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Tony Perkins: Trump will allow religious exemptions to nondiscrimination laws

Tony Perkins: Trump will allow religious exemptions to nondiscrimination laws

The president of a prominent anti-LGBTQ organization said that he’s confident Donald Trump with sign an executive order restricting LGBTQ rights.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, told CNBC that he has “every confidence” that Trump will roll back employment protections for employees of federal contractors. “I think this is going to be addressed.”

Donald Trump campaigned on overturning Barack Obama’s executive orders, but never specified whether that included Obama’s executive orders banning anti-LGBTQ discrimination in the federal workforce and among federal contractors.

LGBTQ Nation‘s Jeff Taylor reported Monday that White House sources were saying that an executive order rolling back protections for LGBTQ people would be announced this week. The anonymous sources said that the executive order would affect a number of areas, including employment, social services, business, and adoption. The sources said the executive order would be couched in the language of “religious freedom.”

The White House refused to deny that there were plans for the executive order, stating vaguely that they “don’t want to get ahead” of their planned executive orders.

Later in the day, the White House released a statement saying, “The executive order signed in 2014, which protects employees from anti-LGBTQ workplace discrimination while working for federal contractors, will remain intact at the direction of President Donald J. Trump.”

Tony Perkins says he hasn’t “gotten complete clarity,” but that it’s still possible for Trump to sign an executive order granting broad exemptions to federally-funded social services providers, employers, and schools that claim they are discriminating because of their religious beliefs. Such an executive order was proposed by Rep. Steve Russell (R-Oklahoma).

Winnie Stachelberg of the Center for American Progress is also expecting such an executive order. “This would be a severe blow to the LGBT community, a license to discriminate… and a step backward.”

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