Trump will leave Obama LGBT Federal contractors rules in place according to White House Monday. A draft repeal had been reportedly circulating as late as Monday according to The NYTimes. The LGBT community released a collective sigh of relief when hearing of the White House reversal, but kept a wary eye open and for good reason.
On Wednesday yet another draft was circulating which if signed in its original form would be devastating to the LGBT community.
A leaked copy of a draft executive order titled “Establishing a Government-Wide Initiative to Respect Religious Freedom,” obtained by The Investigative Fund and The Nation, reveals sweeping plans by the Trump administration to legalize discrimination.
While vice president Mike Pense obstinately fought for and passed an enhanced Religious Freedom Restoration Law while governor of Indiana it had been modified somewhat due to intense opposition. The problem with Religious Freedom laws is that their true intent is easy to obfuscate. But given that Trump Muslim travel ban, it will be ridiculous for this administration to defend the intent of this RFRA as all encompassing.
The Nation reports that 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.
Pence enacted an RFRA as GGovernorof Indiana in 2015.
Pence signed the bill during a private ceremony in his Statehouse office just before 10 a.m. Thursday. He was joined by supportive lawmakers, Franciscan monks and nuns, orthodox Jews, and some of the state’s most powerful lobbyists on conservative social issues.
To be clear Pence signed the bill into law without media but with Judeo-Christian conservatives present. The Trump administration even with the umbra of Pence will have a much more difficult time making a case that the proposed federal RFRA is intended to be inclusive of all religious given this week’s Muslim ban.