Saturday, October 7, 2017

Separation of Church & State

The Trump Administration after announcing that federal employment protections do not apply to transgender Americans has opened up the Pandora’s Box when it comes to the separation of Church & State. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has released guidance instructions that invites taxpayer-funded federal agencies, government employees & government contractors to discriminate against our LGBTQ community, people of color, people with disabilities, women, religious minorities including Muslim & Jewish people & other marginalized populations as long as they cite a religious belief as the reason for doing so. Vanita Gupta, President & CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights stated, “This guidance is totally unnecessary & is yet another mean-spirited attack against the LGBTQ community, people of color & other minorities. This guidance is designed to do one thing create a license to discriminate against the LGBTQ community & others, sanctioned by the federal government & paid for by taxpayers. Yes, the freedom of religion is a fundamental right, but it is not an absolute right. It cannot be used as a shield to permit discrimination against LGBTQ people, just as federal courts a half century ago denied the ability of businesses & employers to use their religious beliefs as a basis to discriminate against African Americans. Federal agencies, government contractors & grant recipients should not be permitted to discriminate simply by citing a religious belief for doing so. We urge the federal courts to reject the radical efforts by this administration to justify discrimination on the basis of religion. We are strengthened as a nation when we work to protect & balance the rights and dignity of all.”
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