Leaked Executive Order Draft Would Legalize Discrimination

A photo of a Bible on top of the American flag.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

The Investigative Fund and The Nation have obtained a leaked copy of an executive order called “Establishing a Government-Wide Initiative to Respect Religious Freedom.”

If signed by the president, the order would allow religious organizations to discriminate against people based on moral objections to LGBT lifestyles, abortion, and premarital sex. It would also repeal a section of the Affordable Care Act that requires employers to give women access to contraception and abortion services.

“It reads like a wish list from some of the most radical anti-equality activists,” said Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign. “If true, it seems this White House is poised to wildly expand anti-LGBTQ discrimination across all facets of the government.”

It’s important to note that the executive order has not been signed into law yet. As of now, it is still in the draft stage. It is one of hundreds of proposed executive orders floating around.

With that being said, The White House has not responded to inquiries about the leaked document. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has given little to no information as to whether the president will be signing any religious freedom laws.

This past Monday, 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.”

His statement did little to reassure Democrats, many of whom are already in a state of panic about the new administration’s view on women, people of color, and LGBT individuals.

“Donald Trump continues his hateful attacks on the communities that comprise our nation—this time by encouraging discrimination against the LGBT community, and by the denial of reproductive health care to women, all under the guise of so-called ‘religious freedom,’” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) in a statement.

The White House is expected to make a statement about the leaked document either today or by tomorrow afternoon.

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