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Religious Freedom Order Would Do 3 Big Things for Christians

02-02-2017

A draft of an executive order on religious freedom is being considered by the Trump administration.

The order is entitled, "Establishing a Government-Wide Initiative to Respect Religious Freedom," and would expand the protection of religious freedom for "any organization, including closely held for-profit corporations, operated for a religious purpose, even if its purpose is not exclusively religious."

The proposed order would protect religious rights when there's a conflict on gay rights or abortion issues, according to a copy of the order acquired by ABC News.

First, it would prevent some private companies from having to offer contraceptive coverage as part of their health plans.

"Persons and organizations do not forfeit their religious freedom when providing social services, education, or healthcare; earning a living, seeking a job, or employing others; receiving government grants or contracts: or otherwise participating in the marketplace, the public square, or interfacing with Federal, State or local governments," the draft reads.

Second, the order would also pave the way for tax-exempt groups to voice opinions "on moral or political issues from a religious perspective" without losing their tax exempt status.

Third, the order would form a "working group" in the Department of Justice whose job would be to look into potential religious liberty violations, The Hill reports.

"We do not have plans to sign anything at this time but will let you know when we have any updates," said White House Spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders, according to ABC News.

Opponents are concerned that expanded religious protection laws could permit businesses to refuse service to gay customers or let employers fire workers because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

This week, the White House said the Trump administration would not alter an Obama administration order that protects LGBT workers.

The religious freedom draft executive order is one of several reportedly being considered by officials, according to The Hill.

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