GLSEN Statement on Reported Religious Exemptions Executive Order

Reported Religious Exemptions EO

Media Contact:

Cathy Renna 917-757-6123

GLSEN Statement on Reported Religious Exemptions Executive Order

Joins #LicenseToDiscriminate Twitter Campaign to Raise Awareness of Threat to LGBTQ Students and Educators 

NEW YORK (May 3, 2017) – Tomorrow, President Trump is reportedly poised to sign an executive order establishing a sweeping religious exemption that would allow discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) people. GLSEN’s Executive Director, Dr. Eliza Byard, who is available for interviews, issued the following statement in response.

“This executive order does not increase freedom of religion – already protected by our Constitution – it creates a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people, women, Muslims, people of color, and other marginalized groups. For at-risk youth, this EO could undermine crucial safeguards against discrimination that create opportunities for them to survive and succeed.

“It is un-American to make anyone’s basic rights subject to the personal discretion of others. It also goes against the rule of law and core principle of equal protection and would surely be challenged in the courts.

“Just 100 days ago, Donald Trump said he would not discriminate against LGBTQ people. Today, he’s reportedly on the verge of handing all of our fellow Americans a personal license to ignore our rights. If consistent with past draft orders, his executive order could allow school counselors to deny LGBTQ youth life-saving services, and school principals to forbid interracial couples at prom. Queer educators could lose their jobs simply because of who they love.

“We call on President Trump to live up to his promises to the LGBTQ community and protect LGBTQ youth by not signing this executive order. We are part of the American family, too."

In response to the reported executive order, GLSEN has joined the #LicenseToDiscriminate Twitter campaign to make sure Trump understands that the executive order could cause real harm to LGBTQ students and educators.



GLSEN champions safe and affirming schools for all students. We envision a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Each year, GLSEN programs and resources reach hundreds of thousands of K-12 students across the United States, and our network of chapters brings GLSEN’s expertise to their local communities. GLSEN's progress and impact have won support for our work at all levels of education in the United States and sparked an international movement to ensure equality for LGBTQ students and respect for all in schools. For more information on GLSEN’s policy advocacy, student leadership initiatives, public education, research and educator training programs, please visit