Trump religious objection order upends LGBT protections

Posted at 11:34 AM, Oct 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-06 11:34:27-04

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Jeff Sessions is telling federal agencies to do as much as possible to accommodate people who have religious objections to LGBT rights.

A memo issued Friday is an attempt to deliver on President Donald Trump’s pledge to evangelical supporters that he would protect religious liberties. But experts say the guidance is so sweeping it could prompt wide-ranging lawsuits against the government.

It lifts a burden from religious objectors to prove their beliefs about marriage or other topics are sincerely held. The policy says the mere claim that someone’s religious freedom was violated is enough to override many anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people, women and others.

Religious liberty expert Robin Fretwell Wilson says the memo could force agencies to re-think their protections on sexual orientation and gender identity.