New Ways Ministry Responds to Trump and U.S. Bishops on Employment Action

On January 31, 2017,  the White House posted the following statement on its website:

“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. “

President Donald Trump

That executive order was issued by President Barck Obama, and a number of religious leaders including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, opposed the measure.  Two leaders of U.S. bishops’ committee expressed disappointment in Trump’s decision to maintain Obama’s executive order.  Archbishop Charles Chaput, Chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, and Archbishop William Lori, Chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, issued a joint statement which said, in part:

“The new administration’s decision not to rescind Executive Order 13672 is troubling and disappointing.”

In response to Trump’s decision and the bishops’ reaction to it, New Ways Ministry’s Executive Director, Francis DeBernardo, issued the following statement:

“I am surprised that President Trump has decided to enforce President Obama’s executive order protecting LGBT people working for federal contractors. Trump has included in his administration many people with long records of anti-LGBTQ policies and attitudes—including Vice President Pence. Trump’s electoral campaign and the first two weeks of his administration have shown a stunning lack of sensitivity to diversity issues. He should apply his instincts in this decision to other civil rights issues, including immigration, health care, and labor law.

“Protecting the vulnerable and those in need are solid American values.
It is disappointing, but not surprising, that Archbishop Charles Chaput, Chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, and Archbishop William Lori, Chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, responded negatively to Trump’s decision. The U.S. bishops fail to see that employment protections to LGBT people are no threat to religious liberty. On the contrary, protecting LGBT people in the workplace is just putting the Catholic Church’s worker justice teaching into practice The majority of U.S. Catholics see this, as poll after poll has shown. sSupporting LGBT equality and justice is a solid Catholic value.”

Interestingly, a Washington Post news article reported that Trump’s decision was not a foregone conclusion. Even up to this past weekend, the decision may have gone in the opposite direction:

“A draft of a potential executive order that began circulating in Washington over the weekend called for overturning then President Obama’s directive barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in the federal workforce and by federal contractors.

“The draft order included multiple provisions, such as possible exemptions that would allow adoption agencies and groups receiving federal funds to deny services to LGBT Americans based on their beliefs. The White House statement did not address those possible changes.”

The Washington Post article also carried a reaction statement from a U.S. LGBT political organization:

“Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement Tuesday he and other activists remained concerned that the new administration could still undermine other legal protections based on sexual orientation or gender identify.

” ‘Claiming ally status for not overturning the progress of your predecessor is a rather low bar. LGBTQ refugees, immigrants, Muslims and women are scared today, and with good reason. Donald Trump has done nothing but undermine equality since he set foot in the White House,’ Griffin said. ‘Donald Trump has left the key question unanswered — will he commit to opposing any executive actions that allow government employees, taxpayer-funded organizations or even companies to discriminate?’ “

Bondings 2.0 will try to provide more Catholic perspectives on Trump’s decision, as they become available.

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry, February 2, 1017



7 replies
  1. Patrick Gallagher
    Patrick Gallagher says:

    I don’t trust the Trump administration and especially Mr. Pence for any support of the LBGTQ community. The Church hierarchy continues to be very supportive of Trump and his deliberate hateful attitudes. The bishops never spoke out about the despicable behavior of Trump and they should be ashamed!

  2. John Hilgeman
    John Hilgeman says:

    President Donald Trump and his white nationalist advisor Steve Bannon are a threat to our nation and the world and who do Archbishops Chaput and Lori go after? LGBT people. It’s beyond sad.

  3. Thomas
    Thomas says:

    That two prominent bishops should continue to oppose legislation or an executive order protecting anyone from discrimination should come as no surprise. The mantle of “religious liberty” is once again draped across their shoulders as if it was they who were under attack. Nonsense. This is a false narrative. The people in the pews grow farther away from bishop speak all the time .

  4. pjnugent
    pjnugent says:

    As soon as I saw tRrump’s picture begin to appear, I stopped looking at the message before reading it. Just because they have said nice things about maintaining workplace protection for LGBTQ folks, he cannot be trusted. He may as likely reverse the position tomorrow. I certainly hope you’re not going to cozy up with this fraud, Frank!

    • Friends
      Friends says:

      I strongly support your comments, PJ. Look at Trump’s vicious and repressive actions against even legal GREEN CARD holders — who have been granted permanent residency status in our country, premised upon their not engaging in criminal behavior. This man is a punk would-be dictator, and a menace to our U.S. Constitution — particularly to our Bill Of Rights. Wake up, Frank! Our Catholic women who engaged in the Women’s March On Washington — one of whom is a good online friend of mine, and the host of the “Reasonably Catholic” radio program at Wesleyan University’s FM station — got it right. These women discerned how dangerous this man really is. And you? What’s your own “learning curve” concerning this issue of basic Christian and social justice?

      • Francis DeBernardo, Editor
        Francis DeBernardo, Editor says:

        Not sure why you are asking me to “wake up.” In my statement, I did not approve of anything that Trump has done. In fact, I said he should be doing better on at least three issues: immigration, health care, and labor law. Previous posts on this blog about the Trump administration and the Women’s March should also give readers a pretty good idea that we do not support his policies.

  5. Don Siegal
    Don Siegal says:

    Today, 2-February-2017, is my eightieth birthday. Your post on Bondings 2.0 this morning was the last thing that I expected to hear on my birthday.

    I am dumb founded that Roman Catholic archbishops would make a public statement that is so contrary to Catholic social and economic teachings, and that is in violation to Catechism of the Catholic Church. Discerning from your bold emphasis on this post you share my disappointment and even anger at the archbishops slovenly remarks.

    Archbishops Chaput and Lori are true to form intolerant persons with blatantly unchristian opinions on politics and religion who refuse to accept different views. Wood be that I had the fortitude of Dorothy Day and could face to face call archbishops Chaput and Lori to task for their decidedly antichrist comments.

    Today is also Candlemas—the presentation in the temple. I shall go to mass in celebration of my birthday. During the Confiteor, I must restrain my anger by assuming an humble spirit and a contrite heart that my Lord cannot refuse. Writing this comment has been an exercise in the formation of my conscience. I know that I have the responsibility to attain the required penitential prospective for the forgiveness of my oppressors, Archbishops Chaput and Lori.


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