Trump's Leaked 'Religious Freedom' Order Wants To Legalize Discrimination
A draft executive order created by the Trump administration could drastically affect any protections made on behalf of LGBTQ people and women if passed.
Titled "Establishing a Government-Wide Initiative to Respect Religious Freedom," the order hopes to legalize discrimination and backs individuals and organizations from forfeiting "their religious freedom when providing social services, education, or healthcare; earning a living, seeking a job, or employing others; receiving government grants or contracts; or otherwise participating in the marketplace, the public square, or interfacing with Federal, State or local governments."
The four page draft order defines religious freedom broadly, but specifically states that an organization can object to same-sex marriage, abortion, transgender rights, contraception and premarital sex, based upon religious or moral objections.
So, for example, say a woman is a part of an organization that objects to providing employee health coverage for contraception and/or abortion, this order would allow the employer to deny their employee of such access based upon the former's religious or moral views (the Hobby Lobby case of 2014 is an example of this).
The order, first reported on by The Nation, is not final, with the Religious Freedom draft being one of many that may or may not become policy.
This past Monday, when asked about the existence of a religious freedom executive order, White House spokesman Sean Spicertold reporters, "I'm not getting ahead of the executive orders that we may or may not issue. There is a lot of executive orders, a lot of things that the president has talked about and will continue to fulfill, but we have nothing on that front now."
The Religious Freedom order sounds a lot like the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) that failed to gain any traction back in 2015, but could very well make a return this year.
FADA "would prohibit the federal government from taking 'discriminatory action' against any business or person that discriminates against LGBTQ people. The act distinctly aims to protect the right of all entities to refuse service to LGBTQ people based on two sets of beliefs: ‘(1) marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or (2) sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.'"