Report: Trump Poised to Sign Religious Liberty Executive Order This Week

Leah Barkoukis
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Posted: May 03, 2017 9:00 AM
Report: Trump Poised to Sign Religious Liberty Executive Order This Week

President Trump is expected to sign a religious liberty executive order Thursday on the National Day of Prayer, according to Politico.  

Details remain scarce, however, as the language of the order is still being reviewed by lawyers for the White House, Politico reports. If it’s anything like the draft that was leaked in February, however, the order would give individuals and groups greater grounds to claim religious objections.

The original draft order, which would have established broad exemptions for people and groups to claim religious objections under virtually any circumstance, was leaked to The Nation on Feb. 1—the handiwork, many conservatives believed, of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, who have sought to project themselves as friendly to the LGBT community. Liberals blasted the draft order as government-licensed discrimination, and the White House distanced itself from the leaked document in a public statement.

Pence and a small team of conservative allies quickly began working behind the scenes to revise the language, and in recent weeks have ratcheted up the pressure on Trump to sign it.

One source told Politico that the text hasn’t been scaled back much since the February draft, noting “the language is very, very strong.”

In addition to being the National Day of Prayer, Thursday is also the annual Canterbury Medal Gala hosted by the religious liberty group Becket. Conservative legal activist Leonard Leo is being honored this year. Leo played an instrumental role in advising the president on his Supreme Court pick of Neil Gorsuch. He also has been advocating for the executive order during meetings with Trump, Politico reports.