February 3, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Some leading social conservatives are decrying President Trump’s decision Tuesday to let stand an Obama 2014 executive order that added “gender identity” to federal workforce nondiscrimination criteria and which forces federal contractors to have pro-homosexual, pro-transgender policies.
The original Obama LGBT executive order contains a narrow religious liberty provision but nothing that would protect a contractor from being forced to compromise his or her moral beliefs that homosexuality and transgenderism are wrong or sinful. Trump will continue that policy, but both sides of the debate expect that he will add much stronger conscience protections.
The Obama order, modifying previous executive orders by both presidents Lyndon Johnson and Bill Clinton, “was the first time the federal government issued explicit protections for federal workers based on their gender identity,” the Washington Examiner reports.
Log Cabin pressured Trump
Trump extended the Obama LGBT executive order after a lobbying campaign by the Log Cabin Republicans, a homosexual activist group that is pushing the White House to stand for homosexual and transgender “rights,” which are at odds with the socially conservative GOP platform.
In an online statement commending Trump, Log Cabin president Gregory Angelo said, “Donald Trump campaigned promising to be a ‘real friend’ to the LGBT community, and now President Trump is delivering on that commitment.” See the LCR’s paper analyzing the Obama, and now Trump, executive order here.
The conservative Family Research Council has not yet published a thorough criticism of Trump for his pro-LGBTQ action, as its president, Tony Perkins, awaits a countervailing Trump executive order defending religious freedom. In 2014, FRC published a devastating, seven-page analysis of the Obama order now adopted by Trump.
CNBC reports that Perkins has “every confidence” that Trump will offer a religious liberty order “along the lines of a proposal offered previously by Republican Rep. Steve Russell of Oklahoma to exempt ‘any religious corporation, religious association, religious education institution or religious society” with a federal contract from Obama's directive.’”
The Obama executive order, explained in a 2014 Obama White House archived article, applies to all contractors doing more than $10,000 in business with the federal government.
Where are the social conservative critics?
Trump’s statement on keeping the LGBT Obama executive order has been overshadowed by his choice of conservative judge Neil Gorsuch to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court.
Nate Madden, writing in Conservative Review, cites the “near-total blackout from social conservatives” regarding Trump’s pro-LGBTQ executive order. Madden said he hopes that the same people on the “social Right” opposing Trump’s temporary, restrictive executive order on immigration will see the much greater threat to liberty emanating from his extension of the LGBT mandate on federal contractors.
Madden said that despite Trump’s pro-LGBT actions, the homosexual “lobby was not the one that elected him, nor will it ever embrace him.”
The Log Cabin Republicans (LCR) — which is now the “lead LGBT group in the Trump era,” according to a heading in the homosexual newspaper Washington Blade — did not even endorse Trump in the GOP primary.
After Trump nominated Gorsuch to replace Scalia, LCR put out a carefully-worded, neutral statement in which it affirmed that “Marriage equality [legal homosexual ‘marriage’] is here to stay, and the confirmation of Judge Gorsuch — or any conservative justice — will not change that.”
Erickson: Trump broke campaign promise
Erick Erickson, a conservative radio talk show host and author of “You Will Be Made to Care: The War on Faith, Family, and Your Freedom to Believe,” writes that Trump has let his evangelical base down by extending the Obama LGBTQ policy.
“On the campaign trail, President Trump made two promises to evangelical Christians,” Erickson said. “He promised he would nominate to the Supreme Court someone in the mold of Antonin Scalia. President Trump also promised to reverse a Barack Obama executive order that prioritizes the gay left’s agenda at the expense of helping the poor. He kept the first, but he has broken the latter.”
Erickson said conservatives relieved over the Gorsuch nomination should not let Trump off the hook over his embrace of “LGBTQ rights,” which will affect Christian ministries serving impoverished peoples around the world.
“President Trump has also walked away from a core commitment to the poor and to evangelicals who supported him,” Erickson said. “He should not be allowed to hang his hat on one Supreme Court nominee when there are so many other areas in which the Obama administration wrecked havoc.”
Leading activist warns against falling back to “religious liberty” defense
Another social conservative, Brian Camenker, who as president of Mass Resistance is among the world’s top leaders in confronting the LGBTQ activist agenda, warns about what is at stake in Trump’s groundbreaking, pro-“gay” decision.
“President Trump has decided to continue to aggressively force every business and non-profit that works with the federal government to accept the Left's favored sexual perversions — homosexuality and cross-dressing/transgenderism — into their business operations,” he told LifeSiteNews.
“It's disturbing to Americans that the legitimate non-discrimination laws from the civil rights movement are now being corrupted and distorted by our government to include self-destructive and repulsive behaviors.”
Camenker is unique as part of group of principled pro-family advocates who question the overly defensive approaches in the larger social conservative movement. He says they fail to directly confront or often even mention homosexuality.
He believes a strategy that dwells solely on religious freedom will ultimately fail because it concedes too much to an LGBTQ movement that is “always on offense” and is aggressively pushing its immoral ideology even on younger and younger children.
“It's disturbing that mainstream pro-family groups, instead of directly and forcefully confronting this agenda, are instead stepping back and lobbying for a future ‘religious freedom’ protection to mitigate it,” Camenker said. ”They would allow certain defined ‘religious believers’ to have some respite, but would let everyone else to suffer under it. That’s a losing tactic.”
Camenker said that when it comes to pro-LGBTQ policies in the federal government, President Trump “needs to hear loud and clear” from the pro-family leaders he courted so hard during the campaign: “Take it all out!”
He fears that socially conservative groups that should be sending the blunt message to the new president are instead reluctant to criticize Trump’s pro-LGBTQ actions because they are more interested in “playing the game” in Washington, D.C., than “fighting the fight.”
Homosexual activists in a panic
Meanwhile, despite Trump’s significant concession to the LGBT agenda, homosexual activists are in a panic over the imminent possibility that Trump will issue an executive order laying out broad protections for religious liberty and freedom of conscience.
The far-left Southern Poverty Law Center, which falsely labels pro-family organizations like FRC opposed to the LGBT Lobby as “hate groups,” linked to The Nation article about the potential Trump order in a tweet that says: “Leaked Draft of Trump’s Religious Freedom Order Reveals Sweeping Plans to Legalize Discrimination.”
Chad Griffin, president of the LGBTQ lobby Human Rights Campaign Campaign, tweeted:
This draft EO is a sweeping and dangerous license to discriminate and an attack on LGBTQ Americans. https://t.co/FlxLIDuPQ9
— Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) February 2, 2017
Pro-homosexual and pro-transgender activists routinely refer to legislation designed to preserve Americans’ rights NOT to affirm the LGBTQ agenda as “license to discriminate” bills.
Among the LGBTQ allies are many in the “mainstream” media like Newsweek, which are generally heavily biased toward the homosexual activist side in the ongoing public policy battle pitting “gay/transgender rights” against citizen’s freedom of conscience.
Citing the same leaked religious liberty executive order that conservatives hope is coming soon from the White House, Erickson writes: “What the opponents of this are bellyaching about is not ‘discrimination.’ They are complaining because virtually no one will have the ability to force another to honor sexual perversion as the price of being allowed employment and people who don’t need birth control, like Catholic women religious, won’t have to buy insurance policies that covers them.”
Zero-Sum Game: Who Wins Under Trump?
Homosexual activist and openly lesbian former Georgetown law professor Chai Feldblum, an Obama appointee to the federal EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), asserts that the battle between “gay rights” and religious freedom is a “zero-sum game.” Feldblum, whose term expires in 2018, says the LGBT side is winning that battle in the courts.
Many social conservatives agree. If reports are accurate that a strong “religious liberty” executive order is coming from the same White House that just extended Obama’s LGBT policy on federal contractors, it raises the question: Which of the two executive orders would take precedence in the Trump administration?