On Tuesday, January 31, much of the country was surprised to learn President Donald Trump promised to uphold an executive order issued by President Obama that protects LGBTQ+ people from discrimination while working as federal contractors.
It turns out, Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, played a big role in this, according to Politico.
On Tuesday night, the White House released the following statement,
President Donald J. Trump is determined to protect the rights of all Americans, including the LGBTQ community. President Trump continues to be respectful and supportive of LGBTQ rights, just as he was throughout the election. The executive order signed in 2014, which protects employees from anti-LGBTQ workplace discrimination while working for federal contractors, will remain intact at the direction of President Donald J. Trump.
Prior to this, reports were circulating stating the Trump administration had a draft executive order that would've overturned the workplace protections Obama had put in place.
According to Politico, the Trump administration is now trying to "downplay" this, explaining it "was never going to reach Trump's desk for his signature."
This does not necessarily mean there won't be any changes in the future, as Trump has many people linked to his administration that have championed anti-LGBTQ+ policies in the past, including Vice President Mike Pence.
But, if people like Pence push for Trump to take action against the LGBTQ+ community in the future, it seems Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner might stand in the way.
Ivanka has frequently been criticized for not being more vocal on progressive issues in relation to her father's rhetoric and policies, although she did give a speech at the RNC that touched heavily on equal pay and child care.
If it's true that she influenced her father's decision on the LGBTQ+ executive order, this is arguably a very positive sign for people hoping she'd challenge him when he embraces discriminatory policies.
Ivanka might be the greatest hope for sanity in the Trump administration after all.
With that said, the LGBTQ+ community is still very skeptical, for understandable reasons, and thousands of LGBTQ+ people are planning to protest Trump in New York City on Saturday, February 4.
Citations: Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner worked to sink LGBT order (Politico), Thousands Of LGBTQ People Set To Protest Trump In NYC On Saturday (Huffington Post), A progressive olive branch to Ivanka Trump (Los Angeles Times)