Trump officials are still working on an anti-LGBT ‘religious freedom’ order despite denials, his former policy chief has said.
A draft executive order leaked from inside the White House last month that would actively permit religious discrimination against LGBT people.
The leaked order would protect people who discriminate based on “the belief that marriage is or should be recognised as the union of one man and one woman [or that] male and female refer to an individual’s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy at birth”.
It was reportedly benched after feuds within the administration, but a Trump advisor has confirmed plans are still on the table in the long term.
Ken Blackwell of the Family Research Council, who served on the Trump transition team as head of domestic policy, confirmed at the Republican CPAC conference that officials are “in the process of redrafting” the order so that it is less vulnerable to court challenges.
According to HuffPo, he said: “What we want is an executive order that will meet the scrutiny of the judicial process.
“If there is no religious liberty executive order, that will disappoint, but a good executive order will not. So we’re still in the process.”
Mr Blackwell said questions about its legality should be “the lawyers… who are in the process of redrafting it”.
: “I think small business owners who hold a religious belief that believes that traditional marriage is between one man and one woman should not have their religious liberty trampled upon.
“I would imagine that that will be, strongly and clearly, the anchor concept [of the order].”
As competing factions within the Trump administration jockey for control of the Presidency, it is unclear who within the White House gave the green light on the original order – but it is remarkably similar to an anti-LGBT law signed by Pence while serving as Governor of Indiana.
The Trump administration recently shifted policy to strip anti-discrimination protections for transgender students in education.