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Leak Reveals Trump Administration OKs Sweeping Discrimination on Religious Grounds

Andrew Stawarz / CC BY-ND 2.0

A leaked draft of an executive order reveals that the Trump administration has sweeping plans to legalize gender and sexual discrimination on religious grounds.

Obtained by The Investigative Fund and The Nation, the order is titled “Establishing a Government-Wide Initiative to Respect Religious Freedom.” If signed, it would “create wholesale exemptions for people and organizations who claim religious objections to same-sex marriage, premarital sex, abortion, and trans identity,” writes Sarah Posner at The Nation.

The four-page draft order, a copy of which is currently circulating among federal staff and advocacy organizations, construes religious organizations so broadly that it covers “any organization, including closely held for-profit corporations,” and protects “religious freedom” in every walk of life: “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 draft order seeks to create wholesale exemptions for people and organizations who claim religious or moral objections to same-sex marriage, premarital sex, abortion, and trans identity, and it seeks to curtail women’s access to contraception and abortion through the Affordable Care Act. The White House did not respond to requests for comment, but when asked Monday about whether a religious freedom executive order was in the works, White House spokesman Sean Spicer told 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 leaked draft maintains that, as a matter of policy, “Americans and their religious organizations will not be coerced by the Federal Government into participating in activities that violate their conscience.”

Read more here.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly

Alexander Reed Kelly
Associate Editor
In December 2010, Alex was arrested for civil disobedience outside the White House alongside Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges, Pentagon whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg, healthcare activist Margaret Flowers and…
Alexander Reed Kelly

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