Religious Freedom, or a License to Discriminate

Religious Freedom,or a License to Discriminate

Article by: Ruthie

Image result for trump license to discriminate

Image result for license to discriminate
President Trump signing the referendum.
Image courtesy of The Advocate

  In a new “Religious Freedom” policy outlined for federal agencies on Friday by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, businesses will soon be allowed to deny LGBTQ+ people access to services such as private restaurants and stores,  by claiming a ‘violation of religious freedom.’ Other anti-discrimination laws for women and ethnic minorities will be indirectly recounted as well. The extensive twenty five page report references twenty “Principles of Religious Liberty” that federal agencies must follow. These guidelines, which are backed by the Department of Justice, make it legal to deny LGBTQ+ couples the right to a federal contractor, refuse LGBTQ+ youth in crisis, and turn away a same sex significant other hoping to receive spousal benefits. The directive also states that a religious company can hire someone based on their willingness to stick to to a “code of conduct,” which can be interpreted to mean no same-sex relationships. The directive has unleashed a fury of backlash, with organizations like the HRC (Human Rights Campaign) branding it a “License to Discriminate,” while right-wing entities, like the “Family Research Council,” embraced the new provision. This right wing group even set up phone calls for people who felt their religious beliefs were once violated by the existence of an LGBTQ+ person as a sort of “support system.” 

Additionally, reproductive rights are at risk because the directive outlines that an employer is allowed to deny their employees birth control as part of their health insurance if they disagree with the use of contraceptives on ‘religious’ grounds. The document is a framework for how Trump intends to block both LGBTQ+ and reproductive rights in government jobs, faith based companies, and even the prisons. Liberals feel as if this marks a dark step back for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community while right wing groups celebrate.

The Chicago Tribune-

The Huffington Post