Here’s What You Need to Know About Trump’s Religious Freedom Executive Order

“Proposed Trump Executive Order Could Curtail LGBT Rights.” That is the headline to an ABC News article regarding a draft of an executive order on religious freedom that may soon be signed by President Trump.

ABC News reported that Chad Griffin, the president of the Human Rights Campaign, called the draft “sweeping and dangerous.

“It reads like a wish list from some of the most radical anti-equality activists,” Griffin said in a statement. “If true, it seems this White House is poised to wildly expand anti-LGBTQ discrimination across all facets of the government — even if he does maintain the Obama [executive order from 2014]. If Donald Trump goes through with even a fraction of this order, he’ll reveal himself as a true enemy to LGBTQ people.”

“If anything in this document were to become federal law, it would be a national license to discriminate, and it would endanger LGBTQ people and their families,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD’s president and CEO.

The Nation reports that the leaked draft of the executive order “reveals sweeping plans by the Trump administration to legalize discrimination.”

These statements comes just several days after Trump and his administration said that they will keep and continue an executive order signed by Barack Obama that protects protect the rights of the LGBT in the workplace.

“President Donald J. Trump is determined to protect the rights of all Americans, including the LGBTQ community. President Trump continues to be respectful and supportive of LGBTQ rights, just as he was throughout the election. The President is proud to have been the first ever GOP nominee to mention the LGBTQ community in his nomination acceptance speech, pledging then to protect the community from violence and oppression. The executive order signed in 2014, which protects employees from anti-LGBTQ workplace discrimination while working for federal contractors, will remain intact at the direction of President Donald J. Trump,” read the White House statement.

Even Vice President Mike Pence weighed in on the issue in an interview with George Stephanopoulos saying “that discrimination would have no place in our administration.”

These organizations always get upset when they hear the two words ‘religious freedom’ in a sentence but when they see it on a bill or executive order their worlds starts to spin just a little bit faster.

The Nation reported that the draft somehow extends “protections to one particular set of religious beliefs” which “would risk violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution.”

Jenny Pizer, Senior Counsel and Law and Policy Director for Lambda Legal, said the draft order would appear to violate the Establishment Clause by listing a “particular set of religious beliefs and giving special government protection to people who hold those beliefs as opposed to different beliefs.”

In other words they are saying that the religious freedom exeecutive order is giving protections to people who believe in something that they don’t agree with therefore we should not be giving those people protection while at the same time they are asking for protection from the government for their different beliefs.

U.S. Representative Steve Russell (R-OK) told Reveal that

“A lot of these folks that are crying for tolerance, they’re not allowing tolerance on the other side of the issue,” he told Reveal. “They don’t want people of faith to do what they do. They want to take away your beliefs and your ideologies. They’re saying we want accommodation, and you can’t have yours.”

Ryan T. Anderson from The Heritage Foundation points out several things that the draft order will do, which include (Read full list here)

  • It tells the entire federal government to respect federal statutes and Supreme Court decisions that make clear the free exercise of religion applies to all people, of all faiths, in all places, and at all times—that it is not merely the freedom to worship.
  • It instructs the secretary of health and human services to ensure that all citizens have the ability to purchase health care plans through Obamacare that do not cover abortion or subsidize plans that do.
  • It instructs the secretary of the treasury to ensure that it does not revoke nonprofit tax status because a religious organization’s ordinary religious speech deals with politics, or because it speaks or acts on the belief that marriage is the union of husband and wife, that a person’s sex is based on immutable biology, or that life begins at conception.

“The executive order also provides specific protections to undo some of the worst of liberal overreach,” stated Anderson. “And it protects all Americans who believe that marriage is the union of husband and wife from federal government penalties or coercion.”

“These protections take nothing away from anyone—they simply ensure that the public square remains open to all religious voices, even when those voices diverge from the government’s view on contested questions. They protect diversity and pluralism and tolerance,” said Anderson.

 “This executive order is good policy and entirely lawful. The president has the legal authority to instruct agencies of the federal government to respect the religious liberty rights of all Americans where it can,” says Anderson. “And to avoid any potential conflicts, the executive order explicitly states that it “shall be carried out … to the extent permitted by law” and that any accommodation must be “reasonable.” With those two clauses alone, the hyperventilating criticisms of the LGBT left are immediately rendered void.”

In a press release, Kelly Shackelford, President and CEO of First Liberty Institute, “says the order will simply implement common-sense protections for people of all faiths, fulfilling President Trump’s campaign promises.”

 “Through this order, President Trump is expressing a principle most Americans agree upon: the government should never use what people believe as a weapon to attack them or punish them,” Shackelford says. “If Americans agree on anything, it is that people have a right to disagree in freedom and without punishment. I am grateful President Trump is standing by his campaign promises to defend people of all faiths.”

Regardless of what the Democrats and LGBT advocates will say about Religious Freedom legislation they can’t hide the fact they want the right to do what they think is right while not allowing others to do what they think is right.

Remember that those who are opposed to religious freedom are the same people who are speaking against the temporary ban of individuals from 7 Muslim countries and fighting for the rights of those who are extremely violent against the LGBT community.

The hypocrisy from the left does not come as a surprise anymore but we need to stand up for our religious freedom and not allow anyone to dictate how we can practice our beliefs simply because they don’t agree with it.

Follow me on twitter at BYR_Miguel

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