This image is doing the rounds on Facebook:

Facebook meme (transcript below)

It quotes a tweet by Donald Trump from early 2016, followed by claims that the Trump administration has performed these actions:

Thank you to the LGBT community! I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs.

Donald J. Trump – @realDonaldTrump

Jan: Removed all content on LGBT civil rights from whitehouse.gov website
Feb: Rescinded protections for transgender students on their use of restrooms in public schools
Mar: Revoked protections for LGBT workers against discrimination in hiring employment
Apr: drops federal lawsuit over North Carolina's statewide prohibition on LGBT equality
July: Signals the US military will not "accept or allow" transgender people to serve

Did the Trump administration perform all of the claimed actions, on the months cited?

  • 13
    Note: "Signalling" (the last one) is not actually any kind of action, even if you think it's a matter of "yet." The heads of the armed forces pretty much said any actions would have to come through the proper, authorized chain of command and processes, not via Tweet. Aug 4, 2017 at 16:21
  • 23
    @PoloHoleSet Tweeting actually is a kind of action, even one that can have an actual impact; when the president publicly declares a minority as unfit to serve, that can have real-world consequences. It is not a revocation of protections (yet), but neither is removing content from a website or dropping a lawsuit (though "action" and "revoke" are both not part of the claim anyways, it's the interpretation from the OP; maybe the title could use some rewording?).
    – tim
    Aug 4, 2017 at 17:46
  • 2
    @tim - In terms of "action" by the US government, in terms of policy, no, a tweet means nothing, no more than Trump declaring someone disagreeing with him as "sad." It carries no weight of law, rule or policy. I'm not saying it's meaningless, but all the other things on the list are actual actions by the government. Has the military taken any steps or actions in response to his Tweet? No, quite the opposite. They said they were taking no actions based on it, and would not be, based on it. Aug 4, 2017 at 17:55
  • 4
    @PoloHoleSet - tweet means nothing? Word and opinion of US president means nothing? Interesting. Military said that they will not act on tweet and will delay any action until they receive proper directions, but does a tweet like this is a safe bet that Trump has no plans doing what he tweeted he plans to do? Would you bet your life it does not? People serving in military do bet their life. Aug 4, 2017 at 22:04
  • 4
    @Vector stuff floating around on Facebook (or any social media site) is perfectly valid for this site, if it's spread widely enough and it's not bats**t insane.
    – DenisS
    Aug 7, 2017 at 14:13

2 Answers 2

  • Jan - mostly true
  • Feb - true
  • Mar - somewhat true
  • Apr - mostly false
  • Jul - true

Jan, removed all content on LGBT civil rights from whitehouse.gov website: mostly true

This is rather misleading as every new administration removes and archives the content of whitehouse.gov. You can see the old site at obamawhitehouse.archives.gov.

Redirects have been added for LGBT content, e.g. whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/06/29/fact-sheet-promoting-and-protecting-human-rights-lgbt-persons. It is arguable whether this is still counted as being "on" whitehouse.gov.

The Trump administration has not added any LGBT-related content on the new whitehouse.gov. In fact, the entire website is significantly lighter than it used to be. Compare current and previous issue pages. Perhaps this is due to time in office, preference, or other reasons.

Feb, rescinded protections for transgender students on their use of restrooms in public schools: true

Obama's Education department issued a letter:

When a school [that receives Federal funds] provides sex-segregated activities and facilities, transgender students must be allowed to participate in such activities and access such facilities consistent with their gender identity.

This court decision over transgender bathroom use cites that document in its decision.

we reversed the district court’s dismissal of Grimm’s Title IX claim, relying on a guidance document issued by the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice

Trump's Education department revoked the letter, and therefore any legal basis that relied on it.

EDIT: Credit to @DeNovosupportsGoFundMonica for pointing out my sources were incorrect, which stated that Trump (or any other president) could say opinions but could not actually affect legalities. Apparently these source were false.

For context, I leave the erroneous legal opinions from Lambda Legal and the ACLU below:

Trump's actions do not change the law itself -- transgender students remain protected by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 -- but abandoning the guidance intentionally creates confusion about what federal law requires.

Rachel Tiven, CEO of Lambda Legal

While it's disappointing to see the Trump administration revoke the guidance, the administration cannot change what Title IX means.

James Esseks, ACLU

In fact, Trump's actions evidently did affect the interpretation of laws.

Mar, revoked protections for LGBT workers against discrimination in hiring employment: somewhat true

Two caveats: (1) it only ever applied to federal contracts, and (2) it was a purely administrative change, not a legal one.

Trump revoked the Executive Order 13673.

It required evidence that suppliers for federal contracts of $500k+ were in compliance with Fair Labor Standards Act, Occupational Safety and Health Act, Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Act, National Labor Relations, Davis-Bacon Act, Service Contract Act, Equal Employment Opportunity Executive Order, Rehabilitation Act, Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, Civil Rights Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Establishing a Minimum Wage for Contractors Executive order, and "equivalent State laws".

These are still laws, but compliance will no longer have to be demonstrated for every contract.

Importantly, the concurrently issued Executive Order 13672 that actually covered LGBT discrimination remains in force.

And none of this matters for employers who are not federal contractors.

Apr, drops federal lawsuit over North Carolina's statewide prohibition on LGBT equality: mostly false

"Statewide prohibition on LGBT equality" is overly broad on two counts:

  1. The Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act pertains only to transgender persons, not any other LGBT person (lesbians, gays, bisexuals).

  2. The law is scoped strictly to bathroom use in government facilities. It does not affect housing, employment, taxes, etc. All existing protections remain in place for these.

And even more glaring problem with the claim is that North Carolina repealed the law. While technically the Justice Department did perform the legal formality of withdrawing their suit, they did this only because the defendant acquiesced. By any reasonable definition, the Justice Department "won" their case.

When North Carolina repealed the law, they did replace it with another prohibiting local governments from legislating in this area. Though the practical consequences of the new law likewise has the ire of transgender groups, it is different. And the state law leaves no grounds for the Justice Department to create a new lawsuit on constitutional violations.

July, signals the US military will not "accept or allow" transgender people to serve: true

Then Donald Trump announced via Twitter

the United States Government will not accept or allow...Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.

For context, at the time of this answer, openly transgendered recruits have never been permitted in the U.S. military. Obama announced the restriction would be lifted, but not until a full year after he left office, in 2018.

EDIT: Note that the claim did not say that President Trump ordered or carried out the ban's continuation; the claim conservately stated that he "signaled" it, and he certainly did that.

  • 4
    @DenisStallings, though the claim was careful to say "signal" rather than "order", etc. Aug 5, 2017 at 19:21
  • 7
    Your justification for labeling the February statement as "mostly false" is that no law was revoked, but the statement doesn't claim otherwise. It says that "protections" were rescinded. I would argue that the former president's guidelines did offer protections by removing ambiguities in the law that could otherwise be used by its opponents to justify a weaker interpretation. Guidelines can be ignored, of course, but so can laws. In either case, the fear of consequences would presumably have a deterrent effect. Aug 6, 2017 at 13:34
  • 4
    @DoctorDestructo, to me, "protections" in this context imply something that could actually hold up in court. But I concede that interpreation is debatable. Aug 6, 2017 at 14:14
  • 5
    Please justify your claim that a guidance cannot be thought of as a protection. The claim was not "rescinded legally binding protections". It was not "rescinded perfect protections". The Preisdent's guidance was protecting people, and now it is not.
    – Scott
    Aug 7, 2017 at 4:48
  • 5
    @Scott, (1) "protections" is a legalese word (e.g. protected class). (2) Even in the general sense, protection implies substantive enforcement. For example, putting a helment on someone would be a protection; advising them to ride a bike carefully would not. Most legal professionals I read characterized Trump's action as interesting but ultimately irrelevant for actual protections. Aug 7, 2017 at 18:49

Jan: removed all content on LGBT civil rights from whitehouse.gov website


During Barack Obama’s presidency, if you typed whitehouse.gov/lgbt into your browser, you reached a page highlighting the administration’s victories and policy changes regarding LGBT rights. It outlined historic court victories and even featured campaigns like the It Gets Better Project to help LGBT youth.

Today, however -- just hours after President Donald J. Trump took the oath of office as the United States’ 45th president -- if you type in whitehouse.gov/lgbt, you are redirected to a new “transitionsplash” page.

CBS News

Feb: Rescinded protections for transgender students on their use of restrooms in public schools


The Trump administration on Wednesday revoked federal guidelines specifying that transgender students have the right to use public school restrooms that match their gender identity, taking a stand on a contentious issue that has become the central battle over LGBT rights.

Washington Post, see also Reuters, NPR, NY Times.

With regard to the effect of this guidance on court cases, see as an example, this order, which cites both the Obama administration guidance and the Trump administration withdrawal of that guidance as cause for, first, the 4th district to reverse a lower court opinion (the original Obama administration guidance) and then caused the Supreme Court to vacate the 4th district's decision (in response to the Trump administration withdrawal of that guidance).

In response to Obama administration guidance

In a decision dated April 19, 2016, we reversed the district court’s dismissal of Grimm’s Title IX claim, relying on a guidance document issued by the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice.

In response to Trump administration withdrawal

After the Supreme Court calendared the case for argument, the new Administration issued a guidance document on February 22, 2017, that withdrew the prior Administration’s guidance document regarding the treatment of transgender students, and the Court then vacated our April 2016 decision and remanded the case to us “for further consideration in light of the [new] guidance document issued by the Department of Education and Department of Justice.”

Mar: Revoked protections for LGBT workers against discrimination in hiring employment

True - his action was limited to discrimination limits relating to federal contractors.

Trump signed an order on Monday revoking protections signed into law by President Obama in 2014. Obama signed an executive order banning LGBT discrimination among federal contractors; he concurrently signed an order requiring contracted businesses prove they're complying with federal laws and executive orders. President Trump rescinded the latter order, making it much more difficult to know whether a business has committed to ending LGBT bias in hiring, firing, and promotions.

The Advocate, see also Rolling Stone, Boston Globe, Salon

Apr: drops federal lawsuit over North Carolina's statewide prohibition on LGBT equality

True- the reason given for dropping the federal suit is that North Carolina repealed one bill and replaced it with another. The new bill was watered down but still attracted intense criticism by LGBT groups who believe the federal suit should have continued against the replacement bill.

Officials said that they were abandoning the lawsuit because North Carolina lawmakers last month enacted a law repealing the bathroom bill and replacing it with another measure. The new law, however, has prompted intense criticism from the LGBT groups who long opposed the first bill and are vowing to keep fighting the new measure in court despite the Justice Department’s decision to bow out.

Washington Post, see also CNN

July: Signals the US military will not "accept or allow" transgender people to serve


Donald Trump said on Wednesday he would not allow transgender individuals to serve in the US military in any capacity, reversing a policy put in place by Barack Obama a year ago.

The US president tweeted: “After consultation with my generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States government will not accept or allow … transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the US military.”

The Guardian, see also NY Times

  • 101
    for as much as I loathe trump, the first point is a bit biased, and I think it was discussed also on this site. whitehouse.org gets "wiped out" at every change of president, and the old version remains at a different address. archives.gov/presidential-libraries/archived-websites
    – Federico
    Aug 4, 2017 at 7:09
  • 55
    @Federico Fair enough, but now that it's August, is there any content related to LGBT civil rights on the new White House website? Aug 4, 2017 at 8:06
  • 34
    @ZachLipton not that I know of, but also I have not checked. But this is also why I said "a bit biased" and not "completely wrong".
    – Federico
    Aug 4, 2017 at 8:10
  • 13
    As far as I can see, the previous (Obama) whitehouse.gov/lgbt wasn't exactly the most useful or informative page: the version presented on the White House archive, at obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/lgbt , looks pretty sparse, but I'm not in a position to tell whether that's an accurate reflection of how it was before, or whether it's bad archiving.
    – owjburnham
    Aug 4, 2017 at 10:22
  • 24
    I would like to see this answer address some more of the nuiance already mentioned in comments. That point 1 seems somewhat unfair and point 3 is not technically accurate since he didn't revoke the actual protections, only the means of reliably ensuring their enforcement. As to point 4, you proved the lawsuit wasn't persued, but is is this an action that Trump specifically is responsible for? Did he have a direct, or clear indirect, say over rather the lawsuit would be persued, or is this an independent decision lower in the goverment chain?
    – dsollen
    Aug 4, 2017 at 13:40

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