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News Worms


Justice Department Announces Strong Defense For Religious Freedom

Justice Department Announces Strong Defense For Religious Freedom

The guidance also reiterates that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits employers covered by the regulation from discriminating based on an individual's religious belief, observance or practice, "unless the employer can not reasonably accommodate such observance or practice without undue hardship". The courts do. And the courts have recognized that federal law does protect transgender people as a form of discrimination based on sex. The memo is a direct contradiction of one issued by former Attorney General Eric Holder in 2014 that stated trans employees were protected by Title VII.

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The Trump/Pence Administration is determined to promote discrimination through a false view of the law that has been rejected again and again by the courts.

But critics say the guidance amounts to a sweeping license to discriminate that could have a broad impact on the rights of women and LGBT individuals.

The Department of Justice announced Thursday the reinvigoration of a Bush-era program to help combat growing violent crime in America.

The memo, which dovetailed with another rule from President Donald Trump's administration Friday that extended exceptions from the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate to religiously affiliated organizations, gives guidance across federal agencies about a new series of stances on religious expression.

"The Department of Justice can not expand the law beyond what Congress has provided", DOJ spokesperson Devin O'Malley said.

The 20-point guidance specifically says that the government can not make the disavowal of a religious view a condition of an organization or group receiving a grant or contract from the federal government and that "the freedom of religion extends to persons and organizations". "A lot of municipalities already have policies prohibiting discrimination against LGBT people", Hoover said. The gender identity of transgender people does not correspond with the sex assigned to them at birth.

It also says that the law "applies even where a religious adherent seeks an exemption from a legal obligation requiring the adherent to confer benefits on third parties", making it clear that RFRA applies in cases such as the HHS mandate. The Human Rights Campaign, a national LGBT-rights group, called the guidelines an "all-out assault" on civil rights and a "sweeping license to discriminate".

Additionally, in 2015 while Mike Pence was governor, in passed its own version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, despite outcry from opponents who argued the bill could be used to legally discriminate against LGBTI people.

Friday's actions do not foreclose the option that the attorney general can issue additional guidance as appropriate in the future. The law, which added sexual orientation to the federal hate crimes statue, was passed in 2009.

"Today's guidance by Jeff Sessions proves this Administration will do anything possible to categorize LGBTQ Americans as second-class citizens who are not equal under the law", said Ellis in a statement. The 25-page document released by the attorney general will please many religious liberty advocates.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, chair of the U.S. bishops' religious liberty committee, said in a statement that the new rule "recognizes that the full range of faith-based and mission-driven organizations, as well as the people who run them, have deeply held religious and moral beliefs that the law must respect". "The protections for this right, enshrined in our Constitution and laws, serve to declare and protect this important part of our heritage".

The Trump administration also made an uninvited intervention into a discrimination case this year to argue against civil rights protections for gay people.

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