House Conservatives Are Not Happy With LGBTQ Protections in the North American Trade Pact

The new United State-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, has yet to be signed but may contain protections for LGBTQ workers, but many conservative members of the House of Representatives are upset about that and are urging Donald Trump to rescind such protections, according to Politico.

The provisions, a Canadian creation, would require there to be policies in place to protect workers from discrimination based on one's sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity, as well as requiring countries to promote workplace equality with regard to gender identity and sexual orientation. This language has never been seen in any trade agreement before, causing a rift between democratic and conservative members of the House of Representatives. 

Conservatives believe that by implementing this new policy would undo other administration policies and it would make it impossible to dismantle certain executive actions put into place under the Obama administration that prohibits federal contractors from discriminating against someone on the basis of their sexual orientation. In addition to the executive orders, the Justice Department under Obama said that "sex" includes sexual orientation and gender identity, making it illegal to discriminate against someone for being on the LGBTQ spectrum, but when Jeff Sessions became the Attorney General, this decision was reversed, reverting back to 1964 when it was perfectly legal to victimize LGBTQ people. So, yes technically this new policy does go against the Trump administration but it is a good thing.

A letter that was written by over forty lawmakers to Donald Trump includes their concerns with the policy, saying “It is especially inappropriate and insulting to our sovereignty to needlessly submit to social policies which the United States Congress has so far explicitly refused to accept.” It also mentions the Department of Health and Human services reverting back to changing the definition of "sex" to one's anatomical genitalia. This is very telling of how some conservatives and the Congress view LGBTQ people.

However, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a group with a Democratic majority, still operates under Obama's policy that outlaws discrimination based on one's sexual orientation and gender identity, so there is still hope that LGBTQ protections won't be completely eradicated.

Leave a Comment