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Trump administration orders staff to cut language of discrimination

Trump administration orders staff to cut language of discrimination

A sign from the New York Women’s March. | Photo: Flickr/astoller

According to a Politico report, the Trump administration ordered officials at the State Department to ‘pare back passages’ in an upcoming report on global human rights.

The passages mainly contend with women’s reproductive rights and discrimination.

Five former and current members of the State Department confirmed the order. According to the sources, they don’t know the name of the aide who passed down the order. However, it’s reportedly someone in a senior position with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

One former official said it’s ‘not unusual’ for a new administration to make changes, but it’s ‘weird to do it this late in the game’.

Not a priority for this administration

The first passage the directive identifies deals with family planning, including women’s access to birth control and abortions.

The second details racial, ethnic and sexual discrimination on the global scale. For both sections, the order states they need to be ‘pared down’.

One staffer currently serving in the State Department believes this reflects the Trump administration’s right-wing politics. She said: ‘This sends a clear signal that women’s reproductive rights are not a priority for this administration, and that it’s not even a rights violation we must or should report on.’

Heather Nauert, a spokesperson for the Department, said ‘this year we are better focusing some sections of the report for clarity’.

She also added the changes are not ‘downgrading coverage of LGBT or women’s issues’.

‘Shameful move’

However, many are still concerned with the order and what it represents. It is not unlike when a list of forbidden words, including transgender, was sent to the CDC.

As LGBTQ people are under attack in Chechnya, Egypt, Indonesia, and many other places, it’s unconscionable that Trump-Pence political appointees are ordering State Department officials to roll back language on anti-LGBTQ discrimination and women’s rights,’ said Ty Cobb, director of the Human Rights Campaign’s global program.

‘This shameful move is yet another indication of Secretary Tillerson’s dangerously negligent indifference toward LGBTQ people around the globe. Make no mistake, this November at the polls, the fair-minded people of the United States will hold this administration accountable.’

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