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Executive Order Draft Could Legalize Discrimination

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A leaked draft of an executive order memo suggests President Donald Trump could approve discrimination against individuals on religious grounds.

The Nation reported that the memo draft being circulated among top federal officials protects "any organization, including closely held for-profit corporations," right to "religious freedom" in every walk of life, including "when providing social services, education, or healthcare; earning a living, seeking a job, or employing others; receiving government grants or contracts; or otherwise participating in the marketplace, the public square, or interfacing with Federal, State or local governments."

That language suggests employers could deny women contraception through company health insurance plans and gay couples could be denied marriage services and be fired from their jobs, among other scenarios in which religious beliefs have been known to collide with societal norms.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer would not confirm or deny whether the draft memo is being considered by the president.

"I'm not getting ahead of the executive orders that we may or may not issue," Spicer said, according to The Nation. "There is a lot of executive orders, a lot of things that the president has talked about and will continue to fulfill, but we have nothing on that front now."

LGBT people could be particularly impacted if the draft memo became an executive order, but the White House released a statement reiterating its support for the LGBT community.

"President Donald J. Trump is determined to protect the rights of all Americans, including the LGBTQ community," the statement said, according to ABC News. "President Trump continues to be respectful and supportive of LGBTQ rights, just as he was throughout the election."

Sources: The Nation, ABC News / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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