Thursday, May 4, 2017

President Trump Signs Executive Order Easing Restrictions On Religious Institutions

This morning, President Trump signed an executive order easing the restrictions on politicking by tax exempt religious institutions.

The executive order was written to undermine the Johnson Amendment, the 1954 law that prohibits 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations, such as churches — from making political endorsements. Trump promised on the campaign trail to "destroy" the Johnson Amendment.

Signing an executive order gives guidance to federal agencies but does not rescind the law. That would take an act of Congress.

It was widely expected that today's EO would follow the blueprint of an anti-LGBT "religious liberty" executive order. leaked to The Nation last month. The actual text of today's EO has not been released, but on a conference call last night, reporters were told the EO would not pertain to LGBT issues.

The document below was handed out to reporters last night as bullet points regarding today's executive order.

I'll be curious to read the outrage from far-right conservatives who may feel they didn't get the "religious liberty"/license to discriminate EO they might have expected.

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