The Daily Signal is reporting on the executive order that would instruct the federal government to respect federal statutes and Supreme Court decisions that make clear that the free exercise of religion applies to all people, of all faiths, in all places, and at all times – and that it is not just the freedom to worship.
The order recognizes religious organizations to include all entities operated by religious principles, not just houses of worship or charities.
As the Signal reports, the order instructs the secretaries of health and human services, labor, and treasury to finally grant relief to the Little Sisters of the Poor and others who weren’t exempted from the Obamacare abortifacient and contraception mandate.
It instructs the secretary of health and human services to ensure that all citizens have the ability to purchase health care plans through Obamacare that do not cover abortion.
It instructs the secretary of health and human services to ensure that the federal government does not discriminate against child welfare providers, such as foster care and adoption services, based on the organization’s religious beliefs.
All agencies of the federal government are instructed to reasonably accommodate the religions of federal employees “to the greatest extent practicable and permitted by law,” as required by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
In addition, the order instructs the secretary of the treasury to ensure that it will not revoke the nonprofit tax status of a religious organization when it’s “ordinary religious speech” deals with politics, or because it speaks or acts on behalf of traditional marriage, of a person’s sex being based on biology, or that life begins at conception.
All agencies are also prohibited from taking adverse action against any federal employee, contractor or grantee because of statements they made about marriage outside of their employment, contract and grant, and that these agencies must reasonably accommodate such beliefs.
The order will also establish a special “working group” within the Department of Justice to investigate incidents of religious discrimination.
After the order was leaked to the press and LGBT activist groups, it came under fire by those who believe it will legalize discrimination against the gay and transgender community.
According to the Huffington Post, Chad Griffin, president of LGBT civil rights organization Human Rights Campaign, called the draft “sweeping and dangerous.”
“It reads like a wishlist from some of the most radical anti-equality activists. If true, it seems this White House is poised to wildly expand anti-LGBTQ discrimination across all facets of the government,” Griffin said in a statement.
The Trump administration has not said one way or the other if they intend to enact such an order and are merely circulating it among federal agencies at this time. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, a White House spokeswoman, told ABC: “We do not have plans to sign anything at this time but will let you know when we have any updates.”
However, there’s no doubt that something is in the works. While being interviewed by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos this Sunday,” Vice President Mike Pence artfully dodged a question about whether the administration is planning to sign such an order.
“ . . . [T]hat’ll be the purview of the president to determine whether any of that’s necessary.”
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