Subcommittee Chair Raskin Issues Statement on Trump Administration’s Last-Minute Rulemakings That Allow for LGBTQ+ Discrimination
Washington, D.C. (Dec. 17, 2020)—Today, Rep. Jamie Raskin, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, issued the following statement condemning the Trump Administration’s recent issuance of final and proposed rules that allow for discrimination against LGBTQ+ Americans:
“Since he took office, Trump and his Administration have worked to systematically dismantle LGBTQ+ rights in every social domain, from housing, to education, to the military. These recent rulemakings are a last-ditch effort to entrench these discriminatory policies prior to the presidential transition. The President who spoke up for gay rights at the 2016 Republican Convention has now completed his journey to complete and total subservience to the authoritarian Religious Right.
“When the Supreme Court ruled in Bostock that the prohibition against sex discrimination in Title VII covers discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, we gave the Administration the opportunity to reverse its discriminatory policies. Not only has it refused to do so, it has now finalized the very rules we highlighted as problematic. We call upon the incoming Biden Administration to undo these shameful actions and immediately restore LGBTQ+ rights across the board.”
On Monday, the Administration finalized a discriminatory “Faith-Based Initiative” rule, a 400-page consolidation of proposed rules from nine different agencies. The rule removes requirements for religious organizations that receive federal funds for social services to provide a notice of nondiscrimination and referrals to secular organizations. These requirements, put in place by the Obama Administration, were designed to protect LGBTQ+ people and others who might face discrimination in seeking social services from religious providers.
The Administration also recently finalized a rule from the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs expanding religious exemptions for federal contractors, which could allow for discrimination against LGBTQ+ employees, and is moving forward with a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) rule banning transgender people from seeking housing arrangements consistent with their gender identity.
On August 19th, the Subcommittee sent letters to DOL, HUD, the Department of Education, and the Department of Health and Human Services asking each agency to reevaluate their policies and rulemakings that allow for discrimination against LGBTQ+ people, including the proposed versions or announcements of the aforementioned rules, in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Bostock. The Subcommittee received responses from all the agencies except the Department of Education, but each agency refused to acknowledge the ways their policies condoned discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community.