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May 3, 2017

“License to Discriminate”

By Brent Childers, Director of Faith Outreach and Ames Simmons, Director of Transgender Policy

Once again, we are hearing rumors that President Trump is going to sign an Executive Order that could give federal agencies and contractors a license to discriminate. A previous Executive Order was leaked in February that gave us a shocking insight into what we may see come out of the oval office. It is widely anticipated that something will be forthcoming at some point possibly Thursday 5/4 to coincide with National Day of Prayer. Be on the lookout for these things:

“Kim Davis” Protections

So called “protections” for federal employees and extension to contractors to allow discrimination against LGBTQ people based on religious beliefs. Refusing to issue a marriage license to same-sex couples is only the tip of the iceberg here.

First Amendment Defense Act (“FADA”)

FADA would prohibit the federal government from taking "discriminatory action" against any business or person that discriminates against LGBTQ people. The act distinctly aims to protect the right of all entities to refuse service to LGBTQ people based on two sets of beliefs: "(1) marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or (2) sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage." Language can be as broad as to not only taxation, license denials, social services (including foster care and family support services) and negative treatment in public employment but also denial of government grants, contracts and so forth.

Hobby Lobby

Allowing commercial enterprises, including corporations, along with partnerships and sole proprietorships, to opt out of any law they judge incompatible with their sincerely held religious beliefs. Ultimately, allowing cancellation of significant portions of healthcare coverage for women and transgender people veiled behind religious beliefs.

Pastor Protection Act

The Pastor Protection Act claims to provide protections for religious freedom by allowing clergy members to refuse to marry someone based on their religious beliefs. The Pastor Protection Act is unnecessary and rooted in homophobia as the first amendment in the U.S. Constitution already provides this freedom to clergy members.

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