Donald Trump has released his comments about Religious Freedom Day – and it’s a clear assault on LGBT rights.

As the US President does every year, Trump issued a presidential proclamation yesterday, announcing that January 16 would be known as Religious Freedom Day.



But it was his remarks surrounding the announcement which shocked LGBT people.

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 16: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks as he stops by a Conversations with the Women of America panel at the South Court Auditorium of Eisenhower Executive Office Building January 18, 2018 in Washington, DC. The three-part panel features ÒAmerican women from various backgrounds and experiences who will speak with high-level women within the Trump Administration, about what has been accomplished to date to advance women at home, and in the workplace.Ó (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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The leader expressed support for the ‘freedom to discriminate’ in the proclamation.

He did so after breaking with Barack Obama’s eight-year tradition of issuing annual proclamations recognising June as LGBT Pride Month.

The US is currently embroiled in a battle between so-called religious liberty and LGBT people that centres on whether homophobic Christians should have the ability to discriminate against gay people.

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 16: U.S. President Donald Trump (L) acknowledges the audience as Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Seema Verma (R) looks on as he stops by a Conversations with the Women of America panel at the South Court Auditorium of Eisenhower Executive Office Building January 18, 2018 in Washington, DC. The three-part panel features ÒAmerican women from various backgrounds and experiences who will speak with high-level women within the Trump Administration, about what has been accomplished to date to advance women at home, and in the workplace.Ó (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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In this environment, he wrote: “Faith is embedded in the history, spirit, and soul of our Nation.

“On Religious Freedom Day, we celebrate the many faiths that make up our country”.

This is the same President Trump who created a ban on Muslims entering the US, which rights groups called a death sentence for LGBT refugees unable to leave their countries.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - JANUARY 16: U.S. President Donald Trump listens to President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan during a joint press conference in the Roosevelt Room of the White House January 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)
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Ironically, Trump emphasised that his dog whistle of a proclamation was based on the Founding Fathers’ search for “refuge from religious persecution” in America.

Just last month, his administration told the Supreme Court that it should be acceptable for businesses to put up signs denying service to same-sex couples.

Trump’s Solicitor General was supporting Jack Phillips of Colorado’s Masterpiece Cakeshop, who launched a legal challenge to the state’s anti-discrimination laws after refusing to serve a gay couple.

The baker turned away David Mullins and Charlie Craig after he found out they were getting a cake to celebrate their wedding.

Jack Phillips appearing on The View in 2017

Phillips has claimed that Jesus Christ would discriminate against gay people, and continues to insist his religion requires discrimination against gay people.

Now the Trump administration has further endorses Phillips’ views with a proclamation which carried a not-so-veiled threat towards LGBT people.

TOPSHOT - US President Donald Trump gestures as he boards Airforce One at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland on January 12, 2018, for a weekend trip to Mar-a-Lago. / AFP PHOTO / Nicholas Kamm (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
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“Unfortunately,” the President wrote, “not all have recognised the importance of religious freedom, whether by threatening tax consequences for particular forms of religious speech, or forcing people to comply with laws that violate their core religious beliefs without sufficient justification.”

He added: “No American — whether a nun, nurse, baker, or business owner — should be forced to choose between the tenets of faith or adherence to the law.”

US President Donald Trump speaks to reporters at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach on January 14, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Nicholas Kamm (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
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Note the reference to a “baker or business owner”.

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While his administration continues to defend a homophobic baker, Trump told the people that “religious diversity strengthens our communities and promotes tolerance, respect, understanding, and equality”.

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 10: U.S. President Donald Trump answers reporters' questions during a news conference with Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway in the East Room of the White House January 10, 2018 in Washington, DC. Before the news conference, the two leaders discussed economic security, trade, and their cooperation in the ongoing fight against Islamic State militants. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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Tolerance and equality – except same-sex couples who want their own rights respected.

The proclamation sparked anger online, with one commenter writing: “Persecuting LGBT individuals under the guise of religion isn’t an exercise of faith; it’s pure, unadulterated discrimination.”

(Twitter/The_Real_Malloy)

Another person responded by saying: “Yes! And no American should have another person’s faith foisted upon them.

“Choosing no faith should also be protected.”

(Twitter/gloriamiele)

LGBT blogger JoeMyGod made an excellent – and funny – observation about the announcement.

He wrote: “Christians: Hooray! We’ve been protected from business discrimination since the Civil Rights Act of 1964!

(Twitter/joemygod)

“Gay Americans: Hey, can we get in on that?

“Christians: YOU WANT SPECIAL RIGHTS!!!”




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