- Donald Trump signed an executive order giving religious leaders a more active role in US politics on 4 May 2017
- The order did not include any provisions regarding the LGBT community as expected, based on an earlier, leaked version
- Concerns now raised over potential for anti-LGBT discrimination
It is vital that we all strongly reject any interpretation of religious freedom that allows discrimination against LGBT people, or any other group.
‘Like many LGBT organisations across the world, we were concerned by the Executive Order on Religious Freedom that President Trump signed yesterday.
While the wording of the Order does not specifically mention LGBT people, it leaves LGBT equality hanging in the balance. Its loose wording suggests that the concept of religious liberty is now open to interpretation. At this stage it is unclear what the real-world implications of the Order will be, which means that we must remain vigilant in ensuring that human rights are never open to interpretation, and that religious freedom can never be used as justification for discrimination.
We know many people of faith, including many faith leaders, are alarmed by suggestions that religion can be used to justify discrimination. This perception of religious freedom suggests that it’s impossible to reconcile faith with equality for LGBT people – an idea that is fundamentally false.
It is vital that we all strongly reject any interpretation of religious freedom that allows discrimination against LGBT people, or any other group. We will remain in contact with US LGBT organisations, and are ready to offer our support should there be any move to undermine the human rights of LGBT people.’