Published: Thu, May 04, 2017
USA | By Cassandra Hanson

President Trump may sign religious liberty executive order

"According to various sources (CNN, Politico, The Advocate, etc.) two White House Senior Advisors have confirmed that this Thursday, President Trump will be signing a "RELIGIOUS FREEDOM" Executive Order".

A report by Politico said Mr. Trump will likely sign what one conservative leader described as a "very strong" order to promote religious freedom.

The American Civil Liberties Union signaled Tuesday that it would sue if Trump "signs an order that would allow religion to be used as an excuse to discriminate".

GLAAD CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said: 'If this possible executive order is similar to February's draft, it would do nothing except give a national license to discriminate, and endanger LGBTQ people and their families.

If enforced, the order would allow adoption agencies who receive federal funding to discriminate against same-sex couples, or allow federal employees the right "to refuse on religious grounds to process applications" of same-sex couples, according to the initial leak.

#LicenseToDiscriminate was trending on Twitter Wednesday afternoon as groups, activists and even politicians rallied in front of the White House to voice their opposition to the order.

There are some who dismiss the idea that religious freedom laws will allow people to discriminate against people based on race. Other problematic features were that entities that believed that an "individual's immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy" and "that human life begins at conception and merits protection at all stages of life", were covered under the religious freedom order.

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The White House official declined to comment on the contents of the executive order and warned that it could be pushed to next week depending on "a variety of circumstances".

Adding to the intrigue, former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, domestic policy chair of the president's transition team, said in late February in an interview on SiriusXM Progress that the "religious freedom" order is very much on the way. The ad, which was signed by more than 1,300 faith leaders, blasted the order for "enshrining one [conservative] religious perspective" above others.

The Nation obtained a draft of the order in the days following Trump's inauguration.

So far, the administration has closely guarded details of the re-written executive order.

"It has always been established that our Constitution protects the free exercise of religion, but those protections do not create the right to cause harm to others", he said.

The letter, which included the signatures of prominent LGBTQ clergy members such as Bishop Gene Robinson, also pointed out that religious freedom is "already protected by the First Amendment and federal law".

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