Via Press Release from the Department of Labor:
June is LGBTQIA+ Pride Month. It was in June 1969 that the Stonewall Uprising occurred, considered by many to have sparked the modern LGBTQIA+ civil-rights movement. Here at the Department of Labor, we rang in Pride Month by doing something that has never been done before in the history of the department — raising the Pride flag at our national office. In this moment in history, when workers are realizing their power in myriad ways — leaving jobs that don’t provide the security, opportunity and dignity they want and deserve, and organizing —often against great odds to improve their working conditions. Here at the department, we recognize and affirm the ability of our LGBTQIA+ sisters and brothers to also realize their power at work and to emerge from the crises of the last two years better than we entered them. When it comes to our commitment to equity, it’s not enough to talk about it or espouse belief in principles. It’s critically important that we work to make them real every single day. By raising the Pride flag at the department, we not only participate in a moment of celebration, we make a commitment: to the beauty of identity and the work we must do to make sure all the diversity represented on this flag is valued.
Via Buzzfeed News:
President Donald Trump offered skeptical LGBT Americans an olive branch when he took office in January 2017. The White House promised to safeguard a 2014 executive order that protects workers, announcing former President Obama’s ban on anti-LGBT discrimination by federal contractors “will remain intact.”
But on Aug. 10 of this year, the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) quietly issued Directive 2018-03, which broadly expanded the rights of businesses with federal contracts to raise a “religious exemption” if they’re accused of discrimination.
Sharon McGowan, a former lawyer in the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, and now the legal director of the LGBT group Lambda Legal, said the new directive attempts to “immunize” federal contractors who discriminate. “This Administration apparently recognizes — correctly, in our view — that rescinding [Obama’s 2014] executive order outright would cause a huge public outcry,” she told BuzzFeed News. “So instead, this Administration is trying to accomplish the same end through different means.”
EEOC lacks the ability to revoke multimillion-dollar federal contracts.
“President Trump and his Administration are working diligently to improve the lives of all Americans, including faith-based and LGBT communities,” said Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters when reached for comment.