Court Cases Impending For White House's New "Religious Freedom" Directive That Sidesteps Anti-Discrimination Laws
If any of you thought it was impossible, and at this point no one should, the White House has gone even further to back Christians looking to discriminate LGBTQ people (and women) in order to practice their beliefs.
On Friday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued an Executive directive to agencies. The directive states that offices are to accommodate people who claim their religious freedoms are being violated.
This new policy makes it so that people who claim violations to their religious freedoms will find it easier to get around anti-discrimination laws.
“This is putting the world on notice: You better take these claims seriously,” said Robin Fretwell Wilson, a law professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “This is a signal to the rest of these agencies to rethink the protections they have put in place on sexual orientation and gender identity.”
Ultimately, this is a new directive that is just waiting to cause several legal ramifications, so expect to see multiple lawsuits arrive because of the discrimination caused by this directive.
As GLAAD has noted, the directive is very similar to Mike Pence’s “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” (RFRA) that he pushed in Indiana back when he was governor.
“Today’s guidance by Jeff Sessions proves this Administration will do anything possible to categorize LGBTQ Americans as second-class citizens who are not equal under the law,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD. “Freedom of religion is paramount to our nation’s success, but does not give people the right to impose their beliefs on others, to harm others, or to discriminate. Nothing could be more un-American and unholy than using religion to justify harm and discrimination to others.”
This directive also came out on the same day that Trump reversed the requirement for businesses to provide contraception coverage if it goes against their religious beliefs.