(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Today, Representatives Jamie Raskin (MD-8) and Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) and more than 80 House Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus Members urged Acting Secretary of Labor Patrick Pizzella to withdraw a proposed rule change to a 2014 Executive Order that protects all federal contractors from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Shortly after taking office, President Trump committed to upholding the 2014 Executive Order, and has since broken his promise to “protect the rights of all Americans, including the LGBTQ community.” The Department of Labor has cited vague and misleading “religious liberty” concerns as the primary reason for the rollback.
The Members wrote:
“We are disappointed that you have worked to advance this troubling rule in the early days of your tenure as Labor Secretary instead of working with Congress to articulate a clear and fair balance between religious freedom and equal rights for all in the contractor workplace. We urge the OFCCP and this Administration to immediately withdraw this proposed rule and engage in conversations with our Members about ways to ensure that the government can guarantee religious freedom and equal dignity to all American workers.”
“President Trump never stops making a mockery of his 2016 campaign promise to fight for the LGBTQ community. I’m proud to join with Rep. Maloney and our fellow Equality Caucus colleagues to call out the Administration’s downright cruel effort to strip away legal protections that federal contract workers have against discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin.
“This Administration is going out its way to try and hurt people they see as "different". Well, Congress won’t stand by as the president puts millions of women, LGBTQ people, and immigrant workers who are employed by a federal contractor in harm's way. I’m proud to join with the LGBT Equality Caucus in demanding the Department of Labor stop their efforts to legalize discrimination,” said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney.
Prior to entering Congress, Rep. Raskin led the successful 2012 floor fight in the Maryland State Senate for marriage equality and the successful 2013 floor fight for transgender civil rights. He now represents the 8th Congressional District of Maryland, home to a diverse and robust LGBTQ+ community and federal contract workers. The Chair of the Oversight Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, he is a proud Vice Chair of the Equality Caucus and remains an unshakeable ally of the LGBTQ+ community, which has struggled against pervasive legal and social discrimination and continues to fight for equal rights in the workplace and in every other domain of life.
In May of 2016, Rep. Maloney led the fight for the inclusion of an amendment upholding President Obama’s 2014 Executive Order protecting federal contractors from discrimination based on their sexual orientation. After a contentious fight with the then-Republican led House leadership, Rep. Maloney was successful in his efforts to have these critical workplace protections maintained.
Click HERE for the full letter, which was also signed by: Jan Schakowsky; Peter DeFazio; Gwen Moore; Nydia M. Velazquez; Jerrold Nadler; Kathy Castor; Bonnie Watson Coleman; Betty McCollum; Steve Cohen; C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger; Peter Welch; Adam Smith; Richard Neal; Barbara Lee; Judy Chu; Suzan DelBene; Paul Tonko; Nita M. Lowey; Linda T. Sánchez; Albio Sires; David N. Cicilline; Al Green; Brenda L. Lawrence; Brian Higgins; Dina Titus; Frank Pallone, Jr.; Stephen Lynch; Rep. Marcia L. Fudge; Danny K. Davis; Bill Foster; Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr.; José E. Serrano; Eliot L. Engel; Adriano Espaillat; Dwight Evans; Deb Haaland; Joseph D. Morelle; Ed Perlmutter; Katie Hill; Mary Gay Scanlon; Lori Trahan; Earl Blumenauer; Ruben Gallego; TJ Cox; Max Rose; Raúl M. Grijalva; David Trone; Tulsi Gabbard; Zoe Lofgren; Jennifer Wexton; Jahana Hayes; Anthony G. Brown; Mark Pocan; Anna G. Eshoo; Eric Swalwell; Ann McLane Kuster; Ro Khanna; Mark DeSaulnier; Andy Levin; Jimmy Panetta; Ted Lieu; Alan Lowenthal; Haley Stevens; Vicente Gonzalez; Joseph P. Kennedy, III; Mike Doyle; Chris Pappas; Mark Takano; Raja Krishnamoorthi; Daniel T. Kildee; Debbie Mucarsel-Powell; Madeleine Dean; Lois Frankel; Julia Brownley; Chellie Pingree; Jackie Speier; Harley Rouda; Eleanor Holmes Norton; Suzanne Bonamici; Adam B. Schiff; Grace Meng; Scott H. Peters; Diana DeGette; Angie Craig; Derek Kilmer; Dean Phillips; Rep. Sylvia R. Garcia; Katie Porter; Nanette Diaz Barragán; Mikie Sherrill; Jason Crow; Donna E. Shalala; Bradley S. Schneider; Pramila Jayapal; Ilhan Omar; Jesús G. “Chuy” García; Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr.; Denny Heck; Thomas Suozzi; James P. McGovern; Carolyn B. Maloney; Karen Bass; and Sharice Davids.
Congressman Jamie Raskin represents Maryland’s 8th Congressional District, which includes Montgomery, Frederick, and Carroll counties. He serves on the House Oversight, Judiciary, Rules, and Administration Committees. He is also the Caucus Leadership Representative for the House Democratic Caucus in the 116th Congress.
Founded in 2008, the mission of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus is to promote lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) equality. The Caucus, which is led by the eight openly LGBT members of Congress, is strongly committed to achieving the full enjoyment of human rights for LGBT people in the U.S. and around the world.