LGBT Executive Order in Disguise
February 14, 2017
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Since Donald Trump took office, the media has been waiting on edge for him to make his move against the LGBT community. Well, it might be coming soon, but not in the form that was expected. It is beginning to look like it may come disguised as a religious freedom executive order.
On February 6, Trump attended the National Prayer Breakfast, where he stood before the crowd and stated that he would “… get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment…” The stated amendment is a 1954 provision that prohibits tax-exempt religious or charitable organizations from “directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective [public] office,” as explained by Juan Gonzalez of Democracy Now!
Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now!, put it into perspective. She explained the push as a “… sweeping religious freedom executive order that would create wholesale exemptions for people and organizations who claim religious objections to same-sex marriage, premarital sex, abortion, [and] trans identity.” In simpler terms, it would create an opening for widespread discrimination of the LGBT community. The executive order would allow business owners, government workers, coworkers, or any individual who dislikes a person’s sexual orientation or activity to refuse them service or refuse to obey any law that requires they provide the person with housing, healthcare, contraception, et cetera.
Senior Dorian Brown responded to some questions on the topic. “I believe the community is about to go back to the dark days, and is going to have to fight for their rights once more under a president that doesn’t protect them,” he began. “I believe that hate crimes are going to increase due to the people that Trump represents and their idiotic, ignorant, backwards, and archaic values. I believe that he represents a part of America that was repressed during the previous liberal Obama administration. With him becoming president, against what the majority of America thought or voted for, those people who support him believe they’ve been given an all access pass to do whatever they desire to minorities, and they can get away with it due to who their president is.” Brown progresses past the president, saying, “…his cabinet, even his VP, either doesn’t believe in equal rights for minorities or LGBTQIA or believe they are abominations or not scientifically valid.”
He goes on to talk about the executive order. “I was expecting him to make it sooner rather than later. Although it won’t be as obvious as an order declaring war/persecution on the community, it will coming with another face. With an order under the names of religious freedom, anybody who’s different can be treated badly. I respect somebody’s religion completely, for that is their right and choice to practice and believe in whatever they do, but the moment that religions is harming another person or discriminatory, it becomes wrong.”
Earlier, however, a draft of the executive order was leaked, but supposedly, the president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, urged Trump to kill the order. While the executive order is still up in the air, activists and journalists alike are all waiting to see if Trump will stay true to his word on the Johnson Amendment.