Pride at Work Reacts to Religious Exemptions Executive Order
Washington - May 4, 2017 - The White House, today, issued an executive order aimed at expanding so-called "religious liberties." While this order seems to back away from the anti-LGBTQ provisions of the previous draft, the order will still provide cover for businesses that do not wish to provide birth control to their employees and will make political speech by churches and other religious institutions easier. Pride at Work executive director, Jerame Davis, issued the following statement in response to the order:
"The changes in this executive order since the previous draft leaked are a strong indication that the White House realizes that LGBTQ discrimination is not palatable to the vast majority of Americans. While the worst anti-LGBTQ provisions were removed, some pretty awful stuff remains that will impact our community.
"Reproductive healthcare decisions should not be dictated from the White House nor any employer. Make no mistake - this executive order is a direct attack on women. Trump's plan to allow businesses to deny coverage of contraceptive care under the guise of so-called religious liberty is a slippery slope. We are not a theocracy, but it appears some in this Administration are eager to continue the slow creep toward that goal.
"Freedom of religion is a fundamental bedrock of our nation's values. The First Amendment to the Constitution protects our right to believe and worship freely. This freedom is foundational, but it is not above all others. We will not stand by while this Administration thumbs their nose at the Constitution and takes away our rights to satisfy a narrow view of religion.
"Our constitutional right to practice our religion freely does not allow us to impose that belief on others, to cause harm, to discriminate. It is designed to protect everyone's rights, not the rights of a few.
"Trump's plan to give religious institutions a pass to enter the political fray is fraught with danger. Churches should not be empowered to run campaigns against LGBTQ people, women's healthcare, and more without putting their tax exempt status in jeopardy. That's a violation of the founding principle of separation of church and state.
"We will fight this shameful executive order with every tool at our disposal."
Pride At Work organizes mutual support between the organized Labor Movement and the LGBTQ Community for social and economic justice. We seek full equality for LGBTQ Workers in our workplaces and unions and we organize in the spirit of the union movement's historic motto, "An Injury to One is An Injury to All." Learn more at www.prideatwork.org