White House set to have anti-LGBT ‘religious freedom’ order signed this week
The White House is expected to have an anti-LGBT+ religious liberty executive order signed on Thursday.
According to reports by Politico, conservative leaders have been invited to the White House on that day.
It is expected that the anti-LGBT executive order, which the White House last month said it was “still working on”, will be signed in a ceremony later this week.
According to the website, two senior administration officials have confirmed this, although one warned that, as of Tuesday (2 May) the order had not been finalised.
Thursday also marks the National Day of Prayer in the US.
A draft executive order leaked from inside the White House back in March that would actively permit religious discrimination against LGBT people.
The leaked order was written to 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”.
After the document leaked and sparked immediate protests, White House officials claimed it had been spiked – but there have since been several indications it is being worked on, and is being re-drafted to make it less vulnerable to a legal challenge.
Back in April, a group of 18 Republican Senators and 51 Congresspeople signed letters urging Trump to sign the executive order.
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The Republican politicians claim that executive action is needed “to protect religious liberty in light of the Supreme Court’s recent redefinition of marriage”.
It asks: “We request that you sign the draft executive order on religious liberty… in order to protect millions of Americans whose religious freedom has been attacked or threatened over the last eight years.”
Speaking to USA Today last week, a senior White House official confirmed that executive action on ‘religious freedom’ is still in the works, but that the proposal is under development to find a “middle ground”.
The source said the President wants to “allow for people to express and maintain their strongly held religious beliefs”, but is wary of directly rolling back LGBT rights protections.