Atheist Group Jumps to Sue Trump Over Religious Liberty Executive Order

Tomas Mccoy
May 17, 2017

"President Trump's executive order today seeks to allow even more employers to deny their employees this necessary health care service under the guise of their personal religious views", Adrienne Mansanares, Chief Experience Officer of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains said.

As Conservative Review pointed out earlier in the day, the ACLU has a point, as the long-anticipated move merely left it to administration officials to provide "regulatory relief" to those affected by Obamacare's more onerous mandates and not act discriminatorily to religious nonprofits.

Two prominent civil rights groups said they will sue the Trump administration if the executive order targets Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender people for discrimination, Buzzfeed reported. "And if anyone in Florida uses this Executive Order to discriminate against a single member of our community, Equality Florida will be there to fight back with everything we have".

"Today's executive order signing was an elaborate photo-op with no discernible policy outcome", ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero said in a statement, according to The Washington Post.

The 1954 Johnson Amendment restricts political activity by nonprofits, and past year on the campaign trail, Trump told a meeting of 100 evangelical and conservative Catholic leaders he would abolish that rule, at least inasmuch as it pertains to religious entities. The action maintains that the president's order would selectively benefit churches and religious organizations by allowing them to endorse political candidates without risking their tax-exempt status.

Michael Farris, president and general counsel of Alliance Defending Freedom, a Texas-based agency that handles religious liberty cases, said the order, while well-meaning, included "vague instructions to federal agencies [that] simply leaves them wiggle room" to ignore the action.

Trump's order includes language that says the executive branch "will honor and enforce" existing laws.

There is a future legal battle coming down the road on the Johnson Amendment, but the actual Trump executive turned out not to live up to the White House hype.

However, there are also a number of religious groups who have publicly supported Trump and his new order. In a statement, Human Rights Campaign warns that the executive order could result in "an unprecedented expansion of religious exemptions affecting employment, services and programs".

"It was the great Thomas Jefferson who said, 'The God who gave us life gave us liberty", said Trump at the breakfast.

Trump promised during the campaign to dismantle the Johnson Amendment, which bans tax-exempt organisations like churches from political speech and activities.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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