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Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner Help Block Potential Rollback of LGBT Rights

Posted on Feb 4, 2017

  Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump. (Screen shot via Us Weekly)

It’s no secret that President Trump’s family has played a key role in shaping the new administration’s politics, and a new report reveals the extent to which Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, hold sway over the president.

As first reported by Politico, Ivanka Trump and Kushner personally helped squash a potential executive order that would have rolled back LGBT protections created during the Obama administration. Politico reports:

A draft executive order on LGBT rights that outlines how to roll back former President Barack Obama’s protections and expand legal exemptions based on religious beliefs has been circulating among journalists and worried progressive groups this week.

But two sources close to Kushner and Ivanka Trump, who have a record of supporting gay rights, said the couple favored putting out a clear statement from the president, promising to uphold the 2014 Obama executive order and stopping the momentum for the turnaround in its tracks.

The White House released a statement Tuesday pledging to uphold the Obama-era protections.

“President Donald J. Trump is determined to protect the rights of all Americans, including the LGBTQ community,” it reads. “President Trump continues to be respectful and supportive of LGBTQ rights, just as he was throughout the election.”

This development reveals the clash between Trump’s liberal social circles in New York City and the conservative position on social issues. The New York Times writes:

The executive order has exposed what is likely to be a persistent schism in Mr. Trump’s paradoxical presidency: He is a cosmopolitan New Yorker who has long operated in an environment where sexual orientation is often an afterthought, but is nonetheless beholden to the social conservatives who backed him overwhelmingly in 2016, despite reports of his crudeness and sexual misdeeds.

Mr. Kushner, a lifelong Democrat, and Ms. Trump, an independent, travel in liberal social circles and have long supported L.G.B.T. rights.

The Times adds that Trump perhaps extended an “olive branch” to religious conservatives this week when he proposed to eliminate the Johnson Amendment.

Some praised Ivanka Trump and Kushner’s move on social media, but many were wary to commend the couple:

This report could spell future trouble within the Trump administration, particularly as Vice President Mike Pence is known for his evangelical beliefs and socially conservative views.

“There are some in Trump’s family that have some views on these things,” Politico’s source says about issues like LGBT rights. “That’s where the decision is ultimately being made.”

—Posted by Emma Niles.

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