05 May 2017

The Order

Yesterday, Donald Trump signed what his administration is calling an executive order titled "Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty" (details here) that does not include the specific "license to discriminate" against LGBT persons that was widely reported to be included in earlier drafts.

What caused Trump to back off from the more draconian order. Was it pressure from LGBT and human rights groups or because his own legal staff told him the license to discriminate would almost certainly be found unconstitutional by a federal court.

Trump's signed order will attempt an end-run around laws the prohibit political advocacy by religious organizations. Anti-LGBT religious organizations could see that as license to use tax-free money to campaign against LGBT laws and rights or to campaign for anti-LGBT candidates.

The order also includes vague language that could be used to allow anti-LGBT discrimination by federal employees and federal contractors.

Many LGBT support and advocacy groups nonetheless harshly condemned Trump's action yesterday (details here and here).

The bottom line is that the order is not as bad as had been anticipated but it's still potentially very anti-LGBT. It certainly isn't pro-LGBT and further disproves the claim that Trump is pro-LGBT.

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