The Trump administration has just issued a huge blow to the LGBT+ community.
The Department of Justice has issued guidance on a religious freedom document, which will give businesses licence to discriminate against LGBT+ people, and single mothers, among others.
The new guidance isn’t law, but it gives a clear indication on the government’s position when it comes to court cases, or how federal agencies and contractors could operate.
“Religious liberty is not merely a right to personal religious beliefs or even to worship in a sacred place,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement.
“Except in the narrowest of circumstances, no one should be forced to choose between living out his or her faith and complying with the law.
“Therefore, to the greatest extent practicable and permitted by law, religious observance should be reasonably accommodated in all government activity, including employment, contracting and programming.”
Essentially, this means that a nonprofit group could now refuse services to LGBT+ people based solely on their religious beliefs and not face a single consequence.
This guidance completely overrides an executive order issued by Barack Obama, which aimed to protect LGBT+ from this type of discrimination.
“Today the Trump-Pence administration launched an all-out assault on LGBTQ people, women, and other minority communities by unleashing a sweeping license to discriminate,” said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin.
“This blatant attempt to further Donald Trump’s cynical and hateful agenda will enable systematic, government-wide discrimination that will have a devastating impact on LGBTQ people and their families.
“Donald Trump and Mike Pence have proven they will stop at nothing to target the LGBTQ community and drag our nation backwards. We will fight them every step of the way.”
He added: “It’s unconscionable that the Trump-Pence administration also today encouraged employers to exert control over the essential health care decisions of their employees.
“The rule change on contraception will undoubtedly limit access to vitally important care that women and so many in the LGBTQ community rely on every day.
“We each deserve to have the freedom to live and plan our lives with dignity, and this administration’s reckless efforts to undermine the health care of millions of Americans must be stopped.”