Gay Rights Under Trump: 7 things Obama did to protect LGBTQ people that Trump could undo
According to the Atlantic, Barack Obama built a legacy on gay rights during his administration. But many of the things Obama did to protect LGBTQ people, President Donald Trump could undo with the stroke of a pen. Here's what you should know.
Federal employee protections
As stated by NPR, "Trump has promised he will rescind all of Obama's executive orders." This can include an executive order Obama signed in 2014 that prohibits federal contractors from discriminating against employees based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
If this is overturned, these categories will no longer be amended to the original executive order, made by Lyndon B. Johnson, that protected the rights of federal employees to avoid discrimination.
The Affordable Care Act and transgender healthcare
Many people are concerned about Trump's promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. But one of the chief concerns of the LGBTQ community is that, when and if this occurs, transgender people will no longer be protected from discrimination when they try to access health care. Unfortunately, this is one of the important parts of the debate that often gets buried in the larger argument.
LGBTQ rights in the military
According to the Washington Blade, another of the possible changes Trump could make to Obama's legacy is to reverse the rights currently held by individuals in the military. Trump could reinstate bans on gay and transgender people serving or possibly even reinstate the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, which banned gay and lesbian people from serving openly in the military.
He could also roll back changes that allow individuals in the military to bring their same-sex spouses overseas with them or remove certain benefits for LGBTQ veterans.
Transgender students in schools
The Obama administration released a directive in May 2016 recommending how schools should allow transgender students to use the bathroom with which they identify. This policy drew applause from many, but also criticisms, especially from then-governor, now-Vice-President Mike Pence. As a result, many people in the LGBTQ community are concerned that Trump will potentially roll back any previous statements about equality for transgender youth, or possibly go further.
According to CNN, Trump has said previously that he believes transgender people should be protected by the law but that final decisions should be left up to the states, which has strengthened this concern in many. In fact, as stated by Buzzfeed, Trump could go so far as to officially state that transgender individuals are not protected on the federal level.
Housing protection for transgender individuals
The Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a regulation during Obama's administration that protected transgender people from being refused federal housing. However, Trump could reverse this regulation.
Protection from conversion therapy
As reported by the New York Times, the Obama administration has stated that the process of using conversion therapy to change a child's sexual orientation should be banned. Pence, on the other hand, has shown support for this practice more than once.
It does not seem likely that Trump could actually force the issue of conversion therapy since it has been widely invalidated for its dangerous results. However, there are still many who are concerned that his administration could open up avenues for it to be practiced on LGBTQ youth, especially because some of people he has chosen for his cabinet, like Pence and Betsy DeVos, have supported the practice or organizations that recommend it.
Trump does not have the power on his own to overturn the decision on marriage equality made by the Supreme Court in 2015. However, he does have the power to appoint justices who will be sympathetic to opponents of same-sex marriage. This isn't something Trump could potentially do with the stroke of a pen, but he could set things in motion to make it happen.