Statement of GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) on Today's Executive Order
May 4, 2017 - GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders Executive Director Janson Wu issued the following statement condemning the executive order signed by President Trump today:
The President's declaration today is dangerous pandering to a small but vocal segment of his political base, and a disturbing sign that his administration aims to shift the longstanding balance between respect for all faiths and fundamental principles of non-discrimination and equality for all.
This Order invokes "religious liberty" as a license to undermine women's access to contraception, and to chip away at the separation between church and state by promising churches and other houses of worship broader leeway on political lobbying – something the majority of Americans – including people of faith – oppose.
We are far too familiar with attempts to use the language of religious liberty not to support our critical First Amendment freedoms, but as a justification for circumventing equally critical non-discrimination protections.
Indeed, this order invites cabinet secretaries to relax requirements for access to contraception and other preventative care for women. This shows exactly their real intention: to grant employers greater license to restrict women's access to fundamental reproductive health care.
We remain vigilant. We will continue to push back on every outrageous attempt to curtail the equal rights and equal dignity of women, of LGBTQ people, of religious minorities and of every other group subject to attack under this administration.
Through strategic litigation, public policy advocacy, and education, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders works in New England and nationally to create a just society free of discrimination based on gender identity and expression, HIV status, and sexual orientation.