A new report issued by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights states that the Trump administration is “undoing decades of civil and human rights progress.”
The independent, bipartisan advisory agency issued a 621-page report, “Are Civil Rights a Reality?“. In this report, the commission found that under Trump, agencies that are supposed to protect civil rights “generally lack adequate resources to investigate and resolve discrimination allegations within their jurisdiction,” in spite of the “extraordinary volume” of civil rights complaints filed in the first two years of the administration. The report comes after two years investigating “grave concerns” by the commission regarding budget and personnel cuts by the administration and is the first of it’s kind since 2002.
Several policies affect LGBTQ civil rights specifically. According to the report, policy changes under the Trump administration limited the ability of federal agencies to enforce LGBTQ protections or has redirected those efforts elsewhere.
“The changes I’ve watched unfold since 2016 are truly unprecedented in the nearly 30 years I have worked in the Nation’s Capital,” said Karen Narasaki, one of the Commission’s eight members. “In addition to using the budget and other processes to undermine civil rights enforcement, the Administration has also changed course in many substantive civil rights policy areas. An obvious example is the Administration’s rollback of efforts to combat LGBTQ discrimination.”
Catherine E. Lhamon, chair of the Commission, called the findings in the report regarding the lack of LGBTQ civil rights enforcement “devastating.”
“The Trump administration has been as vocal as it is possible to be about its dismissal of LGBTQ rights as worth protecting,” Lhamon said in an NBC News interview. “It will take us a very long time to dig out from under the damage this administration has caused to civil rights in this country.”
Jenn Bentley is a freelance journalist and editor currently serving as Editor-in-Chief of Big Easy Magazine. Her work has also been featured in publications such as Wander N.O. More, The High Tech Society, FansShare, Yahoo News, Examiner.com, and others. Follow her on Twitter: @JennBentley_