Thursday, February 2, 2017

Via JMG: BREAKING: Leaked Draft Executive Order Reveals “Sweeping Plan” To Legalize Anti-LGBT Discrimination


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The Nation reports:
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.
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.
Language in the draft document specifically protects the tax-exempt status of any organization that “believes, speaks, or acts (or declines to act) in accordance with the belief that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, sexual relations are properly reserved for such a marriage, male and female and their equivalents refer to an individual’s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy, physiology, or genetics at or before birth, and that human life begins at conception and merits protection at all stages of life.”
The breadth of the draft order, which legal experts described as “sweeping” and “staggering,” may exceed the authority of the executive branch if enacted. It also, by extending some of its protections to one particular set of religious beliefs, would risk violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution.
“This executive order would appear to require agencies to provide extensive exemptions from a staggering number of federal laws—without regard to whether such laws substantially burden religious exercise,” said Marty Lederman, a professor at Georgetown University Law Center and an expert on church-state separation and religious freedom.
There’s MUCH more at the link.

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UPDATE: More from ABC News.
White House officials told ABC News that the draft appears to be among the hundreds of executive orders that are circulating –- drafted by either the Trump transition team, the White House policy team or even by outside groups –- and that not all reflect administration thinking or likely policy. One official did not say who drafted this potential order, but did not dispute its authenticity. “We do not have plans to sign anything at this time but will let you know when we have any updates,” said Sarah Huckabee Sanders, a White House spokesperson.
Several outside conservative groups that have been pushing for similar actions have been pressing for something to be released surrounding Thursday’s National Prayer Breakfast in Washington. Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, told CNBC on Tuesday that he believed that “religious liberty” would be addressed in an executive action by Trump, despite the president’s statement earlier that day. “I think this is going to be addressed,” Perkins said. Perkins did not respond to requests for comment on Wednesday.
Make the jump here to read the original and more at JMG

Via GLAAD: President Trump attacks LGBTQ Americans in reported national 'License to Discriminate' order

Administration deceives Americans with reported plans to legalize anti-LGBTQ discrimination across the country

According to The Nation, a leaked copy of a draft executive order reveals plans by the Trump administration to "legalize discrimination." This comes after President Donald Trump's misleading pledge earlier this week to leave in place federal workplace protections for LGBTQ people. The executive order, obtained by The Investigative Fund and The Nation, could allow for businesses, schools, and even healthcare providers to turn away LGBTQ people based on “religious freedoms.”
“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 President & CEO. “Freedom of Religion does not mean the freedom to discriminate. If the Trump Administration moves forward with any of these unconstitutional and un-American policies, the chorus of public outcry will get even louder while the president’s approval ratings continue to crumble.”

President Trump’s planned anti-LGBTQ executive order, a draft of which was reported on by the media on Wednesday, is strikingly similar to Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) – a law Vice President Mike Pence championed and signed into law while governor. Public backlash to that law was immediate and severe, causing a $250 million economic panic, prompting companies to postpone business expansions, and derailing the state’s reputation as a welcoming place for all people.

So what could President Trump’s reported national 'License to Discriminate' order mean for LGBTQ Americans? Here’s a look at just some of what could take place as discrimination is enshrined in federal law.

WHAT TRUMP’S EXECUTIVE ORDER COULD MEAN FOR LGBTQ AMERICANS:

1) Employers without penalty may fire an LGBTQ person from their job because of religious freedom.

2) Child welfare and adoption services without penalty may deny LGBTQ couples the ability to adopt children.

3) Health care providers without penalty may deny LGBTQ people, including women, critical services that are important to their health needs.

4) Schools without penalty may openly discriminate against LGBTQ teachers, faculty, and students.

5) Government officials without penalty may deny LGBTQ people services – including county clerks who issue marriage licenses for couples.

6) Businesses without penalty may deny LGBTQ people services, including pharmacies, restaurants, beauty salons, sporting events, etc.

Via Sri Prem Baba:


Via Daily Dharma: Right Where We Are

The idea that what is here and now is less valuable than what’s over there just past the finish line prevents us from ever being truly content and happy right where we are.

—Brad Warner, "Goalless Practice"

Via The Nation:  Leaked Draft of Trump’s Religious Freedom Order Reveals Sweeping Plans to Legalize Discrimination

 If signed, the order would create wholesale exemptions for people and organizations who claim religious objections to same-sex marriage, premarital sex, abortion, and trans identity.

By Sarah Posner

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.

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.” 

Read the full text and more here