Thursday, May 04, 2017

Trump's religious freedom EO appears to have removed language on LGBT people or religious beliefs on homosexuality


Early today, as president Trump said “We are a nation of believers” and “But not only are we a nation of faith, we are a nation of tolerance” on the day of prayer, as he prepared to sign a “religious freedom” Executive Order, the Internet was reproducing February drafts of the EO, apparently influenced by VP Pence. Salon has an article three days ago reproducing the language such as “believes, speaks, or acts (or declines to act) in accordance with the belief that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, sexual relations are properly reserved for such a marriage, male and female and their equivalents refer to an individual’s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy, physiology, or genetics at or before birth, and that human life begins at conception and merits protection at all stages of life”  One problem with this order is logic:  some people are born with markers for both sexes (intersex).  So the language would have defied existing biology, despite itself.
 
But it also begs the question why some religious people want the sexual lives of others (besides their own spouses) to be their business.  In any case, sometimes the consequences for some people are real. They have been so for me (William and Mary).

The Investigative Fund had published a photo PDF of the February EO draft here.

 But Trump’s remarks focused on the Johnson Amendment  and his desire to allow religious organizations to participate as groups in the political process.

The Washington Post came out with the breaking news story on the EO, maintaining that it does not include specific anti-LGBT language, and the Washington Blade reported that the EO will affect churches, not LGBT people explicitly.

I do have an issue when churches want to speak for members, or employers want to do, or when any group tries to recruit is people to deliver its collective political agenda rather than encourage independent thinking.

The order apparently will include closely held for-profit groups run by religious groups (like some film companies).
 
We’re still waiting to see the final EO text;  the White House is a bit slow with this.

Update: 

Here is the text of the order.

HRC, however, plays devil's advocate with this analysis.  It's hard to imagine a clerical worker, not using her own name, believing that her religion would not allow her to do her job once she had taken it. 

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