Trump Set to Sign Executive Order Legalizing Discrimination

Once again, Trump is set to pander to religious extremists, with an executive order declaring that religious liberty guarantees the right to discriminate against other people. Mike Pence signed a law with the same purposes in Indiana, when he signed a bill called the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” but he watered it down when major corporations threatened to leave the state. Now, where will they go if bigotry is legalized everywhere? Strange to see Trump as the champion of the religious right: Trump, the philanderer, Trump, the casino owner, Trump, the man who defrauded thousands of people via his “university.”

Bill Moyers’ website reports:

“Trump may sign a “religious liberty” executive order tomorrow. A draft of this order leaked to The Nation last winter, and journalist Sarah Posner called it a way for the administration to “legalize discrimination,” continuing: “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 backlash gave the administration pause, Politico reports, but a largely unchanged version of the order may be signed tomorrow to celebrate the National Day of Prayer, during which Trump is supposed to meet with religious leaders. “The new draft is being tightly held, but one influential conservative who saw the text said it hasn’t been dialed back much — if at all — since the February leak,” Timothy Alberta and Shane Goldmacher write for Politico.”

From Politico (linked above):

“President Donald Trump has invited conservative leaders to the White House on Thursday for what they expect will be the ceremonial signing of a long-awaited—and highly controversial—executive order on religious liberty, according to multiple people familiar with the situation. Religious “freedom” in this order means the right to refuse service to gay people, who will be considered second-class citizens. Strange to see Trump as the champion of social conservatives, Trump the philanderer, Trump the casino owner, Trump the man not known for his church-going.

“Two senior administration officials confirmed the plan, though one cautioned that it hasn’t yet been finalized, and noted that lawyers are currently reviewing and fine-tuning the draft language. Thursday is the National Day of Prayer, and the White House was already planning to celebrate the occasion with faith leaders.

“The signing would represent a major triumph for Vice President Mike Pence—whose push for religious-freedom legislation backfired mightily when he served as governor of Indiana—and his allies in the conservative movement.

“The original draft order, which would have established broad exemptions for people and groups to claim religious objections under virtually any circumstance, was leaked to The Nation on Feb. 1—the handiwork, many conservatives believed, of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, who have sought to project themselves as friendly to the LGBT community. Liberals blasted the draft order as government-licensed discrimination, and the White House distanced itself from the leaked document in a public statement.

“Pence and a small team of conservative allies quickly began working behind the scenes to revise the language, and in recent weeks have ratcheted up the pressure on Trump to sign it. The new draft is being tightly held, but one influential conservative who saw the text said it hasn’t been dialed back much—if at all—since the February leak. “The language is very, very strong,” the source said.”

from sarah


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