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Donald Trump signed a new religious liberty order and that’s concerning

Donald Trump signed a new religious liberty order and that’s concerning

Donald Trump signing the religious liberty order

To mark National Day of Prayer, Donald Trump signed a new executive order about religious liberty in the White House Rose Garden on Thursday (3 May).

The order is titled the Establishment of a White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative.

According to the White House press release, the order aims to ‘ensure that the faith-based and community organizations that form the bedrock of our society have strong advocates in the White House and throughout the Federal Government’.

One of the things this order allows is the administration to make policy recommendations affecting faith-based and community organizations.

Furthermore, the administration must be notified of any failures to ‘to comply with religious liberty protections under law’.

Finally, it also mandates that every executive department and agency desginate a liason to the initiative.

The White House Twitter account published a series of videos of Trump’s speech.

‘As president, I will always protect religious liberty,’ he said.

Then he added the order will ‘help ensure that faith-based organizations have equal access to government funding and equal right to exercise their deeply-held beliefs’.

Broad powers, broad consequences

Previous presidents, including Barack Obama and George W. Bush, also introduced faith and neighborhood programs.

However, this one is significantly broaded than past orders. It also incorporates a large swath of government departments, rather than ones that specifically address this already.

A spokesperson for Trump told the Washington Post’s Michelle Boorstein the order will focus on effective programs ‘without all of these arbitrary concerns as to what is appropriate’.

The Trump administration has made their priorities for religious liberty clear, especially when it comes into conflict with LGBTQ rights.

In his first year in office, Trump preached religious liberty at an anti-LGBTQ conference. Jeff Sessions also issued guidelines undermining the community’s rights for his Justice Department.

Trump also appointed an anti-gay politician to the position of International Religious Freedom ambassador-at-large.

In perhaps one of their biggest moves, the administration openly put their support behind the baker in the Supreme Court’s Masterpiece Cakeshop case.

However, groups like Lambda Legal are planning to continue the fight for LGBTQ rights.