Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Trump Set to Legalize Anti-Gay Discrimination

Trump with hate group leader and white supremacist, Tony perkins

Since last June I have noted over and over again that Donald Trump met with leading Christofascists in New York City and made many promises in order to win the support of many "family values" groups that under the surface are little more than anti-gay hate groups or thinly veiled white supremacy organizations. Family Research Council, whose president has a documented white supremacist ties, is but one of the better known groups.  James Dobson's Focus on the Family - which ought to be named Focus on the White Family - is another.  Among the promises made was a promise to legalize anti-LGBT discrimination under the smoke screen of protecting "religious liberty."  In the minds of the Christofascists, religious liberty translate as the right to discriminate against and abuse anyone who doesn't adhere to Christofascist religious tenets.  The favorite target of such mistreatment has long been the LGBT community, but others are on the target list: women who use contraception, women who have had abortions, unmarried cohabitating couples, and, of course, non-Christians of all varieties.  After a false start earlier in the year that created a furor, Donald Trump, a/k/a Der Trumpenf├╝hrer,  is reportedly set to sign an executive order tomorrow that will make good on his promises to one of the most hate-filled segments of American society.  It is expected that the order will allow Christofascists to ignore all state and local nondiscrimination statutes and ordinances.  Here are highlights from Politico:
President Donald Trump has invited conservative leaders to the White House on Thursday for what they expect will be the ceremonial signing of a long-awaited—and highly controversial—executive order on religious liberty, according to multiple people familiar with the situation.
Two senior administration officials confirmed the plan, though one cautioned that it hasn’t yet been finalized, and noted that lawyers are currently reviewing and fine-tuning the draft language. Thursday is the National Day of Prayer, and the White House was already planning to celebrate the occasion with faith leaders.
The signing would represent a major triumph for Vice President Mike Pence—whose push for religious-freedom legislation backfired mightily when he served as governor of Indiana—and his allies in the conservative movement.
The original draft order, which would have established broad exemptions for people and groups to claim religious objections under virtually any circumstance, was leaked to The Nation on Feb. 1—the handiwork, many conservatives believed, of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, who have sought to project themselves as friendly to the LGBT community. Liberals blasted the draft order as government-licensed discrimination, and the White House distanced itself from the leaked document in a public statement.
Pence and a small team of conservative allies quickly began working behind the scenes to revise the language, and in recent weeks have ratcheted up the pressure on Trump to sign it. The new draft is being tightly held, but one influential conservative who saw the text said it hasn’t been dialed back much—if at all—since the February leak. “The language is very, very strong,” the source said.
Signing it this week could also lessen the sting Trump’s religious backers are feeling over the newly-approved omnibus spending bill, which keeps federal funding in place for Planned Parenthood. The anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List holds its own annual gala on Wednesday, one night before the Becket Fund’s, and the news of Planned Parenthood’s continued funding has dampened some of the enthusiasm surrounding Pence’s keynote address to the event.

"As one LGBT journalist friend notes, the draft order 'privileges' a certain set of beliefs about sexual orientation and gender identity—beliefs identified most closely with conservative Catholics and evangelical Christians—over others. That goes beyond 'what RFRA might authorize' and may violate the Establishment Clause."  While the order will hopefully be struck down by the courts, the damage done in the interim will be widespread. 

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