Religious Freedom Executive Order Bodes Badly for LGBTQI Community

May 5, 2017. Boston, MA. The Executive Order on Religious Freedom signed by President Donald Trump did not contain the explicitly anti-LGBTQI provisions that were part of leaked early drafts of the Order. However, leaders of DignityUSA, the organization of Catholics working for equality, justice and full inclusion of LGBTQI people in the Church and society, are warning that there are ominous signals that hard-won rights could soon be rolled back.

"The Executive Order directs Attorney General Sessions to issue rules for 'interpreting' what protecting religious freedom means," said Marianne Duddy-Burke, DignityUSA's Executive Director. "This is very concerning, as we know he is likely to issue rules that will be very harmful to LGBTQI people.We expect that health care, employment, marriage, parental rights, and access to services for our community will all be threatened when his directives come out.

"DignityUSA will continue to work with many other people who are negatively impacted by this Administration's interpretation of religious freedom to minimize the damage, and educate people about real religious liberty," Duddy-Burke said. "We will continue to challenge our bishops, who are in the forefront of promoting policies that cause real harm and pain for many, many people, and who do so despite the objections of 60% of US Catholics. We stand for true respect for all faiths--not for the privileging of a narrow set of beliefs over the health and safety of so many people."