January 20, 2021

Battles Over Trump Executive Orders Continue

On January 8th, the Trump Administration announced a new rule expanding religious exemptions for government contractors, potentially allowing for discrimination against people with HIV and the LGBTQ population. The rule would expand the number of contractors that would qualify for the religious exemption, while also making it more difficult for employees to challenge discrimination.

In the meantime, a Trump administration rule to block refugees from seeking asylum was halted by a U.S. District Court in California 3 days before it was set to go into effect on January 11. The rule would have stopped people with a gender-based claim from eligibility. According to Lambda Legal, this would be most harmful to those who are LGBTQ and/or people with HIV. In blocking the rule, the judge stated that attorneys for Lambda Legal and Immigration Equality represented the TransLatin@ Coalition, Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project, Transgender Law Center, Oasis Legal Services, and Immigration Equality (also a plaintiff in the case). The injunction prevents the rule from going into effect while the case is being litigated. It is expected that the incoming Biden Administration will review rules such as these for reconsideration (and will additionally consider reversing the administration’s legal position). At the same time, the new Administration must go through a rulemaking process of its own to make its own changes to the rule.

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