The Trump White House is Awfully Leaky

Some staffers at the White House are clearly unhappy with their new President. Transcripts of his messy calls with the Prime Minister of Australia and the President of Mexico were made public. But the leak that really concerns us here is one expanding religious “rights” to discriminate. From The Nation:

It sets forth an exceptionally expansive definition of “religious exercise” that extends to “any act or refusal to act that is motivated by a sincerely held religious belief, whether or not the act is required or compelled by, or central to, a system of religious belief.” “It’s very sweeping,” said Ira Lupu, a professor emeritus at the George Washington University Law School and an expert on the Constitution’s religion clauses and on the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). “It raises a big question about whether the Constitution or the RFRA authorizes the president to grant religious freedom in such a broad way.”

Lupu added that the language of the draft “might invite federal employees,” for example, at the Social Security Administration or Veterans Administration, “to refuse on religious grounds to process applications or respond to questions from those whose benefits depend on same sex marriages.” If other employees do not “fill the gap,” he said, it could “lead to a situation where marriage equality was being de facto undermined by federal employees, especially in religiously conservative communities,” contrary to Supreme Court rulings.

Notice how broadly phrased it is too: “any act or refusal to act”. ANY ACT. Hopefully nothing like this draft is ever enacted. President Trump has said he intends to keep federal LGBT protections in place.