Posted November 12, 2018 12:11:11A few hours after President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning the use of the term “LGBTQ” on social media, the White House announced that the Department of Justice would not prosecute anyone who uses the term to refer to the transgender community.
“We are committed to enforcing the law and will not hesitate to take action against individuals who misuse this power,” said White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders in a statement.
The order, which was signed on Wednesday night, states that the term LGBTQ will be restricted to a “limited and narrow definition of ‘LGBTQ’ in future federal civil rights and criminal law enforcement actions” and that anyone who posts or tweets that phrase on social or political media will be prosecuted under the law.
The Trump administration is the first in the US to explicitly state that it will not prosecute individuals who use the term transgender in a non-discrimination context.
The term transgender, which is often used to refer not to a person’s gender identity but to their sexual orientation or gender expression, has been used by several conservative figures to describe individuals who identify as transgender and advocates who want to preserve the civil rights of transgender people.
It is also a term that is used by anti-LGBTQ activists and the president to attack the LGBT community.
Trump said during a recent radio interview that he did not want to criminalise transgender people and he also said during an appearance on The View in September that he believed that it was “unfair” to people who are transgender to use that term to describe them.
In February, the administration said it would “protect the civil and human rights of our LGBTQ community by prosecuting individuals who violate federal hate crimes laws”.