WASHINGTON – The Trump Administration has announced a new proposal allowing faith-based groups that receive contracts through the Department of Labor to hire and fire based on their religious beliefs.
The Labor Department says this move aims to "ensure that conscience and religious freedom are given the broadest protection permitted by law." In order to do that, the move walks back President Obama's non-discrimination policies.
"Today's proposed rule helps to ensure the civil rights of religious employers are protected," said US Secretary of Labor Patrick Pizzella. "As people of faith with deeply held religious beliefs are making decisions on whether to participate in federal contracting, they deserve clear understanding of their obligations and protections under the law."
Rev. Franklin Graham said, "I'm grateful to President Trump and his administration for proposing a rule to protect employment decisions of religious organizations, specifically those who may contract with the government."
"Christian organizations shouldn’t be forced to hire individuals whose beliefs are not aligned with theirs. It wouldn’t work. We need to pray for our leaders in Washington & thank God for those who are defending our religious freedoms in this country," he said.
Christian organizations shouldn’t be forced to hire individuals whose beliefs are not aligned with theirs. It wouldn’t work. We need to pray for our leaders in Washington & thank God for those who are defending our religious freedoms in this country. 3/3
— Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) August 15, 2019
"Without these conscience protections, religious organizations risk facing discrimination for making employment decisions that are consistent with their beliefs," said Mike Berry, chief of staff for First Liberty Institute. "We are grateful to the Trump administration for once again working to protect religious liberty for all Americans."
Opponents of the measure like Sarah Warbelow, legal director of the Human Rights Campaign called it "a license to discriminate."
The Labor Department added that religious organizations will still be bound by state laws and must still adhere to protections for workers based on race, sex and national origin.