Yesterday we reported about Donald Trump’s signing of his Presidential Executive Order Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty. Since then many have stated that its a useless piece of paper while others are countering that because of the broad and ambiguous language it is indeed be a dangerous assault on the LGBT community.
Via press release from the ACLU:
Today’s executive order signing was an elaborate photo-op with no discernible policy outcome. After careful review of the order’s text we have determined that the order does not meaningfully alter the ability of religious institutions or individuals to intervene in the political process. The order portends but does not yet do harm to the provision of reproductive health services.
President Trump’s prior assertion that he wished to ‘totally destroy’ the Johnson Amendment with this order has proven to be a textbook case of ‘fake news.’ The directive to federal agencies to explore religious-based exceptions to healthcare does cue up a potential future battle, but as of now, the status quo has not changed.
What President Trump did today was merely provide a faux sop to religious conservatives and kick the can down the road on religious exemptions on reproductive health care services. We will continue our steadfast charge to defend Americans’ right to exercise their religion and ensure their freedom from having others’ beliefs forced upon them. The ACLU stands ready to sue the Trump administration and in the event that this order triggers any official government action at all, we will see Trump in court, again.
Meanwhile ultra conservative columnist and commentator Todd Stames writes:
The order is for people like Barronelle Stutzman – a grandmother and the owner of a Washington state flower shop. Mrs. Stutzman, a sweet and gentle woman, faces the loss of her business, her home and life savings because she refused to participate in a gay wedding.
It’s for people like the Vander Boon family of Grand Rapids, Michigan – the owners of a meat packing company. USDA inspectors ordered the Vander Boons to remove religious materials from their company’s break room.
Now, I suspect that some Christians might be puzzled by the president’s executive order – because it does not specifically mention protections for people like the Vander Boons or Mrs. Stutzman. But fear not, friends.
That’s because President Trump has directed the Department of Justice to come up with guidelines that will protect people of faith and “ensure these religious protections are afforded to all Americans.” That means Attorney General Jeff Sessions will be writing guidelines for every federal agency to ensure that our rights are protected.
The scary thing is that Stames might just be right. And despite the fact that they are not saying anything public ally, some LGBT rights groups are worried and rightfully so.
Under Sec. 4. Religious Liberty Guidance it states:
In order to guide all agencies in complying with relevant Federal law, the Attorney General shall, as appropriate, issue guidance interpreting religious liberty protections in Federal law.
The Attorney General is Jeff Sessions.
Only time will tell.