Trump urged to protect LGBT rights by Government commission

An independent government commission has urged President Trump to pass legislation to protect LGBT workers.

The former businessman has had a patchy record on LGBT rights since his election in 2016, coming under fire for attempting to ban trans people from serving in the military (something which he’ll be forced to give up on in just over a month), as well as trying to slash funding for HIV and AIDs prevention programmes.

Other moves since taking the top US position include pushing through the appointment of an anti-LGBT Supreme Court Judge and axing protections for trans children, just days after declaring his support for LGBT rights.

However, the US Commission on Civil Rights, an independent commission of the federal government set up to investigate and report on civil rights issues, has now urged Congress to pass more protections for LGBT workers.

It’s new report, ‘Working for Inclusion’, was published today stating the importance of addressing “workplace discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans”.

Among the findings of its investigations, the commission noted that LGBT workers face “a long, serious, and pervasive history of official and unofficial employment discrimination by federal, state and local Governments and private employers.”

It added that an “inconsistent and irreconcilable patchwork of state laws against anti-LGBT workplace discrimination and federal court decisions interpreting existing laws”, leaves people at risk, as well as making it difficult to assess the true scale of the problem.

The study, which is address to President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, calls for a number of recommendations.

“Our primary recommendation is directed to Congress,” the group states.

“In order to effectively and consistently protect LGBT employees from workplace discrimination, Congress should immediately enact a federal law explicitly banning discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

danica roem
Danica Roem, one of the first transgender women to win a US election (Twitter/Danica Roem)

“We also make particular recommendations that federal agencies should issue – and where relevant – reaffirm specific guidance for federal and private employers outlining protections for LGBT individuals in the workforce.”

They also added that federal agencies should start collecting data to assess the scale of the problem.

Currently, 28 states in the US offer no protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. A further two offer some protection for workers due to their sexual orientation, but not gender identity.

The US Commission has previously disagreed with the President’s stance, most recently in the case of the attempted ban on trans people serving in the armed forces.

However, despite a divided political stance on LGBT rights, there have been some successes for trans people in America.

Earlier this month the first ever trans women of colour was elected, as well as the first ever trans women to become a state official.