Today, on the National Day of Prayer, President Trump signed an Executive Order directing Attorney General Jeff Sessions to “issue guidance interpreting religious liberty protections in Federal law.” Sessions is known for his strong anti-LGBT equality policies. Many people were previously aware that Trump was likely to sign an executive order dealing with so-called “religious liberty,” which we know is nothing but a license to discriminate, particularly against the LGBTQ+ community.
In his remarks, Trump said, “With this Executive Order we make clear that the federal government will never ever penalize any person for their protected religious beliefs… that’s why I am directing the Department of Justice to develop new rules to ensure these religious protections are afforded to all Americans… that is why I am signing an Executive Order to defend the freedom of religion and speech in America.”
Trump’s signed order did not provide any new religious freedom protections that would specifically allow individuals to discriminate against LGBTQ individuals, but it did, however, direct the Department of Justice to develop rules to ensure that people aren’t punished for exercising their freedom of religion. “In reality this means that although Trump didn’t issue a broad “religious freedom” order aimed at the LGBTQ+ community, he essentially directed the Department of Justice to do so through regulations,” said Trevor Project Director of Government Affairs Amy Loudermilk. “In sum, the fight is far from over and the rhetoric about what to expect down the line is very concerning. We will continue to monitor and respond as necessary.”
The Trevor Project is committed to continuing to work with our LGBTQ and allied organizational colleagues across the country, and we will stand strong against any future negative actions against our community.
The Trevor Project is the leading and only accredited national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people under the age of 25. The Trevor Project offers a suite of crisis intervention and suicide prevention programs, including TrevorLifeline, TrevorText, and TrevorChat as well as a peer-to-peer social network support for LGBTQ young people under the age of 25, TrevorSpace. Trevor also offers an education program with resources for youth-serving adults and organizations, a legislative advocacy department fighting for pro-LGBTQ legislation and against anti-LGBTQ rhetoric/policy positions, and conducts research to discover the most effective means to help young LGBTQ people in crisis and end suicide. If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, our Trevor Lifeline crisis counselors are available 24/7/365 at 1-866-488-7386. www.TheTrevorProject.org