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Reports: GOP urges Trump to reverse Obama-era protections
by Matt Simonette
2017-04-25

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Republican congressmen, on April 5, urged President Donald Trump to rethink advancing his administration's February executive order that would have enshrined a number of so-called religious freedoms, many of them anti-LGBT, into law.

The letter, originally reported on April 24 by USA Today, reminded Trump of a number of campaign promises he made in support of the anti-LGBT First Amendment Defense Act ( FADA ) in 2016 and urged him to follow through with executive action. Among the 51 signatories were Illinois 18th District Congressman Darin LaHood.

Administration officials told USA Today that officials were still looking for middle-ground balancing LGBT rights and religious freedom principles.

An executive order leaked in February suggested that Trump planned on implementing tenets of FADA in an executive order, which sparked a public outcry. The Trump administration said that the order was only a draft, and reports circulated that the president had backpedaled at the behest of family members.

But as Trump now moves closer to having completed 100 days in office—a benchmark timeframe often applied by political insiders and media—the president's supporters are pushing for residual accomplishments from his administration.

"Executive action is also needed to protect religious liberty in light of the Supreme Court's recent redefinition of marriage," the letter said. "We were therefore greatly encouraged to see that the [February] draft executive order contained protections similar to those of in the [FADA], as introduced by Senator Lee of Utah and Representative Labrador of Idaho last Congress. …We are encouraged that you have three times pledged in writing to sign the First Amendment Defense Act if passed by Congress, but you need not and should not wait for Congress to act before ordering the federal government to stop discriminating against individuals and institutions because of their reasonable beliefs on issues of deep concern to people of faith and good will."

A similar letter was sent in early April by 18 Republican U.S. senators.

USA Today's article is at usat.ly/2pbaM8H .


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