Trump Attacks LGBT Community with Bogus ‘Religious Freedom Day’

Intent is to allow discrimination against LGBT people, erasing over 100 years of federal non-discrimination law. American Taliban Pence goes back to his gay-bashing roots.


President Donald Trump declared January 16 “Religious Freedom Day.” Presidents make this proclamation every year, but Trump’s “religious freedom” says businesses should have the right to discriminate by letting them refuse to serve LGBT people based solely on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

“No American — whether a nun, nurse, baker, or business owner — should be forced to choose between the tenets of faith or adherence to the law,” Trump says in his proclamation.

That pointedly specific statement alone sounds off alarm bells for the LGBT community. In December the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Jack Phillips, a baker in Colorado who refused to bake a cake for a gay couple’s wedding. In 2012 Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, turned away David Mullins and Charlie Craig, who were to be married in Massachusetts and wanted to have a reception in Colorado. A ruling in the case is expected later this year.

Title 15 of the U.S. Code states: “It shall be unlawful for any person engaged in commerce, in the course of such commerce, either directly or indirectly, to discriminate in price between different purchasers of commodities of like grade and quality.” It also prohibits “discrimination in price or services or facilities furnished.”

But Trump has already shown where he stands when it comes to businesses discriminating under the guise of “religious freedom.” In May he signed the “Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty” executive order. An early leaked draft of the memo was set to legalize discrimination based on religious beliefs “without suffering adverse treatment from the Federal Government.” The final version was not as strong and does not provide many specifics but calls on the executive branch of the government to “vigorously enforce Federal law’s robust protections for religious freedom.”

In his newest proclamation Trump references this executive order and gives more context to “religious freedom” as a license to discriminate:

Unfortunately, not all have recognized the importance of religious freedom, whether by threatening tax consequences for particular forms of religious speech, or forcing people to comply with laws that violate their core religious beliefs without sufficient justification. These incursions, little by little, can destroy the fundamental freedom underlying our democracy. Therefore, soon after taking office, I addressed these issues in an Executive Order that helps ensure Americans are able to follow their consciences without undue Government interference and the Department of Justice has issued guidance to Federal agencies regarding their compliance with laws that protect religious freedom.

 His proclamation also stands in stark contrast with that of his predecessor, Barack Obama, during his last year in office. Obama called for acceptance of all religions and noted that it is “unacceptable” that one-fifth of hate crime victims in 2015 were targeted due to their faith.

“Part of being American means guarding against bigotry and speaking out on behalf of others, no matter their background or belief — whether they are wearing a hijab or a baseball cap, a yarmulke or a cowboy hat,” Obama said.

The Business Case Against Discrimination

Trump’s religious crusade not only harms the LGBT community and its allies but is also bad for business.

In 2015 Vice President Mike Pence, who was then serving as governor of Indiana, signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. CEOs from some of the state’s largest employers, including Eli Lilly and Co. (No. 16 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list), Anthem (No. 20) and Cummins (No. 21), wrote Pence a letter urging him to “make it clear that Indiana is the welcoming state we all believe it to be.” The leaders were concerned that if Indiana was not perceived as inclusive, potential recruits would not want to work there.

And in terms of the economy, liberal “blue” states tend to fare better than conservative “red” ones. When broken down by state, the top 10 for per capita Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) are mainly blue states:

Per capita Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the United States in 2016, by state (in chained 2009 U.S. dollars)*

  1. Massachusetts
  2. New York
  3. Connecticut
  4. Alaska
  5. Delaware
  6. North Dakota
  7. Wyoming
  8. California
  9. New Jersey
  10. Washington

*Not including the District of Columbia. Statista notes: “Although not a state, Washington D.C. had the highest overall per capita real GDP at 160,472 U.S. dollars.”

Source: Statista

Only three states on the list are red: Alaska, North Dakota and Wyoming. And all three states are big players in the oil industry.

According to the Alaska Oil and Gas Association, “More than one-third of Alaska’s jobs are tied to the oil and gas industry.”

A 2015 Business Insider ranking of “The economies of all 50 US states and DC from worst to best” ranked Alaska in the bottom-half, but North Dakota and Wyoming were Nos. 1 and 13, respectively, largely thanks to oil.

Regarding Wyoming, BI noted, “Oil and coal mining are a big part of Wyoming’s economy. About 6,500 citizens of the state work in coal mining, 4,600 in oil and gas drilling, 4,000 in oil- and gas-pipeline construction, and 14,000 in mining-support activities. … However, Wyoming was one of just two states to have fewer people working in the state in June 2015 than in June 2014, with the number of nonfarm payroll jobs in the state dropping by 0.7%.”

And as far as North Dakota’s No. 1 spot? “The state’s economy has seen a major boon from the rise of oil fracking in the last few years.”

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  • “American Taliban Pence” may actually be a new low. Why do we need to use such harsh name calling? Name calling and bully tactics make it very difficult to get people to have an open and honest dialogue. If you are going to call your opponents names, why would they want to listen to anything else you had to say and it definitely makes it much more difficult for you to change their opinions. “Diversity Management” should be promoting dialogue.

    • Pence is obsessively concerned about what we do in the privacy of our bedrooms and who we love. He tried to criminalize LGBT people as governor of Indiana. How is he different from other hyper religious people and theocracies who want to govern, control and criminalize orientation and sexuality by their interpretation of their religion?

      Anyone interested in overthrowing 100 years of federal code specifically outlawing discrimination – on religious grounds (in violation of our First Amendment) – is not worth talking to. Dialogue must be based on agreed standards. There is freedom, civil rights and the Constitution…and those opposed to those concepts. I wouldn’t dialogue with the KKK or David Duke either. There is no equivilence, no “good people on both sides.”

      • Exactly. How do you have open and honest dialogue with people who are neither open nor honest. And if you want to talk about name calling, let’s start with the Name Caller / Bully in Chief cause that seems to be the only tool he has in his toolbox.

    • You are aware, I assume, that President Trump jokes about the fact that Vice President Pence wants to hang gay people?

  • Lets not forget that in the ’70’s, 45 and his father were fined by the federal government for discriminating against black and brown people trying to rent their apartments. So he has history with the concept of only doing business with non LGBT white people.

    • True, but I don’t think trump did that out of what a normal person would understand as racism. I don’t believe trump has any real opinions, values or standards, except the promotion of Trump, the aggrandizement of Trump, and the benefit of Trump. He would be that guy on the Titanic throwing babies overboard so he can get onto the lifeboat. There isn’t one example of his life to the contrary.

      Any man that would take the Fifth Amendment 97 times in a second divorce and then do something that required a $130,000 payment to a porn star while his third wife was pregnant, has no values. Mind you, the payment would have never been made if it weren’t for the pending presidential election.

      • You are spot on about his character- or lack of such. In my minds eye, I see him pushing people out of the way so that he can get that last seat in the lifeboat. But how come we are not talking about the abolishment of the electoral college, which made his win possible. Or making it a law that everyone running for president has to make his taxes public knowledge.. I always said that him being president was a joke on his part gone wrong. If either one of those were in place, we would not be talking about this charlatan in chief.

        • There is no real leadership in the democratic party. I would propose the “Good Investment Act of 2018”, which would allocate federal expenditures in proportion to education achievement and per capita GDP of each state. Red states are leaches. Tax revenue needs to be invested in successful states.

          I’d also propose the “Religious Fairness Act” which would completely eliminate tax exemption for all religious organizations, but allow them to deduct labor spent serving the poor. At minimum wage. It’s not fair that we are forced to subsidize Rev. Jerry Fallwell, Jr.

          I’d also propose the “501(c) Reform Act”, which would eliminate tax exemption for all tax exempt organizations and allow a minimum 25% tax rate upon re-application for exempt status. There would be a strict elimination of most nonprofits that do nothing more than provide political messaging and/or a tax deductible social circle for rich people.

          We also need the “Military Support Act” which would limit military spending to what the next three militaries added together spend (we currently spend eight times). Funding to tertiary education would have to be equal to that amount. (We currently spend more on nuclear weapons than we do on tertiary education.)

          Pelosi hasn’t had an original thought since the Edsel. Neither has Schumer.

          • Maybe if we had term limits on senators, we could have some new and progressive ideas coming from the senate. Just a thought.

          • Two terms is enough for anyone. In this era, experience older than five years is irrelevant.

            It’s how we end up with this gigantic and unsustainable military, with its enormous machines, while anyone who owns a DJI drone (Chinese company) knows we’re not going to be fighting anything near symmetrical weapons if we push China too hard – the Russians are already fighting WW 3. No bullets, no missiles. All technology.

      • Except, of course, the humanitarian award he received from Jesse Jackson.


  • In all seriousness, would you force a Muslim bakery to make a cake for a gay wedding as well?

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