Trump Expected to Sign Religious Liberty Executive Order Thursday

FILE - In this Jan. 23, 2017, file photo, President Donald Trump signs an executive order to withdraw the U.S. from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact agreed to under the Obama administration in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.

By The Stream Published on May 2, 2017

President Trump should soon sign an executive order protecting religious liberty, maybe on the National Day of Prayer on Thursday. Politico reports that he invited conservative leaders to the White House. He’s expected to hold the ceremonial signing then.

Two senior officials confirmed the report.

What Might Be in It

What does it say? One of Politico‘s sources says it differs little from the leaked version published in February. “The language is very, very strong,” says the source.

That version upset liberals, who called it “government-licensed discrimination,” says Politico. The LGBT lobby quickly protested. The order protected anyone who acted on the belief that only a man and a woman can be married. It also protected the beliefs that male and female are biological facts.

The abortion lobby also reacted. The executive order’s idea of religious freedom included the belief that human life must be protected from conception on.

An organization that acted on these beliefs would not lose its tax exempt status. Even businesses could act on such beliefs without loss.

Some inside the White House wanted to shelve the order. The White House publicly distanced itself from the draft. Religious conservatives wondered if it would ever appear.

Pence and the ACLU

However, Vice President Mike Pence has been urging Trump to act. He’s been crafting the final wording.

Predictably, the ACLU threatens to sue. The group fears the order “would allow religion to be used as an excuse to discriminate.” They prefer religion as a target for discrimination.

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