Veteran Assemblyman Introducing Resolution Calling on President-Elect to Keep Key Anti-Discrimination Executive Order
Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon) is introducing a measure urging President-Elect Trump to maintain Executive Order 13672, which provides critical employment protections for LGBT individuals working in the federal government.
“In the wake of Donald Trump’s election, there is a lot of uncertainty regarding the direction that American public policy is going to take in the next few years. It’s natural that minorities, the LGBT community, and those with disabilities would feel uncomfortable, worried about their future, and even scared in this new political environment,” Gusciora stated. “This resolution is just the first step in demonstrating that New Jersey will not allow these populations to be marginalized.”
Executive Order 13672, which was enacted by President Obama on July 21, 2014, expands upon executive orders and amendments enacted by Presidents Johnson, Nixon, and Clinton, in order to provide protection from discrimination for individuals working in the federal government, or with a contractor employed by the federal government, on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity. At the time of its enactment, it was hailed as a long-overdue step in ensuring civil rights for LGBT employees.
However, Gusciora noted, following Trump’s frequent pronouncements that he would repeal executive orders and abolish their use, its future seems tenuous at best.
“The national political trend is troublingly headed towards isolationism, nativism, and exclusionary politics that don’t, in any capacity, reflect American values. We are a nation of diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and personalities, founded on principles of free expression. While I would love to live in a world without discrimination, as I’m sure most of us would, this year has demonstrated that we clearly do not. As such, these vital legal protections for minority groups are necessary, and they will not be repealed without vocal opposition,” Gusciora said. “If he were to repeal E.O. 13672, he would effectively be repealing the achievements of presidents reaching back well into the 20th century.”
Gusciora, Chairman of the Assembly Regulatory Oversight, Reform, and Federal Relations Committee, made it clear that legislative resolutions would be an often-used tool during the Trump Administration.
“Resolutions are often the legislative embodiment of our deep-held ideals, making our policy positions clear to the country and the world. As state legislators, we have an obligation to represent the values of our constituents and our state. I firmly believe that New Jerseyans would want us to show the rest of the United States that we reject racism, sexism, bigotry, hatred, and discrimination in all forms.
“Our message to Donald Trump is simple: your policies of hate and exclusion won’t fly here, and we will vigorously and vocally oppose you whenever we need to,” Gusciora concluded.
Gusciora intends to formally introduce the resolution on Monday at the next Assembly quorum call.