea of many things he can do," Marcink said. 

Marc Smith, a member of the transgender community, said there could be trouble in the LGBTQ community because Pence is Trump's Vice President.

“Trump has shown me nothing that he’s pro-LGBT. Trump has a lot to say when he’s behind the pulpit, but you know actions speak louder than words and every person he’s appointed to his cabinet is anti-LGBT. Actions speak louder than words and yes he continued that executive order, but I’m very scared for the next four years," Smith said.

Trump gained attention for being the first Republican nominee to mention the gay community in his party acceptance speech.