The Trump administration's expansion of religious exemptions is undermining civil rights protections and codifying discrimination against marginalized groups — particularly LGBTQ people — according to a report released Monday by three research and advocacy groups.
Using a combination of new rules, legal interventions and newly created divisions, the departments of Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Justice, Labor and State have all taken steps to advance "religious liberty," often at the expense of LGBTQ rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for American Progress and the Movement Advancement Project argue in their report.
"When you connect the dots, you really see the administration pushing for a sea change in our culture and legal norms ... at the expense of existing nondiscrimination principles."
Louise Melling, ACLU Deputy Legal Director
"The many proposals to allow religious discrimination are consistent with the trend of the administration to undercut civil rights broadly," Louise Melling, deputy legal director of the ACLU, told NBC News. "The administration is taking the position that religious freedoms give you a right to discriminate