Washington, D.C. — A new analysis from the Center for American Progress finds no evidence that faith-based government contractors were harmed by implementation of an Executive Order protecting LGBTQ workers from discrimination.
The analysis comes as the Trump administration is proposing a new U.S. Department of Labor rule that would give federal contractors broader freedom to hire and fire workers based on the employer’s religious beliefs—a move that would harm millions of workers, including countless LGBTQ people. The proposed rule—announced last month—would allow virtually any type of organization to define itself as religious and thus be eligible for exemption in order to allow it to engage in discriminatory behavior.
But contract award records indicate that faith-based organizations continued to contract with the federal government unhindered Executive Order 13672, which protected LGBTQ workers from discrimination. The 2014 executive order included sexual orientation and gender identity in existing nondiscrimination protections for employees of federal contractors and retained existing protections for religious freedom.
In June 2014, leaders and employees from more than 120 faith-based organizations signed a letter opposing the executive order. They asserted that faith-based federal contractors would be excluded from contacting because of the policy. But CAP’s analysis shows that, of those that actually were federal contractors immediately before the executive order, all but one continued to receive new contracts in the 12 months after the executive order went into effect.
“Our analysis suggests that the federal government is able to both protect people from discrimination and successfully contract with faith-based organizations,” said Frank J. Bewkes, a policy analyst for the LGBT Research and Communications Project at CAP and co-author of the issue brief. “President Trump promised to retain protections for LGBTQ workers, yet the proposed Labor Department rule violates that promise and will only worsen the economic stability of LGBTQ individuals and their families.”
Read the issue brief: “The Nondiscrimination Protections of Millions of Workers Are Under Threat” by Frank J. Bewkes and Caitlin Rooney
For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at gro.ssergorpnacirema@lenanahs or 202-478-6327.