Orange Fascist-In-Chief Plans to Outright Legalize Discrimination

As promised…

From the Nation: Leaked Draft of Trump’s Religious Freedom Order Reveals Sweeping Plans to Legalize Discrimination

A leaked copy of a draft executive order titled “Establishing a Government-Wide Initiative to Respect Religious Freedom,” obtained by The Investigative Fund and The Nation, reveals sweeping plans by the Trump administration to legalize discrimination.

The four-page draft order, a copy of which is currently circulating among federal staff and advocacy organizations, construes religious organizations so broadly that it covers “any organization, including closely held for-profit corporations,” and protects “religious freedom” in every walk of life: “when providing social services, education, or healthcare; earning a living, seeking a job, or employing others; receiving government grants or contracts; or otherwise participating in the marketplace, the public square, or interfacing with Federal, State or local governments.”

The draft order seeks to create wholesale exemptions for people and organizations who claim religious or moral objections to same-sex marriage, premarital sex, abortion, and trans identity, and it seeks to curtail women’s access to contraception and abortion through the Affordable Care Act. The White House did not respond to requests for comment, but when asked Monday about whether a religious freedom executive order was in the works, White House spokesman Sean 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.”

Language in the draft document specifically protects the tax-exempt status of any organization that “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.”

Yup. The White House literally has plans to make discrimination entirely legal, leaving atheists, the LGBTQ community, women, people of color, Muslims, Jews, and every other minority with absolutely zero ability to defend themselves from discrimination and bigotry.

Now, luckily, there is… good?… news:

The breadth of the draft order, which legal experts described as “sweeping” and “staggering,” may exceed the authority of the executive branch if enacted. It also, by extending some of its protections to one particular set of religious beliefs, would risk violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution.

“This executive order would appear to require agencies to provide extensive exemptions from a staggering number of federal laws—without regard to whether such laws substantially burden religious exercise,” said Marty Lederman, a professor at Georgetown University Law Center and an expert on church-state separation and religious freedom.

The exemptions, Lederman said, could themselves violate federal law or license individuals and private parties to violate federal law. “Moreover,” he added, “the exemptions would raise serious First Amendment questions, as well, because they would go far beyond what the Supreme Court has identified as the limits of permissive religious accommodations.” It would be “astonishing,” he said, “if the Office of Legal Counsel certifies the legality of this blunderbuss order.”

There’s an update at the end of the article, as well:

Updated on 2/2/2017: A White House officialspeaking with ABC News, did not dispute the authenticity of the draft religious freedom executive order, but officials said it is one of hundreds circulating, some drafted by the transition team, others by the White House, not all of which are likely to become policy. The official did not say who drafted this particular order.

So there’s some hope that this won’t happen?

Honestly, I have no hope. This is exactly the kind of theocratic shit I expect Fake Christian and his Dominionist staff to do. This executive order is quite literally the Wet Dream of right-wing, evangelical Christians all across the US. Agent Orange already has a Dominionist VP, and he’s appointed Jerry Falwell, Jr to head his Education Task Force. This would honestly just be the next logical step.

To quote Rebecca Watson

So if you’re an atheist who has been on the sidelines watching women and people of color protesting this administration, get ready. They’re coming for the secularists.


  1. Pierce R. Butler says

    With luck, they’ll write it so loosely that Quakers will have standing to not-pay taxes for military operations, and progressive lawyers will frolic like lambs.

  2. Siobhan says


    “First they came …”

    Nah, the first was black people, starting back with Nixon. Muslims and queers are at least 3rd and 4th on the list after immigrants.

  3. secondtofirstworld says

    In my birth country’s case, this issue took 5 redrafts of the same amendment of the new constitution. The first simply said, the state only recognizes a religious organization, if it has existed on the country’s and it predecessors territory for a 1000 years. The problem was, and they did not realized that, nothing fits the bill except the Catholic Church. Same Christians, but different approach to faith.

    They then changed it to religions that exist for a 1000 years. What they did not realize, this excludes every faction but the Catholics, especially the Mormons and the Evangelicals, who did not like the idea.

    So they finally changed it to churches which were established before 1990 in the country, in the end people, like Buddhists regained their status, but Scientology did not. The other loser was the Methodist Church, which, for once is actually doing Samaritan work, instead of the state. Where Catholics and Protestants refused to help refugees, or proclaimed they only need help in the Middle East, Methodists are helping them, and also the homeless people.

    I have to agree with Lederman, it would violate the Establishment Clause, and independent federal judges can quash them until it reaches the Supreme Court, possibly in 2026. I see the other silver lining in this: they forgot to take away the ability of judges to judicially review cases, and the people’s right to protest it. If I were in your place, I’d vote out my congressperson if they sign up on it, and elections are next year.

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