Assemblyman Tim Eustace (D-Bergen/Passaic) issued the following statement Tuesday in response to President Donald J. Trump’s decision to uphold workplace protections implemented during the Obama administration to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender federal employees:
“While I appreciate the president’s decision to keep protections for LGBT federal workers intact, the mere refusal to take away basic rights from hard-working Americans is no cause for celebration. Given the new administration’s unabashed disregard for the rights of other groups over the course of less than two weeks, it is critical that we all remain vigilant and hold the White House accountable for its actions. This president’s lack of compassion for men, women and children fleeing persecution at home and seeking peace in America is indicative of an inability to see people as human beings and not political chess pieces.
“It should give every American pause.
“We may not yet have a true political record on LGBT issues for President Trump, but if you can judge a man by the company he keeps, we have cause for concern. Vice President Mike Pence believes being gay is a choice and opposed repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ Sen. Jeff Sessions, the president’s pick for attorney general, doesn’t believe members of the LGBT community face discrimination. Among Trump’s prospective nominees for the Supreme Court are judges who believe the rights of LGBT Americans – including their right to marry who they love – are not a priority. A decision to retain workplace protections should not blind us to the many signs that equality is in jeopardy.
“Fear is justified in this moment, but we cannot allow it to paralyze us. Our eyes and ears must be open now more than ever before. We don’t make America great by telling women they don’t have a right to autonomy over their bodies or by shutting the door on refugees or by returning to an era in which gay children grow up hiding their true selves and hating who they are.
“In fact, we do it by fighting against all that.
“I am committed to that fight, and I know years of progress in America depend on a victory.”