May 24, 2019

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

It's Friday. Today's PM is 529 words.

1 big thing: Trump targets LBGTQ protections

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Trump administration will soon make it easier for federally-funded adoption agencies to reject same-sex couples, Axios' Sam Baker and Jonathan Swan reported this afternoon.

The big picture: In just two years, the Trump administration has worked to undo a major chunk of the protections the LGBTQ community secured under President Obama.

  • Rolled back an Obama-era order allowing transgender people to openly serve in the U.S. military.
  • Proposed rolling back protections for transgender people established under the Affordable Care Act.
  • Told the Supreme Court last year that federal law doesn't protect transgender people from workplace discrimination.
  • Will make it easier for religious health care workers to object to providing care and procedures that conflict with their religious or moral beliefs, potentially putting gay and transgender patients at risk.
  • Would weaken protections for homeless transgender people, including allowing HUD-funded shelters to deny them access or force transgender women to share quarters and bathrooms with men.
  • Removed Title IX protections for transgender youth ensuring they had access to bathrooms and facilities of their choice.
  • Changed an Obama-era policy allowing prisoners to be housed based on their gender identity.

Between the lines: This fits under Trump’s social conservative — religious liberty — agenda and is a big reason why he has such strong support from evangelical Christians who voted for him in record numbers in 2016.

  • Swan emails: Despite being held as suspect by social conservatives when he first ran for president — due to his pro-choice background and donations to liberal Democrats — Trump has arguably been a more socially conservative president than any in recent memory.

The bottom line: The growing power of the presidency means that, for large portions of the American population, losing — or gaining — legal protections is just an election away.

Bonus: Pic du jour
Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP/Getty Images

Above: Students protesting in D.C. as part of the global "Fridays for the Future" protests that call for action on climate change.

Below: Students in Berlin.

Photo: Kay Nietfeld/picture alliance via Getty Images

Go deeper: Pics from around the world

2. What you missed
  1. The Supreme Court granted GOP requests to block court-ordered congressional redistricting in Ohio and Michigan in advance of the 2020 elections, Reuters reports.
  2. The White House plans to send an additional 1,500 troops to the Middle East amid tensions with Iran, Bloomberg reports.
  3. Kenya's High Court ruled to uphold laws that criminalize gay sex and relationships, the BBC reports.
  4. Abortion bans: Missouri passed a ban at 8 weeks today, while major groups are taking Alabama's ban to court. Details.
  5. Three climbers died of exhaustion while descending Mount Everest yesterday as overcrowding plagues the world's highest peak, the BBC reports. Insane pic of the summit.
3. 1 fun thing

Photo: Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney

Hopes were high that the 2019 edition of "Aladdin" would put a cap R in Remake and maybe even get a bit edgy, writes Flipboard's Mia Quagliarello.

The big picture: The plot is mostly unchanged from the original, but with extra flourishes that make this film 30 minutes longer and more of-the-moment.

  • There's a new funny character, Dalia, Jasmine’s handmaiden who falls in love with Genie, and a new song, “Speechless,” about being silenced, that Jasmine sings twice.
  • The cast's diversity plus themes of female empowerment "result in a perfectly politically correct Aladdin for these times," writes The Hollywood Reporter.

Go deeper: How they created a dazzling live-action version of Agrabah

Mike Allen