Monday, February 27, 2017

Trump Official: "Religious Freedom" Order Is Still Coming

Previous post looked at a leaked draft of a foul executive order to be signed by Der Trumpenführer to grant the Christofascists - or American Taliban, if one prefers that label - special rights that would allow these hate drive and self-centered individuals and their businesses to ignore non-discrimination laws and protections and openly discriminate against same sex married couples, LGBT individuals in general, those who are divorced and remarried, those who use contraception, among others.  These special rights would allow both businesses and individual government officials to refuse to provide service to citizens against whom the bore prejudice based on real or feigned religious belief.  Worse yet, the targets of such discrimination would have no recourse.  When the draft executive was leaked, the hue and cry caused the Trump regime to disclaim that such an order would be forthcoming.  But, like so much that comes from Der Trumpenführer and his henchmen, it now appears that such disclaimers were lies.  As Michelangelo Signorile details in a piece at Huffington Post, such an order is "still coming" based on statements of a Trump official.  Here are highlights:
Former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, who has served as domestic policy chair of President Donald Trump’s transition team, told me in an interview on SiriusXM Progress that the controversial “religious freedom” order that leaked to the press a few weeks ago is very much on the way, even though White House officials had played it down. 
Earlier this month, The Nation’s Sarah Posner reported on the draft order, which would allow exemptions for those who oppose same-sex marriage, premarital sex, abortion, and trans identity, among many other things: 
The four-page draft order, . . . . . construes religious organizations so broadly that it covers “any organization, including closely held for-profit corporations,” and protects “religious freedom” in every walk of life: “when providing social services, education, or healthcare; earning a living, seeking a job, or employing others; receiving government grants or contracts; or otherwise participating in the marketplace, the public square, or interfacing with Federal, State or local governments. 
At the time, Trump administration officials claimed the draft was among hundreds of draft orders circulating within the administration. ”We do not have plans to sign anything at this time but will let you know when we have any updates,” Sarah Huckabee Sanders, a White House spokesperson, told ABC News at the time.
But Blackwell, a senior fellow at the Family Research Council (deemed an anti-LGBTQ hate group by the Southern Policy Law Center), said in our interview at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) over the weekend that the order is far from dead. He also confirmed that the former director of Family Research Council’s Center for Religious Liberty, Ken Klukowski, had “actually structured” the draft order as a legal advisor to Trump’s transition team. Klukowski, who is now a senior attorney at the Liberty First Institute and a Breitbart contributor, is one of the lawyers “in the process of redrafting it,” Blackwell said. . . .
Blackwell envisions the “anchor concept” of the order as one that will allow people with devoutly religious beliefs to turn away LGBTQ people in the course of business.
In an interview with me at the Republican National Convention in 2008, Blackwell had explained that he doesn’t view LGBTQ people as a class of people who are discriminated against, but rather sees homosexuality as a “compulsion that can contained, repressed or changed.”
In terms of “administrative actions” such as an executive order, Kuklowski said there are “various types of actions” that Trump could take, and he referred to “federal law and federal programs” that the president could affect. (He acknowledged that state laws protecting LGBTQ people could only be overturned via the “federal judiciary,” again stressing the importance of putting originalists on the federal courts.)
“And I’m confident,” he continued, “that the president is showing ― much to the shock of many establishment people who said, ‘There’s no way this’ll happen’ ― that he keeps his promises, even when they’re things that an establishment player would never do. And I’m confident that he’s going to keep his promise when it comes to protection of religious liberty as well.” 
As for my "friends" who voted for Trump, will they be calling their members of Congress and opposing such an order and/or the First Amendment Defense Act?  I'm not holding my breath.

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