• President Donald Trump speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017 (AAP)Source: AAP
But don't pop the champagne just yet...
By
Ben Winsor

1 Feb 2017 - 1:08 PM  UPDATED 1 Feb 2017 - 1:15 PM

In a statement posted on the White House website, the Trump administration has committed to keep an executive order signed by President Obama protecting LGBT+ employees from discrimination while working for federal contractors.

The direction came directly from President Trump, the statement says.

“President Donald J. Trump is determined to protect the rights of all Americans, including the LGBTQ community,” the statement reads.

“The President is proud to have been the first ever GOP nominee to mention the LGBTQ community in his nomination acceptance speech, pledging then to protect the community from violence and oppression.”

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"President-elect Trump will be far better for the gay community than Secretary Clinton would have been."

President Obama signed the order in 2014, barring discrimination for thousands employed directly or indirectly by the government.

Workplace discrimination laws vary from state to state in the US.

"It doesn't make much sense," President Obama in 2014, "but today in America, millions of our fellow citizens wake up and go to work with the awareness that they could lose their job, not because of anything they do or fail to do, but because of who they are – lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender – and that’s wrong."

But despite the more, there are rumours that in the coming days the president will sign an executive order that would allow for LGBT+ discrimination in the name of freedom of religion.

The move would be a long awaited win for Christian conservatives who feel that anti-discrimination laws and other LGBT+ wins pose a risk to “religious liberty”.

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LGBT+ rights groups are concerned that a ‘religious freedom’ law will allow for widespread discrimination.

The Democrat-aligned LGBT+ advocacy group the Human Rights Campaign was not rushing out to celebrate.

“Claiming ally status for not overturning the progress of your predecessor is a rather low bar,” tweeted Chad Griffin, the organisation’s president.

But for the time being, Mr Trump’s move will be seen as vindication for LGBT+ Trump supporters, who say the Republican nominee is amongst the most supportive presidential candidates to ever run.

“While Trump was attending gay weddings and hanging out with gay friends, Hillary was supporting the Defence of Marriage Act and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell," Gay Republican Garison Carrell, told SBS immediately after his election.

“That was the era when it actually mattered, not in the post-gay society in which we currently live,” he said.

Trump has hedged on supporting same-sex marriage, saying it’s a state issue, and his Vice President, Mike Pence, is strongly opposed.

Mr Trump said he would “strongly consider” appointing a judge who would overturn 2015’s historic same-sex marriage decision.

His newly announced nominee, Neil Gorsuch, has never ruled on same-sex marriage or abortion issues.

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"If 2015 brought us joyful optimism, 2016 taught us to not take our gains for granted. The year 2017 should not be a time of fear, but of vigilance, mobilisation and action."