“Organizers are calling off tonight’s rally — today’s executive order was not the broadside on LGBT rights we feared. However, it is a frontal attack on women’s reproductive rights and opens the door to potential anti-LGBT discrimination in the future,” according to Equality California. The group instead called for the community to stand up for other intersecting concerns, like women’s rights and health advocacy.
“Please participate in the many smaller, targeted events that are being planned today by Planned Parenthood Action, advocates of the separation of church and state and others. And although today’s order was not the expected attack, that broader anti-LGBT order could still come at any time. Please keep monitoring our page and those of other LGBT organizations for future actions. We are not letting down our guard. Stand with us,” Equality California wrote on Facebook.
In Los Angeles, Equality California and other civil rights and activist groups are had been set to protest in anticipation Donald Trump’s long awaited Religious Freedoms executive order.
While the executive order Trump signed did not include provisions that would let federal contractors discriminate against LGBT people, as an earlier draft of the religious liberty order did, some say it dismantles provisions of the Johnson Amendment that prevent Churches and other non-profits from participating in politics. It’s real impact, however, is to underscore the Hobby Lobby decision, a Supreme Court ruling that shields employers from certain requirements they object to . It also allows churches to participate in political campaigns and make endorsements.
Equality California had written on Facebook that “contrary to the president’s statements that he’s ‘respectful and supportive of LGBTQ rights,’ he has already publicly pledged to sign the anti-LGBT First Amendment Defense Act. An executive order could create broad exemptions to federal civil rights protections that allow anyone to deny basic services to LGBT people if they feel that doing so violates their religion.”
His order, however, netted little change. Campaign Legal Center general counsel, Lawrence Noble, told CNN “President Trump’s executive order did not ease the current restrictions on political activity by religious organizations, The executive order allows the IRS to restrict the activity it currently considers political, but prohibits the IRS from expanding the restrictions to cover activity not covered before the executive order.”