Rep. Nadler Condemns Trump's Sweeping Draft Executive Order Encouraging Anti-LGBT, Anti-Women Discrimination

Feb 1, 2017 Issues: Trump, LGBT Rights

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Congressman Jerrold Nadler, a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee and former Chair of the Constitution Subcommittee, released the following statement in response to reports that the President will sign an executive order designed to encourage discrimination against the LGBT community under the guise of religious liberty.  For the past twenty-five years, Congressman Nadler has been at the forefront of issues pertaining to protecting religious freedom, the separation of church and state, the protection of LGBT rights and ensuring women’s reproductive freedom. The Congressman’s statement follows:

“Donald Trump continues his hateful attacks on the communities that comprise our nation – this time by encouraging discrimination against the LGBT community, and by the denial of reproductive health care to women, all under the guise of so-called "religious freedom." This draft order is breathtaking in its scope – encouraging discrimination in social services, healthcare and across the federal government, creating a second class of citizenship for LGBT Americans and denying women access to constitutionally protected reproductive freedom.

“It has long been established that our constitution protects the free exercise of religion, but those protections do not create the right to cause harm to others. Protections for religious freedom must be shields to protect the practice of religion, not swords to enable one person to force his or her religious beliefs on others. No matter how sincerely held a religious belief may be, employers – including the federal government – must not be permitted to wield them as a means of discriminating against their employees or against those they serve.

“Mr. Trump is a bully, using religion to further the cause of anti-gay hate that has become a mainstay of the Republican Party. As a result of this order, federal employees will now be permitted to use their positions to advocate against marriage equality, against recognition of transgender individuals and for opposition to abortion. It appears that tax-exempt status would be given to organizations that advocate anti-gay, anti-trans, and anti-abortion viewpoints as approved by the executive order, but not to organizations that advocate other viewpoints.  This is an obvious violation of the First Amendment.”