On May 4, President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order, claiming it would protect religious freedom. Instead, the order tramples it. The three-part order may open the door to discrimination and weaken the protections for houses of worship:
- It’s aimed at attacking women’s access to birth control, which is vital to women’s health and equality. The executive order starts the process to roll back the Affordable Care Act’s contraception coverage rules and let employers use religion as an excuse to refuse to cover birth control in their employees’ health insurance;
- It’s intended to limit the enforcement of the Johnson Amendment, a provision in the tax code that protects the integrity of non-profit organizations, including houses of worship, by ensuring they do not endorse political candidates; and
- It lays the groundwork for sweeping rule changes across the government that may well result in discrimination against LGBTQ people and women, but also against religious minorities, nontheists, and almost anyone else, all under the guise of religious freedom.
Order Text Here
This is not the first "religious freedom" executive order considered by the Trump administration. In February 2017, an even more sweeping executive order was leaked to the press. Although this draft did not end up signed, it still served as a warning sign of Trump administration's intent to allow religion to be used as an excuse to harm others, including LGBTQ people, women, and nearly everyone else. See how we responded to this draft order here.
Our Response To Draft "Religious Freedom" Executive Order