Many queer people’s fears were stoked this week, when a religious leader and known opponent of the LGBTQ community announced that Trump will soon be following up on his executive order regarding “religious freedom.”
Tony Perkins, president of anti-LGBTQ religious goup Family Research Council, announced on his “Washington Watch” radio show that Trump will soon be taking action when it comes to this much-hated order.
“By the way, stand by next week; you’re going to see some follow-up to the president’s executive order on religious liberty,” he stated. “The next phase of that is going to be coming about and I think it is going to be very instructive. We are going to see government agencies basically put on notice that they have to respect religious freedom. And that is not just the ability to believe, it is the free exercise of religion.”
There has already been a lot of back-and-forth about this order. When states use this legislation it is usually to descriminate, and Trump’s initial version of the order, which was leaked, gave liscence to discriminate against LGBTQ individuals on the basis of religious beliefs. The version he released in May had the language about LGBTQ people removed entirely.
Recently, though, Jeff Sessions addressed another anti-LGBTQ group, Alliance Defending Freedom, and promised that he would do whatever he could to defend religious freedom.
“Congress enacted RFRA so that, if the federal government imposes a burden on somebody’s religious practice, it had better have a compelling reason,” Sessions explained while addressing that group. “That is a demanding standard, and it’s the law of the land. We will follow it just as faithfully as we follow every other federal law. If we’re going to ensure that religious liberty is adequately protected and our country remains free, then we must ensure that RFRA is followed.”
All of this is rekindling fears about stricter “religious freedom” laws that could trample the rights of the LGBTQ community and encourage descrimination.